Bookclip is a concept of an application to help students utilize the school library by syncing school information. In contrast to an increasing number of library resources, most of the students were not aware of this. To reduce the students’ search for their required materials from the classes and to increase the library usage, I designed a system that links the school online portal and the library management system.
For students to get access to items that is related to their majors and their course registrations, I came up with three key features below.
Users can see the list of items that they checked out with the returning date. Also they can see the details of the book with the time and the library that they visited.
Users will receive recommendations of items based on their search keywords, course registration and their major.
Search Inbox helps users to find the book by providing maps and decimal codes.
To help students to find items that they can relate to, I separated two different ways of getting recommendation. First, based on the static data like majors, and based on the dynamic data like check out history and course registrations.
There is existing gap between librarians trying to reach to students and students who were lost in finding the right resources. Often times multiple systems providing materials were run separately and students were forced to learn how to use multiple different websites to find the right resources. The goal of the design was to make connection between resource providers within the same platform so that finding the right material could be done under the unified experience.
When first started working on the project, I talked with a librarian and 3 students. Most of the students knew where the libraries are located at and they’ve been in the libraries a few times, but not many of them rented materials. They usually went to library for studying and group meet-ups. Their reactions on searching and renting resources were mostly negative and associated with the words like ‘lost’, ‘confused’, and ‘time-consuming’. Interestingly, they were all positive about having the access to those materials and responded that they would use the libraries more often. There were also third party online libraries and social media websites that some of the students were actively utilizing.
As part of my second design exercise, I conducted a specific research looking for what are the available systems and resources that are already existing. There were several library management systems available online. However, they were useful for searching item locations and checking availability. These systems were not for exploring possible materials.
Integrated Library System. Allow patrons with book search function on mobile phones. Creates patron profile with images. Provide patrons to access the catalogue. Library management system with mobile features more focused on providing search features and catalogues for patrons.
Integrated Library System. Giving access to users, integrating a catalogue to their own social accounts. Allow users to create profiles and connect each other. "Digital Bookshelf for library visitors. Features made for connections between library visitors. Focused more on features to share library visitors’ book catalogue through Social Networking Services.
Open source free library management system. Koha allows library staffs to manage book clubs and groups, update library codes as well as remote database access. More of library management system rather than an application that keeps on track of user interests and needs.
Online Public Access Cataloging System. Allow the library to access the world wide library catalogues.Patron and membership management is mainly checking the libraries’ circulation details.
One of the biggest Online book club community. Allow users to catalogue books from Amazon, and 700 worldwide libraries. Allow people to find other users with similar interests and tastes. Users need to add their own book reading histories. Focuses on book reviewing and exploring new books from other users’ lists.
Successful library management systems are mainly focusing on checking in and out with universal management implementation. Several online book clubs have been run based on manual inputs from the users end.
After going through 3 iterations, I landed on this final high fidelity mockup. In each session, I removed unnecessary icons and made variations with different font colors and sizes to increase attention on important information such as, titles, availability, and related categories. In addition, I provided 1/3 of space for the book cover image, after discovering that students were looking for the book covers when choosing items.
This is to help students locate the items that they are looking for by providing availability of the item from the nearby libraries. Students can add items to the Search Inbox. By sliding through the image and map area, students can see the library map, the indoor blueprint and Dewey Decimal Code. After they check out the item from the library, the item will be removed from the list automatically. The size of the image was increased to 80% here as well so that the students can easily locate the items by looking for the matching images. In addition, I differentiated the colors between available and unavailable items so that the students can see the difference at a glance.