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Develop a library module with hybrid interactions that allow easier access and knowledge sharing within the community.

My Role

UX research

UX & System design

Experience design

UI design

Team

1 PM

3 designers

Client
Duration

16 weeks

Context

Intro

Enso Village is a Zen-inspired senior living community that provides mindful living and contemplative care.

They are incorporating a community management platform for residents to access all village services. The project aims to develop a library module facilitating residents' navigation in the open-space library.

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“ We don't want to use a whole space for a lot of dusty, moldy old books. we're on the cutting edge of relating to the written word in a different way.
Let's deconstruct the library.”

- Enso Village team

Challenges

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No librarian resources to provide immediate assistance

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Help residents build new  connections through reading in the community

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Provide a smooth digital experience tailored for elderly users

Solution

A new Chapter 

A hybrid self-sufficient library service, combining both digital and physical touchpoints, guarantees straightforward access to the library and encourages building connections within the community.

Digital library module

Residents can access the new library module through the Enso Village community management platform, 

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Cubigo homepage

(Community management platform)

Library module

(The project)

Physical space interaction

Implemented a color-coded system on both bookshelves and book labels to provide a smoother user experience and enhance search efficiency.

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Design process

User Research

Interviews & Co-creation

Interviewed 7 future residents and utilized co-creation activities to gain a better understanding of their preferences and reading behaviors.

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Meet the residents

  • Age: 65~80

  • Background: The majority of them have higher educational backgrounds, having retired from diverse fields such as psychology, teaching, art, etc.

  • Familiarity with tech: 70% of them are tech-savvy (iOS v.s Andriod: 65% v.s 35%)

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“The whole point of being in a senior residence is to have relationships and to have support.”

"I value that it is a place where we can face the change that happens as we age together."

Barbara
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Claire

"I think we're pretty entitled and like to have things our own way, but what's the intersection of individuality and doing things our own way and community values?"

“Part of the challenge of letting go of the books is letting go of that part of our identity.”

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Alex

“I would not like the digital, I think a lot of us who are not so digital about our reading habits.”

"When you return a book you're supposed to drop it in a basket at the end, so somebody else does the reshelving."

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Susan

"That's what a library is, it's bringing people together in a setting where there's a lot of books."

"Book clubs have been a huge part of my life. Sharing ideas with friends is a vital part of my life."

Synthesis

Applied affinity mapping to cluster similar experiences and thoughts from each interviewee according to various topics.

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Key insights

01.

Value physical connections with books and library

02.

Like to share ideas to build connections with each other

03.

Accessible designs for senior users to accommodate the needs

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Approach

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01.

Integrated designs to provide a smoother experience

Design the app and physical touchpoints to offer a seamless and emotionally resonant reading experience for seniors.

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02.

Ways to help foster connections between users

Create an environment and functionalities that encourage interactions and build new connections among residents.

03.

Apply straightforward and clean designs to facilitate independent navigation

Incorporate simplicity and familiarity into the designs and user flow, ensuring easy navigation for elderly users.

User Experinece

User Journey Map

  • There are 3 different touchpoints throughout the library experience, including mobile APP, kiosk, and physical analog.

  • Mapped out the user journey based on actions, pain points, opportunities, and edge cases to better understand the design elements and user flows.

Information Architecture

Create a site map of the library APP with 3 main section: ​Homepage, My books, and Community.

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Design iteration

Design systems

I built the design systems to enhance overall work efficiency between team members, streamlining the design and development processes.

Low-fi testing
& learnings

  • Refined the user flows and designs through an iterative process, drawing insights from 20+ testing sessions.

  • After 2~3 rounds of testing, we realized that seniors are not familiar with wireframe designs, and often get distracted, so we went to high-fidelity design on the earlier stage.

01.

Users prefer simplicity over excessive information

We aimed to offer comprehensive information, but users prefer simplicity and minimal cognitive load.

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02.

Users lack of familiarity with the current touch gestures

While the users are more tech-savvy than the typical elderly individual, certain touch gestures like Swipe-to-delete or Tap-to-expand are still relatively unfamiliar to them.

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03.

Complex user flows create confusion and anxiety

We discussed multiple solutions to prevent users from not returning books to the original shelves or mark in the app.

 

However, we found that these flows made the process overly complex, which went against the product's goal of providing a joyful reading experience.

Final Design - Digital

The final designs centered on addressing accessibility for senior users, fostering opportunities for building connections, and offering tailored support.

Self-sufficient navigation

  • To align with users' familiarity, I replaced tap-to-expand touch gestures with the traditional method, guiding users to a new page for additional information.

  • Opt for a simple color palette, larger buttons, and texts, and streamline the displayed information to reduce user cognitive load.

Encourage building connections

  • Add a chat button on the book details page, allowing users to peruse reviews from others and communicate directly with the person through the management platform.

  • Integrate a book club section enabling users to host, access information, and join book clubs to encourage knowledge-sharing.

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Chats feature in the Cubigo platform

Tailored support,
joyful experience

  • Simplify the return flow: residents return the books to the fixed return bookshelves, and volunteers help to reshelve the books to avoid chaos.

  • Provide tailored support: wheelchaired and disabled residents can ask the staff or volunteers to come to pick up the books at the apartment and help return them.

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Enso staff and volunteers receive the requests on Cubigo staff app

Final Design - Physical

The final designs centered on addressing accessibility for senior users, fostering opportunities for building connections, and sufficient guidance.

01.

Bookshelves with color coded system

Applying one color on each shelf based on categories to help senior residents finding the books more easily.

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03.

Instruction poster 

There will be posters near the bookshelves to help guide the residents to use the APP.

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02.

Book labels

The color-coded system will extend to book labels, aiding residents in locating books and assisting volunteers in effective book sorting.

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04.

Sharing cards

Place cards on the final page of each book to enable donors to leave notes for readers, and readers to leave notes for those who follow.

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Results

Testing metrics

User satisfaction score

Conduct surveys or gather feedback to assess user satisfaction navigating the app

6.7

8.9

Task-completed rate

Measure the percentage of users who successfully completed the assigned tasks

70%

91%

Time spent

Measure the average time users spend on the main library action to ensure the efficient user flows

-11%

Reflections

Design for the users, not yourself

Our team had conflicts on the style guide and layouts due to different personal preferences and forgot about the real user needs.

Innovation does not always work

From the interviews, we learned that some residents don’t agree with the concept of deconstructed library because they can’t imagine it.

Emotion still matters
in the digital world

Observing the reactions during the testing sessions, I realized the significance of bringing user satisfaction by crafting happy path.

Next project

Next project

Address e-commerce sellers' pain points by delivering clear and comprehensive instructions through various touchpoints.

Visualize data and design new features to allow enterprise users to access historical information for a SaaS product.

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