Tiny Tales

Once upon a time, selecting bedtime stories was a time-consuming task.
High-fidelity mockups of the Tiny Tales dedicated tablet application
Springboard UX/UI Design
Designer | Self-Led
Tablet Application
5 days
Key Skills
Research Synthesis



Low-Fidelity Prototype

Usability Testing

Visual Design

High-Fidelity Mockup
Project Overview
In this project, a modified Google Ventures Design Sprint was conducted using a mock design brief provided by Springboard + Bitesize UX. A dedicated tablet application was developed to help parents select bedtime stories to read to their children. During this five day process, I discovered solutions to the problem through design, prototypes, and testing. Within this timeframe, I developed a product that resolves the main issue that complicates story selection for many families — time.
The main thing we look for is a specific topic my daughter will like. Her interests change all the time though, so sometimes it takes a while to find the right story to read.
The Challenge
Tiny Tales is a fictional startup where authors and illustrators can publish stories for parents to read to their children.
In their collections are short stories, illustrated books, and educational reads — among many others. As their library has grown, parents have expressed that finding the right stories to read to their children is difficult and time consuming. They enjoy quality time spent reading bedtime stories, but feel that the process of selecting one consumes these cherished moments.
The Goal
Design a tablet application to make it easier for parents to find a great story to read to their children.
Day 1. Understand

Day 1 of the modified GV Design Sprint started with becoming familiar with the problem space. To do so, I read through the research provided by Bitesize UX and created an affinity map with that information. Based on this, research insights were compiled, a persona was generated, and the primary user flow was established.

AFFINITY MAP — After going through the user research provided by Bitesize UX, I wrote down direct quotes from parents on virtual sticky notes. These were then organized by theme in order to identify the issues most commonly experienced by our users.

RESEARCH INSIGHTS — Affinity mapping was a useful tool to identify patterns commonly experienced by users and organize issues by importance. These patterns were turned into research insights, which enabled me to identify three pain points that require a solution:

No. 1
Finding the right stories to read to children is time consuming.
No. 2
Finding topics that children will like is difficult.
No. 3
Parents have expressed that they need to quickly look through their selection to decide if it's right for their children.

PERSONA — Based on the insights gained in the previous exercises, similarities between our users were used to generate a persona. This is a representation that reflects the shared interests, goals, and concerns of the primary audience. This was extremely crucial in gaining an understanding of real needs and challenges faced by parents, and incorporates the issues that they commonly experience when selecting bedtime stories.

MAPPING — After understanding pain points and developing a persona that reflects our users, I was able to identify the main issue that needs to be resolved. Mapping out the most important user flow for Tiny Tales was the step taken towards developing a solution. Here, we show the way that our design enables parents to quickly discover stories that both meet their criteria and suit the needs of their children.

Day 2. Sketch

Day 2 of the modified GV Design Sprint consisted of coming up with potential solutions to our problem. I started out by analyzing direct and indirect competitors with products that resolve a similar issue, and then sketched out ideas for Tiny Tales using the Crazy Eights exercise. The strongest ideas were developed using paper sketches.

LIGHTNING DEMOS — To start out Day 2 of the Design Sprint, lightning demos were conducted to understand the way competitors have come up with a solution to a similar problem. In this exercise, Goodreads and Spotify were analyzed because they both make personalized recommendations for their users. Goodreads — a direct competitor — has website visitors answer a series of questions when creating an account, which prompts the website to create a recommendation list based on the user's favorite genres and book ratings. It also has a brief description and average rating for users trying to make a selection. Spotify — an indirect competitor — has an algorithm that makes suggestions based on what the user has listened to in the past.

CRAZY EIGHTS — Keeping our lightning demos in mind, potential solutions were explored using a hands-on approach called the Crazy Eights. This is a method of ideating that requires for eight sketches to be made in a span of eight minutes. The process lends itself to a unique, non-traditional flow of ideas due to the time constraint and the fast-paced nature of sketching.

PAPER SKETCHES — After assessing the validity of each concept sketched out during the Crazy Eights exercise, I took the strongest ideas and incorporated them into paper sketches. These include a welcome back page that asks users what they want to read when the app is opened, a bookstore with personalized recommendations, and a description page that lets parents know more about the book. The first two screens were part of the previous exercise, the last was generated as a continuation of the user flow for these ideas.

Day 3. Decide

Day 3 of the modified GV Design Sprint consisted of creating storyboards. We used the ideas generated on Day 2 to create a user flow for the most important task. This exercise was done to show how our ideas from the previous phase were implemented to assist users in accomplishing their goals. These sketches will serve as a blueprint for the low-fidelity prototype to be built tomorrow.

STORYBOARD SKETCHES — The sketches created in the previous step were further developed to create our storyboards. Here, we're refining the principal user flow — selecting a story in a quick and easy way. These drawings show the way that parents are prompted to input information about what they want to read, and how recommendations are made based on this selection. After a story is read, users can rate and review stories to improve future suggestions by the app and help others search for stories.
Day 4. Prototype

Day 4 of the modified GV Design Sprint consisted of creating a prototype to test on users. The paper sketches created yesterday were used as a blueprint to build the screens required to complete the most important task.

LOW-FIDELITY PROTOTYPE — Drawing on the design used in the sketches, a low-fidelity prototype was created to test the usability of our digital product. While the previous phase showed drawings of principal screens to communicate the main idea, the low-fidelity prototype shows the specific way that users move through the product to complete the main task.

Day 5. Test

Day 5 of the modified GV Design Sprint consisted of user testing. The previous phase enabled me to turn my ideas into a realistic digital product. Today, I put the design to the test and determine whether or not our product was successful.

2 out of 5 users took long to figure out how to turn the page
We may need to make this action more visually apparent to readers
1 out of 5 users indicated that they wanted to see an option to read their selected story on the product detail page
We may need to add a button saying "Read" on the product page

REFLECTION — Tiny Tales was largely successful, since users were able to accomplish the task without much difficulty. The next step would consist of applying solutions to the issues uncovered during the usability test. We would update our design to reflect these insights and apply visual design elements to our wireframes. This would enable us to test using a high-fidelity prototype.

This project has allowed for me to gain a crucial skill: testing the validity of a design without a large investment of time or money. By quickly identifying pain points, promptly developing solutions, and building a lean prototype to test on users, I was able to learn to swiftly go through the design process within a five day period.

Thanks for reading!
High-fidelity mockups of the Tiny Tales dedicated tablet application