2022 - Timeline: 3 months
I have been a member of a small virtual book club focused on anti-racism for a few years. Our members met during the breakout sessions for a seminar on anti-racism and we decided to keep meeting monthly to learn more about the topic. Some of us use ereaders and some read physical books.
Small face-to-face virtual book clubs facilitate close friendships and in depth study of a topic, but they lack some of the benefits of large online book clubs with apps. I wanted explore some of the benefits of larger groups and see if there are ways that members who read digital books can share notes with members who read physical books.
How might we enhance a social justice virtual book club with the following?
I looked at a few competitors in the online book club space to learn more about what works and what doesn't work in this domain.
Reese's Book Club App and Bookclub.org are competitors in the online book club space.
Areas where current virtual book clubs succeed:
Areas of improvement for current virtual book clubs:
Based on research and interviews with members of my social justice book club, the target persona was developed as a retired woman who is an active volunteer in her community.
Janet Bradford is the persona for a social justice virtual book club. She is retired, enjoys reading, and is active in her community as a volunteer.
Some brainstorming techniques I used were Mind Mapping, Affinity Diagrams, and Card Sorting
The Mind Map highlighted similarities and differences between large and small virtual book clubs.
An Affinity Diagram helped to narrow my focus for the journeys that might be accomplished with the app. I decided to concentrate on communication between members, making a difference, and sharing information between readers with digital and physical copies of their books.
I did both an open and a closed card sort to dive deeper into how to group the information in the app into categories. The open sort was difficult for users, but the closed sort confirmed my general categories made sense to users: Book Club, Give Back, Books, Manage My Booksm and My Account
I used a variety of testing, but found the most useful results from A/B testing, user testing with a clickable prototype in Axure, and an expert evaluation.
Users were asked to complete the following journeys with the clickable prototype:
Next steps would include...