KINDLE

At General Assembly, as part of the User Experience Design Intensive curriculum, we

were tasked to integrate a book club feature into the Kindle iOS app. 

 

Business Objective: Amazon readers tend to purchase books based on recommendations from their personal social networks. In order to increase sales on Kindle, Amazon is looking to integrate an in-app social network where readers can connect with each other via book clubs. Readers will be able to develop new relationships with other readers, inspiring an increase in transactions through recommendations.

Team

Eliana Teran

Daniel Nenart

Derek Appia

My responsibilities: 

UX Research, Competitive/ Comparative Research, Synthesis, User Journey & Personas, Design Studio, Mid-fi Wireframes, Hi-fi Wireframes, Usability Testing

Hypothesis

 

We believe by integrating a book club social network into the Kindle app, users will receive an increased number of book recommendations they trust and increase e-book sales on the iOS mobile app. 

We will know this to be true, when users create, join, and subscribe to book clubs as active and engaged readers. 

Research Methodology

  • 2 Screener Surveys & User Interviews 

  • Personas User Journey Maps

  • Comparative Feature Analysis

  • Design Studio & Feature Prioritization

  • 2 Rounds of Usability Testing

  • HEART Success Metrics

Research Goals

To understand why users depend on recommendations to make decisions/transactions and understand the motivations and pain points of joining and running a club. This will help us determine feature prioritization and how to best meet the needs of our two proto-archetypes: the club member and club leader.

RESEARCH

User Interviews: Club Members

Our team released a survey to screen for interviewees who are members of social clubs and active readers. We interviewed 5 young adults members of groups ranging from GoodReads to a Google Cloud Community to a Fan Group. 

User Interviews: Club Leaders

We released a second survey to screen for interviewees who are currently the head of a club. We interviewed 4 club leaders organizing clubs across Fantasy Basketball, foreign exchange students, and Alcohol Anonymous. 

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Key Insights

  • Group leaders are proactive, competitive, and community builders.

  • Organizing groups allows you to keep in touch and make friends with
    similar interests, creating opportunities to learn from more people.

  • Uses  incentives and regular check-ins to keep members accountable.

  • The obligation can be overwhelming, especially when there are members
    who complain or are inactive.

  • Commenting and messaging makes keeping in touch with members easy. 

Key Insights

  • Members want to be apart of an intellectual safe space with beneficial information pertaining to their interests and insight into other member’s perspectives.

  • Members will stick with a club if it has good structure and consistency, so they can manage their time properly. 

  • Members tend to meet people through established relationships. 

  • Being a member of a club creates a habitual effort to go socialize.

  • Clubs help members include personal interests in their weekly schedule. 

 

"“The brunch club anchors my week which is valuable to me, it adds
consistency and structure to my time.”

“I set up all the rules, and little details of making it work. All the members have to agree though since we’re playing for money. I do have control over it and can change stuff. "

Personas

We began with a primary and secondary persona to structure our research and design process, accounting for both the club leader and club member. However during synthesis, we realized their intent for being apart of the club was essentially the same. They both wanted the structure of a club to help them stay accountable for including their passion and interests into their work week. They also liked the insider information they would receive from other members. We proceeded with primary designing for our primary persona, James.

Primary Persona.jpg

User Journey Map: James

We mapped out Jame's journey from discovering a new book, creating a book club, and planning the reading materials for the future of the club. We have James moving through Amazon's current platforms Kindle and Goodreads to uncover existing pain points and opportunities we can consider and highlight when designing our solution.

Competitive / Comparative Analysis

Kindle Competative Analysis.png

Key Insights

  • Goodreads website and app have different functionality. Both are flooded with groups with unclear structures. 

  • Goodreads to Kindle is like Browsery to Nook (also separate on the market)

  • Subscription fees may not be necessary and make it to the MVP.

Kindle Observations

  • Kindle provides a personal page tracker in percentages indicating how much of your book you have read. The feature has motivational promise. 

  • Kindle is a simpler app to use than its competitors. We will need to maintain this subtlety in our design.

  • Kindle already has a Community section with limited functionality, allowing you to see your reading progress and that of Goodreads friends (not groups).

Problem Statement

James is the leader of an online book club. He enjoys being a part of an active community where he can gain deeper insights on books he loves; however, he gets frustrated when readers are not keeping up and become inactive.

How might we use the Kindle iOS app to keep his members accountable?

Solution

We will integrate a book club feature for Kindle users to browse, join, and create book clubs in the existing "Community" section. The feature will allow users to read together and inform others reading habits. 

 

An important part of the feature is the Page Tracker. In the current Kindle app, when reading, you can already see the percentage of the book you have read. We are taking that information and making it public and a part of the social experience of the club. All members will be able to see each others reading progress represented by a green status bar surrounding the profile picture.

The visual display of progress will help encourage our members to keep reading. They will be able to see where everyone else is at in the club and inspire a healthy amount of competition, something that happens naturally in a group setting. * Think AMRAP’s in CrossFit classes. * The visual display of progress will also let club leaders know if members are actively reading. 

There will a way for leaders and members to participate in book clubs without the page tracker enabled to include a wider audience. 

DESIGN

Design Strategy

From our research, we wanted to ensure that our book club feature would keep club readers and leaders accountable for including reading into their weekly schedule, have an open and active message board for users to exchange ideas, and most importantly, inspire book recommendations and purchases. We used feature prioritization, design studio, and usability testing to shape our final design. 

Design Methodology

  • Feature Prioritization: MoSCoW Method

  • 2 Rounds of Design Studio

  • 2 Rounds of Mid-fi Prototyping and Usability Testing

  • Hi-fi Prototype

  • Establish Success Metrics: Heart Model

Usability Testing

Lo-fi Prototype

Mid-fi Prototype

Hi-fi Prototype

Testing Objectives

.

  • We want to evaluate users full understanding of the book club features and page tracker.

Improvements Needed

  • Users unsure if Create Club is a link or header, change to button and lower.

  • Add Search Bar to Browse Clubs 

  • Add contrast and shades of grey to mid-fi prototype.

Key Changes

.

  • Changed create a club link to button.

  • Added greys and iOS blue to better guide users.

  • Added search bar throughout app. 

  • Added to Calendar option.

Improvements Needed

  • 3:4 users unable to explain the page tracker.

  • 2:4 users make errors when tasked to browse and join a club by tapping Discover.

  • 3:4 users did not understand Question of the Week.

Key Changes

.

  • Added banner in Discover linking back to book clubs. 

  • Removed Question of the Week from message board.

  • Applied iOS and Kindle visual design for Hi-fi. 

Next Steps

Email
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