An End-to-end Mobile App for Book Lovers

Project Overview


Bhuku has started collecting data on popular books. Inspired by, Bhuku wants to give a more user-centric approach to their app, adding features and flows that make it delightful for people to use.

Bhuku wants to develop an app that will help book lovers track everything they own, books they have read, what they will read next, etc. Apart from these general features, they also want to use the full potential that a mobile app has, such as utilizing the camera to register books in a more automated way via optical character recognition (OCR), sending notifications to users to keep them engaged, tracking their progress on reads (potential gamification), etc.


  • Design the mobile app for Bhuku that is user-friendly and easy to use with a clean design
  • Design a Logo for the company that aligns with Bhuku's brand value

Project Scope

End-to-End Mobile App, Branding


Figma, Adobe Illustrator, InVision, Zeplin


UX Designer (Research, Visual Design, Interaction Design, Usability Testing)


Self Directed, with feedback from the mentor and peers


2 Weeks (80 Hours)

View Prototype

Design Process

01 Research

Research Plan

Research enables me to dig deep into my understanding of users - not only their immediate frustrations, but also their hopes, fears, abilities, limitations, reasoning, and goals. It lays essential foundations for creating solutions in later stages.

To ensure the research stays on track and better guide the responsive website design later, it is important to create a research plan before diving into the research phase. I listed research goals, research questions, assumptions, methodologies, participants, and timeline in my research plan.

Research Goals



Secondary Research

Market Research

It is important to get a big picture of the market by starting with market research - to get a sense of what we know and don't know yet, who the audience are, as well as what the recent trends or news are. The insights gathered from market research will help me frame provisional personas and ask meaningful questions in primary research.

Book Industry & Platforms


Reading Habits

Book Consumption

Competitive Research

It is equally important to research enterprises that pioneer in the market of platforms related to books, as their solutions to similar problems will help me gather insights about their strengths and weaknesses. These insights also help me identify any gaps in features that Bhuku might address. I analyzed 3 direct competitors, who are trying to solve the same problem as us, and 3 indirect competitors, who solve one part of the problem very well. A complete competitive research can be viewed here.

Provisional Persona

With the data gathered from market research, I started to generate provisional personas using the statistical knowledge I gained to represent a certain type of user that is potential audience of Bhuku. These personas will help me screen appropriate people to interview.

Primary Research

User Interview

Building on a general understanding of the market and the audience, I continued to dive deeper and build a real connection with our users, to gain direct insights on them by primary research.

I created an Interview Guide to facilitate the user interview process, with 10 open-ended questions listed to invite the participants to share their experiences and stories.

In total, 5 participants (3 males and 2 females) were interviewed about their reading and book organizing experience (if there is any) in the past.

Assumptions Validated

Research Synthesis

Empathy Map

To synthesize the qualitative data gathered from user interview, I created an empathy map to identify patterns across users, uncover insights, and generate needs.


  • Users get book recommendations from people they know well.
  • Users look at reviews before they decide to read a book.
  • Users take notes in multiple ways while reading.
  • Users share their reviews of books on social media.


  • Users need to know they can trust the source of recommendation.
  • Users need to know it is worth spending their time reading the book.
  • Users need to better digest what they are reading.
  • Users need to connect with other readers.

User Persona

Since I have gathered a bunch of knowledge of the audience, as well as their goals and needs, I use the user persona to represent key audience segments. It helps me focus on tackling the most important problems – to address the major needs of the most important user groups. It is both fictional and realistic.

Let’s meet Aimee, an Interior Designer in Boston. She treats reading as a way to take a break from work, enjoys sharing great books with her friends.

02 Strategy

How Might We...

To define the problem I am going to solve, I create Point-of-View (POV) Statements that allow me to ideate in a goal-oriented manner, and How-Might-We (HMW) Questions to frame the ideation in the brainstorm session for solutions. The statements and questions are generated based on the insights and needs I gathered in my Empathy Map.
I then brainstormed solutions around these questions. I spent 3 minutes on each HMW question, and moved on to the next HMW question when the time is up. I then did a second round for each question, and finally arrived at my brainstorm results.

Product Goals

With HMW questions and brainstormed solutions, I decided to list project goals that will both serve as a guide for the future development of the product and rubrics for determining what features to include in Bhuku's mobile application.

I summarized user goals from my user persona and empathy map, and established business goals based on the project brief.

Product Roadmap

I then started to put the solutions I brainstormed into a list of product features to create a comprehensive product roadmap. These features were sorted into four categories, including Must-have (P1), Nice-to-Have (P2), Surprising and Delightful (P3), and Can-come-later (P4) features. They were sorted based on how well they can help achieve business goals and user goals.

Product Roadmap not only infuses the project goals into our product, but also ensures we prioritize the most important features in the development cycle.

Application map

After setting up the product goals and deciding what features to include, I want to continue building up the structure of Bhuku using the application map. An application map helps me to visualize the relationship between the content and examine the hierarchy.

03 Design

Task Flow

To assist the users to navigate through the application better and identify the main flow of users when they are completing a task, I created 3 task flows centering on the key features of Bhuku. In this way, I was able to decide what I am designing, and think through the necessary steps and examine the user experience in details. Below is the flow for 1 task, and a complete diagram of task flow can be viewed here.

