Bookclub app

Conceptualising a new digital experience to fill a market hole

Bookclub wants to encourage positive connections around the globe through engaging and meaningful discussions. They provide a space for lifelong learning and enhance the experience of reading a book.

Introduction

In 2019 I rediscovered my love for books and wanted to broaden my horizon with different genres, when I stumbled across Reddits r/books which hosts its own monthly book club. The simplicity of a forum format sparked the idea of designing a conceptual app. I also wanted to get better at designing in Sketch and Adobe XD.

My role / Company
UX Designer / Self initiated project
–  Research (Goals, User Interviews, Competitive analysis) 
– Art Direction
– Branding (Logo, Colors, Illustration)
– Design (Wireframes, Hi-Fi)

Duration / Year
1 month / 2019

Tools
Pen and Paper
Sketch 
Adobe XD, AI

Team
1 Designer

Login Screen

Understanding the problem space

I approached this project with taking myself as an example of a user writing down what needs I have of this app. This is of course not a great way to conduct user interviews, but for this conceptual project it was good enough. I created a Venn diagram of business goals, user needs and technical constraints, to define the initial state and the problem space. Also I conducted a competitive analysis. I always try to set up constraints for self initiated projects to stay on the point and the need of more efficient problem solving. I defined goals for the app and myself:

Support analog entertainment with digital through creating a space where people connect and discuss

Design a concept that could be turned into a feasible product

Improve the user experience of discussions

Create a more helpful tool to hold book clubs globally

Venn Diagram

Competitive Analysis

Sketching the blueprint for a new digital experience 

After understanding my own user needs more I defined the features for this app more precisely. The main features were to browse and join book clubs, discuss chapters in a forum-like experience and a curated timeline and adding books to a personal bookshelf. I sketched some wireframes on paper and then refined them in Sketch, highlighting the buttons and actions with colors.

Sketches and wireframes

Bringing a fictional brand to life

Logo

I designed the logo to portrait a page with a bookmark on the left side. The logomark on the right balanced the design out, and the heart symbolizes the love and appreciation for books and being able to share.

Logo

Color

The triad color scheme reflects playfulness that harmonizes with the modern, geometric font. The royal blue is used as the leading and primary color, the pastel salmon pink calms the saturated blue as a secondary color. Lastly the ocher yellow gives a fresh pop of color as a contrast color.

Typeface

This typeface is characterised by excellent legibility, well-finished geometric designs and optimized kerning. With its many weights it allows to create an appealing visual hierarchy. “Hero” is perfect for large texts because of its tall x-height and clear shapes.

Color and type

Illustration

The user is greeted with a personal illustration that invites them into the adventure of books – and this app. I sketched on paper first, brought the sketches into illustrator and traced and refined the illustration there.

Illustration

Sketches

Illustration details

Expanding the branding to the user interface

I created a style guide with all components to ensure consistency & harmony in my own design. I love making my designs unique and special, so I designed each icon. It adds this layer of personality through being individually created. My favourite one is the happy heart, that just makes you want to save books!

Styleguide

Solution

Inviting through personal, friendly visuals

Greeting the user with a personal illustration that invites them into the adventure of books – and this app. The buttons are also in the bright colors, as well as icons are handmade according to the brand.

Highlighting the social aspect of book clubs with timelines and discussions

Users are hosting book clubs, setting timelines that are linked to the specific chapter discussions. This allows for more in depth talk about chapters, while also giving this feeling of reading a book together, giving space for thought and speculation. I found this personally very valuable on Reddit, because it broke down a book into chunks and made it less intimidating to read.

Keeping track of all books through a virtual bookshelf

This virtual bookshelf allows users to keep track of the books they are currently reading or have read. Here the user also finds books they mark with a happy heart under saved.

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Outcome

This was one of my first designs that I created by myself. I am writing this case study for this project 2 years of work experience later. At first I did not want to include it, but I decided it is an important part of my journey. I still very much enjoy the concept, branding and visual style and am proud of it. It also shows how I developed in the last years and I know what I would do differently with this design. One day I will take this side project up again and would love to explore how to create and manage book clubs.