TinyTales - Search Filter Feature  

OVERVIEW

TinyTales is an app where authors and illustrators of children’s books can upload their work for parents and kids to enjoy. However, not all parents and kids are the same and it can often be time-consuming to find the perfect book to fit their specific parameters. In this modified GV design sprint, I designed a search filter that should speed up this process and eliminate this source of frustration.

PROBLEM STATEMENT

With varying tastes and values, parents need a way to quickly find the right book to read to their children for any given situation.

USERS AND AUDIENCE

This feature will benefit all the busy parents/guardians/caretakers who value reading to their children.

RESPONSIBILITIES

CONSTRAINTS

As a UX design student at Springboard for this modified design sprint my responsibilities included: research, solution mapping, ideation, sketching, storyboarding, usability testing, and high fidelity prototyping.

 

I was working within the constraints of a 5-day modified GV design sprint where each day was dedicated to a different part of the map/sketch/decide/prototype/test process, only I worked solo as opposed to part of a team.
 

DAY 1 - UNDERSTANDING AND MAPPING

TinyTales provided me with user interviews from which I was able to deduce the most important pain points: It is time-consuming to find books that fit into specific themes, contain educational content, are suitable for multiple age levels, and are not too long for bedtime reading.

From these pain points I was able to map a solution:
 

A search filter containing the parameters of age level, topic, educational content, and duration should quickly provide many option for parents to then scan reviews and select a book.

DAY 2 - SKETCHING A SOLUTION

Before I began sketching solutions I conducted lighting demos in which I examined similar apps and not-so-similar apps that had features I liked. I was aiming to gather inspiration for a potential remix that would help with our solution.

From Amazon I was able to find some inspiration from their search filter. I really like the way they include the age levels and the ranges are very intuitive and precise. Their duration drop down could be something we could apply for our estimated read time.

Audible has a cool category section that might be applicable for our topics/themes filter. Their editors’ picks field could be applied to our homepage as a suggested books field once we gather more info about users’ interests.

Ultimately it was LinkedIn that provided me the most inspiration. Their scrolling drop down search filter allows users to select parameters from many fields at once, making a filter search faster and more streamlined. They also have an input field for keywords which could be useful for users looking for specific topics.

The next step was Crazy 8s in which I had eight minutes to sketch eight separate possible solutions to the most critical screen from my map. I chose the search filter screen since that is what will help users find their selection quickly.

For the last step of Day 2, I picked the best screen from my Crazy 8s and made a three-panel sketch of the critical screen along with the screens that come before and after.

DAY 3 - DECIDING AND STORYBOARDING

Since I was conducting the sprint on my own, I could skip the voting process and just go with my best solution.

I ended up combining my inspiration from Amazon, Audible, and LinkedIn to create the layout for this storyboard. The general app layout and search field is based on the Audible UI. The filter search field is a hybrid of Amazon and LinkedIn. I like the iconography of Amazon best but the filter aspect of LinkedIn is most intuitive and I love how it gives users so many options at the same time. This should speed up the search process significantly.

DAY 4 - BUILDING THE PROTOTYPE

I needed to build a realistic facade with minimum functionality to make sure my design is what users actually want. I started by building a home screen with actual children’s books organized in “favorites” and “recent” sections. Since my design is all about searching for the right book I had to make sure my iconography was intuitive as well.

I built my search filter pages based on Amazon and LinkedIn UI. Since I can’t actually build a usable search engine for the prototype, I built a filled-in page and an unfilled-in page trusting this aspect would be intuitive to users since it’s still in the prototyping phase.

My results page will show two books based on the “search” entered by users. I found real books based on a similar filtered search on Amazon to keep it realistic.

Once again I used real reviews of these books to keep the feel of the prototype as authentic as possible.

The download page is simple and intuitive. This is the last page of the prototype since this will be the last step before reading the book.

The download page is simple and intuitive. This is the last page of the prototype since this will be the last step before reading the book.

DAY 5 - TESTING AND LEARNING

Finally I was able to test my prototype. My target audience was anyone who reads to young children. I interviewed two mothers of children under six, two nannies who read to young children of varying ages, and a grandfather who reads to his two year old grandson. I conducted five remote usability tests via Zoom. Additionally, I emailed a Figma link and had users share their screen while they talked their way through the tasks.

My first interview uncovered a pretty severe usability issue which was that I only included the “download” button on the reviews page and not the synopsis page. No other usability issues were uncovered and all users felt the design to be intuitive. I did receive some suggestions regarding the messaging of the filter options. For example, Joelle thought “growing up” could be broadened to “life changes” and Sarah thought “Montessori” would be a good option because of the parameters they already have in place for children’s literature. I also had multiple users attempt to locate a “suggested” field on the home screen.

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

My findings revealed that the search filter feature is intuitive and will ultimately help users find the right book in a short amount of time. Testing uncovered some usability issues with the prototype, specifically the download option which I built into the reviews page only. Obviously users should be able to download the book at any time of their search if they feel like they’ve found the right book. Also, although it wasn’t built into the prototype, my initial idea about a “suggested” section on the home screen based on past searches was validated because many users tried to find it or suggested that there should be one.

NEXT STEPS

My next iteration would clear up the download issue, although the “suggested” section is something that isn’t viable for a prototype since we will have no actual search history to base it on.