Connect, Discuss, Share

My Role
Lead Researcher
User Research, Heuristic Evaluation, Competitive and Comparative Analysis, User Interviews, User Personas, User Flows, Journey Mapping, Wire Flows, Usability Testing
Three Designers
2 Weeks
April 2023
Figma, Slack, Google Suite, Zoom

Kindle Book Talk

Project Overview
In the United States alone, there are over 30 million Kindle readers. E-readers represent 72% of their market share. Lockdowns imposed by COVID prevented book lovers from meeting in person, which led to opportunities for digital gatherings. 
The Challenge
The challenge was to help make Kindle the most popular reading and sharing device.
The Solution
We created a forum for users to share thoughts, feelings, and interact safely.
View Prototype

reading between the pages

My research began with a Heuristic Evaluation, helping me to identify any issues I came across while navigating through the app. As a result, I found several issues related to satisfaction and efficiency, such as:

Competitive Analysis

After familiarizing myself with the navigation of the app, I began to research competitors. I focused on three direct competitors who offered online digital libraries to understand their offerings. Based on my analysis, none of our competitors offered an interactive space for book lovers to interact.

Finding the Right User

We interviewed 11 users over Zoom who read physical books, electronic books, or listened to audiobooks. Through these interviews, we wanted to understand their experience of sharing content online.
Here are some pain points from our users:
“I’ve tried sharing my opinions on multiple platforms but I don’t do that anymore. There’s too much room for people to be so negative.”
“I get excited to talk about the books I’m reading, especially if it’s a good one, but I don’t know who else is reading them.”

Primary Persona

After synthesizing our research, we gathered enough data to create our personas. This allowed us to keep our users at the forefront of every design decision. We will focus on our primary persona for this project.
“It’s not like the book just ends when it’s finished being read–I want to talk about it.”
A young woman wearing glasses and a red sweating smiling



Hannah is a professor in NYC who loves reading during her commute to work and when she is winding down at the end of the night. She usually reads 3-4 books at a time either physically, by e-reader, or by listening to audiobooks. She looks to NYT for book recommendations. Her reading list includes a variety of genres including fiction, mystery, psychology, and self-help. When she is reading or after completing a book, she is excited to share her thoughts and wants to know what others think about it, but finds it difficult to know who is reading the same books as her. Hannah enjoys the company of others and wants to share her enthusiasm for reading to deepen her relationships.

  • Share her interpretation of the book with others
  • Minimize screen time
  • Deepen relationships
  • Use reading as self-care
  • A way to set a reading goal for herself
  • Find human connection
  • Reading on her phone at night messes with her sleeping pattern because of the blue light
  • Feels like technology distracts people from being present
  • Feels like she is on her screen more than she wants to be

Secondary persona

“Reading is my designated time where I get to slow down and be present. ”
A young woman wearing sunglasses smiling


Los Angeles, CA

Kate is an Environmentalist in Los Angeles, CA who works from home. She enjoys listening to audiobooks while working out and reading physical books and her e-reader when she is not working. Kate designates at least one hour a day to read with a cup of tea as it is her form of self-care. What book she decides to pick up on any given day depends on her mood. Her list of genres includes biographies, natural science, psychology, and self-help. She gets book recommendations from friends, Tik Tok, and Instagram. Because Kate works from home, she wants to find groups of book lovers to share her thoughts.

  • To be able to wind down and relax over a book
  • Multi-task while she's working
  • To be a part of a book community
  • Use reading as self-care
  • A way to set a reading goal for herself
  • Find human connection
  • Reading on her phone at night messes with her sleeping pattern because of the blue light
  • Feels like technology distracts people from being present
  • Feels like she is on her screen more than she wants to be

Retrospective User Journey

With our personas developed, we gained a deeper understanding of our users. We created a retrospective journey map to pinpoint where Hannah experiences frustrations. We found that the problem exists where she receives negative comments about her opinions. This was the issue we wanted to address.

Problem Statement

Hannah needs a safe place where she can interact with other avid readers like herself because she wants to share her thoughts and feelings about books she has read.

In Her Perpective

We created a site map to lay out the new framework of the app. We made it a priority to make Book Talk accessible from multiple places. For easy access while the user is reading their book, it was placed in the Library, and in the More section when they are browsing other app features.

User Flow

After understanding where Hannah would access Book Talk, we designed numerous user flows for each way to access the feature then we aligned to focus on one. It was our intention to make navigation into the discussion forum seamless and to enable users to share their thoughts.


Based on Kindle's current flow, we each sketched numerous versions of Hannah's journey in order to work through multiple possible solutions. We found alignment challenging because we had so many viewpoints. In order to overcome this, we constantly reviewed our user flow to determine which path was most efficient for the user.


After crafting and sketching several design options, we came up with a simple solution that allows users to find out about and access the new discussion feature. To address the safety concerns we heard from our interviews, we added a flag button for easily reporting disrespectful behavior.

Testing our Assumptions

In order to understand if Book Talk was easily findable, we conducted 8 moderated usability tests over Zoom. Testing this early on is important to detect any issues that can be addressed before moving further into the design. Below are some insights we gathered from our users.

Test Findings

Connect, Discuss, Share

High Fidelity Prototype

Next Steps

Final Reflection

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