LITERATI EVENTS APP
INDIVIDUAL INTERACTION DESIGN PROJECT
SEPTEMBER - DECEMBER 2019 (ONGOING)
USER INTERVIEWS, USER TESTING, QOC ANALYSIS, PERSONAS, WIREFRAMING, DIGITAL PROTOTYPING, INTERFACE DESIGN
METHODOLOGY AND TIMELINE
STAKEHOLDER: LITERATI BOOKSTORE
Literati Bookstore, opened in 2013, has become a pillar of downtown Ann Arbor in six short years. Literati started with seven employees and 9,000 books. Now, the store has a staff of 27, nearly 30,000 books, and its own coffee shop. Community-oriented, Literati organizes over 200 events a year (the majority free). The question is, how can Literati make sure its customers are being informed about this major resource?
Through stakeholder interviews with Literati staff, I deduced that while information about the bookstore’s events are all technically accessible through the Literati website, monthly newsletter, and in-store pamphlets/posters, the bookstore still faces a problem of reaching customers and creating a community around events.
How else can Literati bring customers to their events and make them feel welcome?
"We have the customers who come in to the store, make a point of taking the events pamphlet home and sticking it on their refrigerator so that they know when every event is that month. And then we have everyone else."
Events Staff Member
"We're good at attracting new customers, but we need to work on making our current customers feel valued."
Marketing Staff Member
Once I had my design problem and initial stakeholder interviews completed, I took a critical look at four existing events promotion and social networking systems in order to analyze their strengths and deficiencies. From there, I could begin to synthesize the gaps in these designs that my solution could fill.
In order to encourage divergent thinking, I came up with 8 alternative solutions, and sketched 8 storyboards, in order to see how each solution uniquely addressed Literati's events problem.
(Click the image to enlarge)
My stakeholders were also my secondary user group, as the Literati staff would have to interact with my design in order to serve the primary user group, the customers. As such, I decided to use participatory design in order to ensure that the solution I chose would impact the staff positively. I ran a discussion with three members of the staff in which I went through my solutions, had them discuss and then vote on their favorites, and gathered their ideas about how to combine their favorite features into one design.
In addition to the Literati staff members, I also conducted three focus group interviews, each with a different kind of Literati customer (University of Michigan student, local parent, aspiring writer). I chose focus groups because I believed the snowballing effect would help me get a deeper sense of what would incentivize each user type to attend more events. I then built personas to help me prioritize the right user needs in my design. I also created one anti-persona, based on my stakeholder interviews, to further streamline my design decisions.
(Click image to expand)
Referencing my stakeholder interviews, user interviews, and personas, I decided the solution would be an events calendar/punch card mobile application that would allow users to check that month’s calendar of events and set alerts. They would also be able to “check-in” to events they’d attended in order to receive rewards. Finally, they would have the option to share events with friends to make events-going a more social gathering.
The process of Question, Option, and Criteria helped me analyze all the possible alternatives to the critical features of my design, and choose the best options based on the criteria that felt most meaningful to my users.
I first created wireframes on paper because of its ease and flexibility in creating and receiving feedback. I am currently in the process of user testing paper prototypes based off my wireframes. Stay tuned for more!
TAKEAWAYS SO FAR
Let the user participate. Participatory design was one of the most illuminating methods as the Literati staff could use their expertise to guide my design.
Diverge before you converge. By not settling on any one solution until halfway through the design process, I made sure I didn't block myself from innovation.