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Bookmark

A library platform tailored to individuals education progress

  • UX Design
  • Human Centred Design
  • UI Design
  • Prototyping
Stainless Steel Dynamics Website

Bookmark is an online library platform that creates a tailored environment structured to your specific course requirements and needs. Surround yourself in knowledge from leaders and professionals in your specific industry. No more endless hunts in a library trying to find a book, we bring the reading to you.

Created to eliminate frustration, confusion and improve work ethic, Bookmark provides a new way to source and research material whilst providing highlighted sections to manage your valuable time.

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Problem Statement

In the UK and most parts of the world the cost of education both time and money is constantly increasing. The average cost to attend University is £9,000 Per Year and is expected to rise. This topped with loans for maintenance for cost of living and accommodation will well and truly make people rethink about studying in the UK.

Other methods of eduction have tried to tackle this problem with the induction of e-learning course, bootcamps and more. However these forms lack in certain aspects such as mentoring, presenting of content and employment recognition.

Research and Ideation

To tackle the problems within the education system, I used a wide range of research methods. Firstly, I began by breaking each category of education into sub-categories and carried out a content audit into different institutions.

Blending Learning was the most talked about term by educators, which is a balance between technology and physical teaching, proving to be most effective.

Don Norman’s Principles of Human Centered Design was an invaluable discovery, as by solving the problem within education, a large amount of the symptoms are then removed.

Bookmark Form Discussions
Bookmark - US Statistics

To gain insight into how the public felt with books and their lengths, I then went onto a form website. The results received were very interesting and included some important aspects to be considered for all types of reading.

I then came across U.S statistics showing device usage from 2010-2014, including introduction the tablet and how this had an impact on laptop/desktop users.

Bookmark - Survey Results
Bookmark - Competitor Analysis

Having researched the different forms of education, views from educators and research platforms, I then created an open survey. This survey allowed me to gain current views from students about the situation and how it could be improved upon.

Some educational institutions provided an online library; however, the range of books available online is limited and difficult of use. Another issue I encountered with this style of online library was the format of reading the content, which was an online PDF, proving very difficult to read.

User Experience

One of the reasons why online educational platforms are lacking is due to the User Experience. Different methods of User Research and User Experience have been used to ensure that the platform puts the user first and the experience is designed purely with the user at the centre of all thinking and decision making.

Bookmark - Anna User Persona
Bookmark - Anna Empathy Map

One of the main ways I could ensure that users were considered was through the use of User Personas. Using the research gathered previously, I created User Personas to represent, in particular, needs and requirements from different backgrounds. The User Personas would allow me to consider all users when designing my library platform through different needs, requirements, goals, disabilities and more.

Empathy maps were then created for each User Persona. This allowed me to consider how each human feels, not only physically but emotionally in their situation. By creating empathy maps I opened myself up to other user’s emotions and how to empathise with them, making my decision making, content architecture and design more considerate to users’ emotions.

Bookmark - User Flow Diagram
Bookmark - Low fidelity wireframes

User flows were another aspect I considered with great detail. By carefully mapping out the user’s journey, I was able to understand how each user would flow from their currently place to their desired destination as well as all steps in-between without being lost or confused.

I then created low fidelity wireframes with annotations. This allowed me to clearly showcase how each interaction and micro-interaction was process and delivered to each user.

Design System

In order to ensure that all design aspects were kept consistent, I decided to follow Brad Frost’s Atomic Design Methodology and create a design system. Within my design system, I dissected each design component to its most basic form, showing a clear process. Future Learn and Shopify’s design systems proved great examples on how to structure and simplify components. As I decided to create a dark mode for users at night, I then created my design system for both light and dark mode versions.

Bookmark - Design System Navigation
Bookmark - Design System Icons

User Interface & Visual Layout

Below are User Interface screens of Bookmark, showing the main pages of how users are able to track progress and improve areas of their modules. Users can also see trending reading material from connected community members and module suggestions. Whilst reading users can also view highlighted sections of the book that have been bookmarked by community members showing comments, useful links and more.

Bookmark - Viewing Book screen
Bookmark - Progress Overview Screen
Bookmark - Reading Book Screen

Outcome & Reflection

The overall response from this project was very good with the main objective being reached. Having followed Don Norman’s way of thinking, I was able to take one of the most important resources education has to offer and bring it into a more accessible, useful and user-centered platform.

Highlighted chapters and bookmark comments allowed for users to take in more valuable content whilst also reducing the amount of time spent per book, improving content intake vs attention span.

Module assigned content allowed for each person to clearly see what they needed to improve on compared to their targets and reading analysis. Having transferrable content across a wide range of devices such as mobiles, smart speakers, etc, allowed individuals to study where and when they never could before such as public transport, improving time management.

If I were to continue with this product, I would focus the platform towards tablet and mobile due to shape, size and weight of the devices and the huge decrease of usage and accessibility of laptop/desktop.