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Kindle New Feature Development

Kindle has been the leader in e-reader devices and book sales since it revolutionized the book industry in 2007. With over 150 million users worldwide Kindle has expanded users ability to read on the go and brought audiobooks to the masses.

Roles

My role in this project consisted of:

  • UX Research

  • UI Design

  • Daily SCRUM Lead

Problem

During this two week sprint we aimed to address the issue of inadequate communication among existing users, focusing on finding a solution to improve user interactions.

Deliverables              UX/UI Design, High-Fidelity Interactive Prototypes for iOs 

  

  • Heuristic Evaluation

  • User Interviews

  • Affinity Maps

  • Personas

  • Journey Maps

  • Task Flows

  • User Flows

  • SiteMap

  • Low-Hi Fidelity Wireflows

  • High Fidelity Wireframes

Project Specs

Duration: 2 week sprint

Tools: ​

  • Figma

  • Zoom

  • Google Suite

  • Balsamiq

  • Slack

How Do Readers Connect?

In our initial meeting, we aligned our goals and embarked on comprehensive research to understand Kindle, its user base, and the overarching business objectives. This served as the foundation for our project plan, realistic timeline, and strategy. After extensive user interviews we found that in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, we recognized that people craved alternative spaces to connect and share their reading experiences, as physical interactions were limited. We saw an opportunity to leverage the power of reading to transcend these physical boundaries and provide readers with a digital platform that catered to their need for connection and community. 

Recognizing the importance of fostering a sense of togetherness, we focused on enhancing the communal aspects of the Kindle platform. By incorporating user-centric design principles, we  aimed to create a space that not only offered captivating stories but also facilitated meaningful conversions, recommendations, and the formation of lasting bonds among readers. We understood that readers desired an interactive space where they felt comfortable and safe to discuss their favorite books and interact with like-minded individuals as if they were in a living room with a glass of wine at a book club meeting. With the needs and aspirations of our target audience in mind, we set out to foster a vibrant and  inclusive community within the Kindle community.

1. Discovery

As the lead researcher for the project, I dove into the Kindle app to conduct a thorough evaluation. Working closely with the team, we also took a deep dive into other platforms like Google Play, Apple Books, Audible, and Wattap to understand the landscape. We wanted to get a holistic view of what readers were experiencing and what they desired. 

During our research journey, we analyzed every nook and cranny of the Kindle app. We looked at its features, compared it to other popular digital media platforms that cater to individuals. This helped us gather valuable insights and gain a better understanding of Kindle’s user base. We wanted to know their needs, their pain points, and how we could make their reading experience better.

By bringing all our research together and synthesizing our findings, we were able to uncover valuable insights about Kindle’s users. This deep dive allowed us to understand their specific needs and preferences. Armed with this knowledge, we were ready to take on the challenge of enhancing Kindle and creating an even more enjoyable reading experience for its users.

2. Unlocking User Perspectives

As a team, we were eager to hear directly from Kindle users and individuals familiar with e-reader apps. To make sure we spoke with the right people, we created a screener survey and conducted 12 insightful interviews. Our goal was clear: to prioritize our users and gather valuable feedback to improve the Kindle app.

During the interviews, we delved deep into our users’ experiences and aspirations. We asked thought-provoking questions that shed light of their needs and desires. One key finding that emerged was the strong desire for a dedicated space within the app where users that emerged was the strong desire for a dedicated space within the app where users could freely discuss their current reads, share recommendations, and engage in conversations about books. This highlighted the importance of fostering a sense of community and providing a platform that facilitated meaningful interactions among book lovers.

Armed with these valuable insights, we gained a deeper understanding of our users’ desires and expectations. This motivated us to explore innovative solutions that would enable users to freely express themselves, connect with fellow readers, and create a vibrant community within the Kindle app.

3. User Personas

After synthesizing the data from our 12 interviews, we embarked on persona development, crafting primary and secondary personas that embodied the key characteristics and preferences of our potential users. This user-centered approach became the guiding force behind our design process, ensuring that the needs and aspirations of our users remained at the forefront. With these personas in hand, we gained a clear understanding of the diverse range of users who would be engaging with the Kindle app, allowing us to tailor our design decisions and features to meet their specific requirements. 

Problem Statement

 

Hannah needs a safe place where she can interact with other avid readers like herself because she wants to share her thoughts and feelings about the literature she has read.  

4. Designing with Purpose

During the second week of the project, our team shifted its focus to the design phase of the new feature. To maintain our commitment to our user, we directed our attention to Hannah, our primary persona, and diligently refined a problem statement that prioritized her specific needs. This allowed us to remain steadfast in our pursuit of delivering a solution that would genuinely address the potential user’s pain points and enhance the Kindle experience. 

With Hannah at the forefront of our design process, we proceeded to develop a detailed user journey that captured her interactions and expectations throughout the app. Through this exercise, we gained valuable insights into her motivations, challenges, and desired outcomes, ensuring that our design decisions were informed and purposeful. Additionally, we conducted a thorough retrospective sitemap analysis, meticulously examining potential pain points and areas of improvements that users like Hannah might encounter. 

Equipped with a deeper understanding of Hannah’s journey, we seamlessly transitioned into refining the visual style and UI elements of the app. Building upon the solid foundation provided by Kindle’s existing style guide, we diligently crafted a cohesive and polished design that exuded professionalism and usability. By leveraging established design principles, we aimed to create an interface that seamlessly integrated with Hannah’s workflow and offered an intuitive and visually pleasing experience.

5. Wireframes and Hi-Fi Mockups

 

As we moved forward in our project, our team delved into the process of sketching mid to high fidelity wireframes for the new feature within the Kindle app, with a steadfast focus on addressing Hannah's specific needs. To ensure a thorough exploration of design options, we began with low-fidelity sketches and wireframes. This approach facilitated detailed discussions and provided us with the flexibility to iterate quickly and make necessary adjustments along the way. Through this iterative process, we gradually honed in on a design direction that we felt confident about.

Once we had solidified our vision, we transitioned from low-fidelity prototypes to high-fidelity. This involved refining the details and visual elements to create a more polished and realistic representation of the final user interface. By incorporating higher levels of fidelity into our prototypes, we aimed to provide a more accurate and immersive experience for both our team and potential users. This transition marked an important milestone in our design journey, bringing us closer to the realization of a well-crafted and user-friendly communication feature within the Kindle app.

6. Examining User Experience through Testing

During the testing phase, we actively involved a group of nine participants who were already acquainted with the Kindle app. Our primary goal was to meticulously evaluate the accessibility and ease of use of the new feature we had developed in our prototype. After the initial round of testing, we carefully considered the feedback provided and made necessary minor adjustments to enhance the user experience. The subsequent round of testing yielded remarkably positive results and invaluable insights, serving as a strong validation of the effectiveness and quality of our design.

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