Background

MyLibrary is an online tool for consolidating all collections of music, movies, television shows and books in one place regardless of format, platform, or ownership status. It allows users to cross search digital platforms and their owned physical collections to find, organize, and access content. A persona facing problems in managing physical and digital content was given to a team I was a part of. The persona has a lot of physical media such as DVD's and CD's, in addition a lot of digital media on various media sites. With a fully detailed profile, it allowed us to craft our problem statement: "How might we help Abigail (persona) manage her physical and digital content?"

My Role

As a UX Researchers, I identified the personas pain points and gather contextual information to support our brainstorming activities. The team and I started by analyzing the persona. Next, we brainstormed a prototype followed by performing a card sorting activity. Then, we conducted usability studies with real world users to validate our assumptions. 

Key Methods

  • Brainstorm

  • Card sort

  • Prototype

  • Usability test

Results

We learned that a tool like this would be useful and playful for users to manage their digital and physical content. The overall usability of our system was not perfect, and the typography interfered with recognition. Actionable typography changes were recommended for enhancing the aboutness of the prototype. Additionally, to increase the recognition and recall of the search feature, actionable design recommendations were implemented to match what users expected to see next. 

The Process

Brainstorming

 

In designing the research plan, ​​​we approached the problem space by defining all the goals the persona wanted. By empathizing with persona, we were able to determine the following goals 1) access content across different platforms, 2) manage all physical and digital media 3) single login into all platforms, and 4) customize the organization of all media.

Card Sorting

 

To learn how users of the system would want to organize information, we recruited four friends for a card sorting study. Each session consisted of two user task.

 1) Write 10 or more ways you can think of to organize media such as books, movies, music, and tv shows.

2) Write out books, movies, music, and tv shows on separate cards then rank them from most important to least important.

Task 1

Task 2

Understanding how the participants would organize their information was helpful for us to create informed decisions for the information architecture of our system. We learned that categories related to videos were the most prioritized for all participants. To understand the participants' daily behaviors and frustrations, 11 interview questions were asked.

1) Are you an organized person?

2) Do you organize your books and media?

3) Do you have a combination of physical media and digital media?

4) How do you organize your books, movies, or tv-shows?

5) Do you have any online subscriptions?

If yes

6) How many online subscriptions do you have (Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon)?

If no

6) Do you have digital content on different platforms such as iTunes and Spotify?

7) If you're looking for a movie to watch online, what would you do first?

8) How did you search the last time you tried to watch a movie?

9) If you thought you had access to a movie but didn’t, what would you do to find it?

10) Do you find it challenging to organize your book or digital media?

11) Do you find it frustrating searching across several platforms to find the content you own or have access to through subscriptions?

Prototype

After synthesizing information from our card sorting study, a rapid prototype of the proposed system was created to perform our first usability study. The primary objective of the test was to understand how users would find a movie to watch with our system. Our team performed task analysis before usability studies took place to understand the degree of ease or difficulty of using our prototype. After we completed our task analysis, we decided to choose three specific tasks for our usability study as follows.

1) Verify if you have access to "The Princess and the Frog."

2) Add a physical DVD (Lilo and Stitch) to your content collection.

3) Browse movies category and find "The Little Mermaid."

Results

  • 100% of user tasks were completed in under 1 minute.

  • Familiarity and navigation of the system increased by 50% after task 2. 

  • The main search feature was not understood by users.

  • Typography was not entirely understood by all users.

Design

 

After usability studies on our paper prototype were complete, we synthesized key results so that our designer could make a high-fidelity prototype. 

© 2019 by Tyreek Houston.

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