UX Design Capstone Project


Bhuku is an app for book lovers that will help users track everything they own, books they have read, what they will read next, and everything they have loved so far.
Inspired by other related apps, Bhuku wants to give a more user-centric approach to their app by adding features and flows that make it pleasant to use for their users
NOTE: This is a fictional company and is a project I completed as part of DesignLab's UX Academy.


Design an iOS app that serves the needs and wants of book lovers along with establishing a brand identity for Bhuku.


Client: Bhuku
Project type: UX/UI
Timeline: 80 hours
My Role: User Research, Strategy, Interaction Design, UI Design, Prototyping, Usability Testing
Tools Used: Sketch, InVision, Maze

design process


REsearch goals

I began the process with research goals to: identify and analyze Bhuku’s competitors in order to gain a better understanding of the literature app industry, and uncover gaps among the existing apps.

I also sought to discover how people keep track of books they've read, are currently reading and wish to read, to understand what influences people's decision on whether or not to read a certain book, and lastly, to learn how/where people buy or attain their books.


  • Market research
  • Competitor analysis
  • User surveys
  • User interviews

Research Plan

The Research Plan was created in order to help define the target market and to discover their behaviors and views towards book tracking.


First, I conducted secondary research to gain a better understanding of literary apps, the target market, existing apps and the market space.
Click to view the research plan


I began my research by delving into learning about and understanding the current book app market and Bhuku’s target audience. Organizing, tracking and discovering books both previously read and unread can be challenging.
Not a lot of research in recent articles exist on this topic, so I looked into Bhuku's competitors and browsed through threads written by avid readers and users of similar apps on places like Apple's App Store and Reddit. For qualitative data, I searched for social media, Reddit, and other places where the target audience would share their reviews and thoughts on book tracking apps.


Afterwards, I conducted a competitive analysis of iOS apps that shared the similar target audiences and provided similar services as Bhuku. I relied heavily on App Store reviews to gauge the strengths and weaknesses of each competitor. I primarily used SensorTower and Apple's App Store  to read customer reviews of the competition. Based on my findings, I was also able to confirm that GoodReads was the top competitor, which was stated in the project brief. I was also able to identify other competitors and related apps. I then looked into assessing each competitor based on the customer reviews and downloaded each of them on my phone to get a firsthand glance.
The strengths identified across the various platforms included:
Opportunities discovered based on my competitor analysis:

Primary Research

To better understand the pain points and goals of those who use book tracking apps and other parts of my research questions that the secondary research was unable to answer, I developed an interview script and conducted user interviews with participants both in-person and over the phone.
“I think that the Internet and social media has done wonders for ways of putting books out there and I love it. I love how book apps give me the opportunity to see my friends in a different way by learning about what they are reading.”
I also created and distributed a questionnaire to 30 participants via social media networks (Slack, Facebook, Whatsapp).

QUALITATIVE TAKEAWAYS from questionnaire and interviews

  • People expressed importance of book reviews
  • While some users reported setting reading goals, that does not seem to be their primary focus in using track apps but is "nice to have”
  • People like personal recommendations from friends and figures they trust
  • Users reported reading for leisure, to escape reality, and for their personal development
  • People care most about keeping track of books they would like to read over what they've already read



After going through my interview transcripts and identifying behavior and need patterns, research was synthesized into a set of deliverables, to guide me in keeping the users as a priority in the  design process.

In order to understand my key users better, I created two personas and empathy map.
I created the personas, Lindsay and Robin, using my research, namely that from the 1:1 interviews.
Click to enlarge the personas
To further explore relationships and develop the persona that emerged from the data I’d gathered and mapped, I created an empathy map made up of observations and statements from my user interviews and diving deeper into Lindsay's mindset.  This helped me further understand the emotional state of the user.
Click to enlarge the empathy map
These deliverables served as a continuous reminder of the characteristics of the kind of people who would use Bhuku throughout the design process and made it especially helpful for designing with a "real user" in mind.

