Designing the experience for a subscription-based “Netflix for Children’s Books” in 48h.
ReadMeABookEveryDay is a startup that is creating a subscription-based “Netflix for Children’s Books”. At launch, they are focusing on mailing physical books to parents to differentiate from other services that are eBook-based.
Parents of children ages 0 through 6.
Users sign up for a subscription that allows them to checkout 1, 3, or 5 children’s books at a time.
They can keep the books for as long as they want without paying any extra fees.
When they mail a book back, the next book in their queue is mailed.
Users can also purchase books they want to keep forever (a new book is sent).
Parents have trouble finding books that match their kids’ interests, comprehension level, attention level, etc.
Different parents are interested in different things. For example, people care about drawing style, topic, message, references to junk food or other red flags, etc., in different amounts.
Initial research on the target users and other existing platforms
With the time I got to do this project I could talk to people I knew who were in touch with families, such as therapists. With more time it would have been great to talk to parents directly. I believe that the target audience is mostly a parent between 25-45 years old. But I also thought about the different scenarios regarding family types:
Gay parents living together.
Straight parents living together.
Single parents: maybe because they decided to raise a child by themselves, or because one of those passed away or lives abroad, or because they are divorced.
People raising orphan kids (can be another family member such as aunt or uncle)
- Parents who adopted a kid.
- Parents of kids that have a disability: Down Syndrome, Autism...
There are also cultural backgrounds to take into account:
All the users have in common that they want to take care of their kids, have fun with them and give them the best education that's in their hands. But due to these different scenarios, not all of them have the same concerns when looking for books.
I found out there was a company who did a very similar thing back in the past:
Sproutkin no longer exists, but I didn’t find information about why it disappeared, which could have been great to tackle the weak points.
Boolino is an online bookstore dedicated to kids. It’s interesting the way users can add information about their kids. I signed up to see how it worked. I found many interesting options in "My Account": I can add kid's information and other personalized data so it can recommend books that match the needs of the users, so as Netflix does.
It has also a reward system that is very engaging to get free books.
Book Depository looks a bit like Amazon but only for books. It has a well organized, simple and clean design. The way categories are placed is very practical due to a large amount of information and data that it contains.
There are many ways to search and filter the information so you can find exactly what you need. It also has lists of books (Order status, Wishlist...) to keep track of your picks.
Questions and plans to keep me on track throughout the process
I followed some guides and made some lists of goals, priorities, and users in order to gather as much information as possible about the purpose of the platform.
A list of possible users (parents, new users, authors/publishers) who might be visiting in order of frequency. For each of them I'm answering the following questions:
From where? How they get to know the platform.
Why? What's their main interest?
What next? What's expected of this users?
How? How to keep them engaged.
What else? Why are they good for the service?
Defining the flow of the platform.
List of sections containing the platform.
Defining ReadMeABookEveryday’s personality in order to design something that is really appropriate and appealing to the user.
I started by getting inspiration and building a Pinterest moodboard. When designing the logotype for ReadMeABookEveryday, I listed the best features that better defined the brand, such as: educational, innovative, customer friendly, global (community-oriented), trustworthy and fun (but not childish).
The idea is to create a fun palette, with colors that reflect the brand’s personality. It should express the idea that the products are for kids, but that the platform has a serious, trustworthy background.
I choose to use a playful, friendly typography for the logo and titles, promos... and a more serious, sans-serif font for the text, that could be a Google font such as Source Sans, Lato, etc.
Building the skeletal framework of the platform.
As it was a 48h challenge, I didn't have time to sketch much and proceeded directly to do the wireframes. I used the program Adobe XD, although I have recently been more used to work with Sketch app. I could also build a quick prototype.
Designing the website taking into account the brand guidelines.
I didn't have time to do the design of all the screens, but I chose to design the Homepage with Adobe XD. I applied the colors and the logotype that I defined at the Branding section. For all the texts I used the Google font Source Sans Pro.