User Flow

Building on the task flow, I mapped user flows whose scenarios correspond to the established tasks. This process helps me walk in an individual user's shoes, and think through different scenarios that this user might encounter. Below is the user flow for Aimee when she wants to mark a book as "Want to Read". A complete user flow can be viewed here.



After creating an UI Requirement Document with a to-do list for designing the key screens identified in the task flow and user flow, I started sketching low-fidelity screens. I can capture my ideas by pen and paper quickly by sketching. It also enables me to examine my ideas before putting everything in the daunting process of digitizing.

Mid-Fidelity Wireframes

Once I had a visual direction of the layout, I started to add more details and precisions to the sketches by turning them into mid-fidelity wireframes. Creating mid-fidelity wireframes helps me focus on the visual consistency and hierarchy before applying styles. In these wireframes, I tried to incorporate common design patterns that have been tested on our competitors' product, or included elements that directly address users' goals, needs, frustrations, and motivations.

Because I am designing an app for iOS system, I referred to the Human Interface Guidelines of Apple in the design process.

Mid-Fidelity Prototype

After I finished designing screens that are necessary for users to finish tasks, I linked them using InvisionApp and created a mid-fidelity prototype for usability testing. Conducting usability testing using a mid-fidelity prototype is useful for detecting issues in information architecture and flows before spending too much time designing details.

Tasks include:

04 Prototype & Test

Usability Testing

Prepare for the Usability Testing

Before usability testing, it is important to set up test objectives, subject, methodology, tasks, and rubrics for measuring the result of the testing before conducting a test. Therefore, I wrote a usability testing plan to define what and why I want to test and get prepared for the test.

For all the tests, I expect a 100% completion rate since all tasks are normal steps for an e-reader app. I also expect a 90% error-free rate because the prototype is not fully functioning, and users might take alternatives that have not been built up for completing the tasks.

Conduct Usability Testing

I then conducted both in-person and remote usability testing with 5 participants, and created transcripts for each participant based on my observation of their interaction with the prototype. I jot down their mistakes, slips, and confusions they expressed in the process. This transcript is a perfect raw material for summarizing the patterns of user’s interaction with the prototype.

Affinity Map

The results from the usability testing could be summarized by creating anLike the empathy map, it is effective in helping us find patterns and frustrations when users are interacting with the prototype, and identify areas of improvements based on priority levels.

I represent each participant using a unique color, and categorize the observation by success, patterns, and frustrations. I only listed patterns that are shared by a majority of participants. For each pattern from frustrations, I uncovered one insight, and generate one recommendation. I then ranked the recommendation based on the priority level, where I will fix problems that affect key functions for our website and customers’ quick recognition of the brand.  


  • 5/5 Users tapped "Feed" to find the Personal Home Screen of their friends.
  • 3/5 Users didn't tap "Following" or "Follower" at the first timewhen they view Profile screen.
  • 3/5 Users was confused with the differences between "Comment" and "Share."


  • Users think they can find all friends on the Feed Screen.
  • The placement of "Following" and "Follower" sections were not obvious for users.
  • Users naturally associate the action “comments” to be a step of “share”.


  • Add a shortcut on the Feed screen for users to view a list of their friends. (High Priority)
  • Make Followings and Followers more obvious by placing them upfront. (High Priority)
  • Rename these feature to distinguish notes taking, thoughts publishing, and share. (Moderate Priority)
As the time and resources we have is limited, I made revisions based on the priority level I set up for each recommendation in the affinity map.


Before diving into logo and style tile design, I created a mood board on Pinterest to gather multiple inspirations around the specific attributes extracted from the project brief:

Logo Design

To further establish the brand identity, I generated logo concepts. I first started brainstorming adjectives around the brand attributes I established and sketched as many logo options as I could. I then digitized a few shortlisted options, and finalized my top choices by examining their legibility at different scales.

Style Tile

I further developed the visual style of Bhuku through the style tile. It serves as a synthesizing document of the brand ideas and inspirations gathered, incorporating logo design, color palette, typography, and imagery that guides UI design later.

UI Kit

UI Kit is a compilation of existing UI elements on the website that provides references for future design and collaboration for the design team. It is also a living document and will be updated whenever there is an iteration of the design. Below is a part of the Bhuku UI Kit, and the full version can be accessed here.

High-Fidelity Wireframes & Prototype

I created high-fidelity wireframes by applying established styles. It further lets me to examine the overall aesthetic feelings and visual balance of the application.

Final, Interactive Prototype

Final Thoughts + Next Steps

Final Thoughts

With the final prototype created, I believe I have met the goals that were outlined in the beginning of the design process. I designed a mobile app for Bhuku that provides different features centering on finding and reading books. I also designed branding materials that aligns with the value of this service.

If I had more time, I would dive deeper in developing some of those nice-to-have features. These features would add more characteristics to the business and increase the competitiveness.

Next Steps

Design Implementation & Handoff

Since the design has been tested and revised, it is ready to enter the development phase. In order to effectively communicate the design to developers, I redlined and organized my design deliverables using Zeplin for handoff, and prepared to assist with any follow-up questions.


Updates and revisions will continue to exist in the future, and I will address them based on the priority levels.

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