POINT OF VIEW Statements and How Might We Questions

Now that I had a better understanding of our users and really honed in on the specific pain points, it was time to focus on creating solutions. From my insights and needs, I rephrased these into a point of view (POV) statement and reframed each these as a “how might we?” (HMW) question, in order to start working towards solution-focused designs.
  • How might we provide users a quick way to save their reading wishlist?
  • How might we help users receive book recommendations?
  • How might we connect users to booksellers?
I then used these HMW questions to begin brainstorming solutions. I did this by writing down each of the HMW questions, spending 2 minutes writing solutions for each, coming up with a feature roadmap and landed on several features that would solve the narration and concentration challenges:
Click to enlarge



I developed an app map to solidify the organization of screens within the app.


Using the sitemap, research findings and developed persona, I was then able to chart a user flow. The flow below shows several main paths for a user:
Click to enlarge the user flow


I began to wireframe key pages informed by my task flows. I took to pen and paper to start with hand sketching. In these initial sketches, I was able to quickly brainstorm and come up with alternate ideas, building on each of them in order to move on to mid-fidelity sketching.
Click to enlarge the low-fi sketches
I then moved to Sketch to create mid-fidelity wireframe key pages. I created a mid-fidelity desktop prototype of the main user flow using InVision. This enabled me to visualize the early designs more concretely, see how the interactions flowed, and to be able to have users test it out. After receiving feedback and implementing some changes to the wireframes, I moved on to the visual design phase.


I chose a serif font for the logo, reminiscent of traditional book typeface.
Keeping in mind that the books should stand out within the app, I designed a clean and minimal interface with subtle pops of color in the UI elements. I chose a cloud white color to resemble book pages.
Like the logo, the typography for the main headers references traditional printed text with a serif typeface. For a modern feel, along with legibility, a sans-serif font is used for the body texts.
Keeping in mind the importance of rating and reviews that users reported in my research, I included this in the display of the books.


I incorporated the branding and UI into the wireframes and made significant revisions based on feedback and testing. Due to the timeline of the project, I focused on screens involved in the userflow.

In putting together the final wireframes, I kept my user personas in mind, keeping structure to my design process. A quick add from search results feature was added so users could quickly add add books quickly from the search results. Additionally, the Quick Explore page was further developed to include an undo button as initial feedback from the mid-fidelity prototype indicated that users may swipe right/left quickly and accidentally add or dismiss a book.

I created a high-fidelity desktop prototype of the main user flow using InVision. This enabled me to put my designs to life, seeing how the interactions flowed in real time, allowing the new features to really come to life.
Samples of the screens can be explored further via the prototype



overview & Goals
I tested the usability of the main user flow using the high-fidelity desktop prototype.  My main goals were to:
To test these designs, I tested the high-fidelity prototype on 16 users remotely using the tool Maze. This method allowed me to get quick feedback users and some automated analysis of the results.

I had users conduct 4 different tasks:
  1. You’d like to move a book that you have marked as Currently Reading to your Previously Read list. Move Educated to your Previously Read list and write a review for it.
  2. You and your friend Robin often overlap with your choice of books, so you want to see more of what she’s been reading recently. Locate her profile and find where you can see what else she has read recently read and add it to one of your lists.
  3. You want to quickly discover a new book to read. Find which feature would allow you to do this.
  4. You’d like to locate a book you keep hearing about from your friends and favorite booklists (Becoming by Michelle Obama) and add to your Want-to-Read list. Search for this book and add it to your Want-to-Read list.
My analysis via the affinity map below focuses on those who did complete each of the tasks. 18 individuals began the usability test, while 16 completed the full test. Unfortunately, one of the limitations of this remote testing is that it does not allow me to know for certain whether those two users dropped out due to difficulties using the app prototype, difficulties with Maze or their computer, or personal reasons such as a distraction.

Reflections & Looking Ahead

Designing the Bhuku app was a very rewarding and fun experience. It gave me the opportunity to design an app from start to finish and to challenge myself to design using iOS guidelines. With more time, it would have been interesting to test the app on more users. Then, the next logical step would be to conduct further testing and revisiting my wireframes and making further adjustments wherever necessary based on usability testing feedback.

Other areas for exploration include:

see more of my work


An e-commerce site


A redesign for a boutique travel agency


Adding a feature to an existing app