Goodreads Case Study
Goodreads is a web and mobile app that allows book lovers to keep track of books, gain personalized recommendations, and a social component allowing readers to connect with others. Based on the android version of the mobile app, I’ve developed a prototype with few updates. I’m not affiliated with Goodreads, but do use the app.
- Research and usability testing
- Synthesize research and prioritize areas of focus
- Empathize with user
- Ideation- understanding current task flows and developing improved flows
- Iteration - sketching wireframes and iterating on ideas
- Prototype - creating final prototype and validation testing
Guerrilla testing is an effective and quick way of learning about the challenges people face while using a product, while also going beyond what you already know.
- Implementing this technique, I spoke and studied six random participants while they completed tasks, including searching for a new book and updating their digital library. None had used the app on the phone, a few had used it on their desktop.
Insights & Prioritization
Synthesizing the research gathered from the testing, I was able to uncover a several points of uncertainty for each user. I then compiled similar issues together with an affinity map. Instead of solving for each one of those issues, I decided to prioritize according to user needs, business needs and time. In order to make use of this, I also did a bit of internet research about Amazon’s acquisition of Goodreads.
I focused on the following problems:
- Finding the search button was not intuitive
- After a search, adding an completed book, with only “want to read” option visible.
- Changing books from shelf to shelf was confusing
Empathizing with user
Keeping the user in mind at every step of the way is essential to the process of product design. I can gain empathy and develop more dimension to the user with techniques like job stories, persona sketching and scenarios. These techniques help dig into motivations and goals a user may have, possibly even in direct relation to the product.
I developed a variety of ideas and took into consideration Android’s material design guidelines.
Sketch Wireframe Iterations
Final Decisions & Validation Testing
After testing the prototype, 6/6 people were able to more clearly accomplish the same tasks from the initial test.
I learned that quick guerrilla testing can go far in advancing a product, however, further research and understanding of a companies decisions would also need come into play for a full picture. While researching it was interesting to see that iOS and desktop versions of the app have been prioritized, as far as the scope I was studying.