03 May, 2020
Reading is a very good habit. It strengthens brain, increases empathy, build vocabulary and reduces stress, to mention a few major benefits. According to a Times of India survey, on average, an Indian reader spends more than 10 hours reading book in a week. The survey puts India on top in comparison with China and US.
Despite physical books, digital medium plays an important role in this. Reading has been grown up several folds due to various digital mediums available for consuming content, such as Broadsheet, Medium, The Curious Reader and different micro blogging sites. People are reading ebooks and online articles on their phone, tablet and kindle in their spare time to get away from boredom & make good use of times such as commuting. Carrying physical book is always not possible and is bulky, here comes in hand the ebook. There are different apps that provide you ebook reading service such as Kindle Unlimited and many more. People enjoy reading books on their smartphones but have some pain points as well.
Being a part of a literary magazine, I got the privilege to reach out to many readers and writers easily without so much hustle and bustle. Initially I did an online survey to find out the basic information and understand the readers and their pain points. I got the following data :
a. 90% of the participants read more than 2 hours a day
b. 50% are not fully satisfied with the current reading app and feel need of more features to ease reading.
c. 87% don’t find a reading app one stop solution for their problem, they need to go to different sources online to get info about books and have to come back on the app to read.
With this information I concluded:
i. Reading apps need some more features to make the primary goal (reading ebook) more efficient and convenient for different conditions.
ii. Reading apps should also include more content related to the book instead of just books. So the readers don’t have to go to other sources to find related info.
Just one Word,
An app that is beyond ebooks. It includes the book reviews and ratings, author details and updates, and most importantly different reading modes and features to enrich the reading experience.
2. Designing UX:
While designing the user experience, I had to keep in mind to not complicate the user flow in order to provide features, so I designed, and redesigned, and redesigned the Information Architecture until I was satisfied with the one:
3. Sketching And Wireframing:
Now this was the time to have the very first visualisation of the app. It’s very important to think the design in not just creative way, but also in compatible way with the product. In my case, the color content varies due to book covers. Therefore I had to choose a minimal, majorly less colorful interface, to balance out the visuals. Before starting, I had decided few things in my mind, so my design will not kill the user experience:
i. Book covers will make screen busy, so minimum UI elements and less colors.
ii. Make it more understandable instead of artistic. Less or no Illustrations and unnecessary branding.
iii. Keep the Interface as clean and spacious as possible.
With all these advices from a ‘wiser inner me’, I came up with these wireframes:
4. Visual Design:
Now it was the time to define final visual design and create UI elements.
5. What I Learned:
While designing the app, I learned how design can play vital role in solving complex problems. From research to UI design, I came to know all the behind the scenes of an app. I learned that the visual design depends on the user flow, complexity of the app, and usability factor.
Design skills are definitely a game changer in solving problems. Visual design is a constantly evolving process, and there’s always a scope to get it better than the previous version, because
“needs change with time, and so the design has to.”