Product/User experience design
My Role: User research, data analysis, wireframe design, product design, UX/UI design and user test.
I love to read, because reading deepens the abyss of my imagination, teleports me to alternate dimensions, and ignites my ambition. I love to read traditional paper books, I believe the smell, feeling, and authenticity of real books is something that will never be obsolete.
Sadly, traditional books are not as popular as before, most people these days prefer to text their friends, tweeting, updating their status on Facebook than reading.
The main CONCEPT of this project is to help people read tradition books more consistently and frequently. It encourages people to seize the fragmented time and stop wasting time on staring at smartphones.
Every step in this design project was finished by myself, including the user research, data analysis, wireframe design, UX/UI design and user test.
As an eyewear designer, I have this habit to browse and study other eyewear brands time by time. I check their new products, new campaigns, and new advertisements.
This year, a poster of Ray-ban got my attention: it is about a couple having a meaningful moment on the subway, surrounded by a sea of people with smartphones covering their faces.
The reason why I love this poster is I think it is so real, this image is what exactly happened on my everyday commute in Shanghai. People are so addicted to their smartphone and wasting time on meaningless tapping and swiping.All these photos are taken by me on my everyday commute. It seems all young people are holding a smartphone or tablet. If you look these FOBOs (Fear of Being Offline) closer, you might find most of them were playing games, watching Korean dramas or refreshing SNS.
Since the concept of “network society” was proposed by Manuel Castells in 1996, new media and network communication have become important research issues in the field of communication and media study. The Internet and digital technology have changed the broadcasting model of Stuart’s “Encoding/Decoding”.
Sadly, most young people don’t read books anymore, the internet, messaging apps, social networks keep distracting them.
Questions I asked:
- What is your favorite book?
- How often do you read a book?
- How many books do you read a year?
- What stop you from reading?
- Do you feel guilty if you don’t read any/many books?
- What do you think is the reason that people don’t read as much as we did before?
- How often do you check your smartphone?
- How many minutes do you spend on your phone every day?
- Do you feel anxious if you cannot check your phone?
- How do you think kindle or other e-readers?
- How do you think traditional paper books?
Insights I learned:
- Reading requires time:
It is so much easier to watch a 2-hour-movie and get the same essence of the story than to read an entire book, which can take days.
- Reading requires brains:
It is far less intellectually challenging to see something in a movie than to understand and imagine what the author meant through words.
- Reading requires good habit:
It is very easy to be distracted by something else. You may more want to sleep than read after a fatigue day, or more into a new video game than reading a book, or just forget to bring the book every morning.
- Find a good book:
It can be hard to find a book really grabs me. I hate to be a quitter, but sometimes I seriously can not finish a book I hate. Some of them even are very famous or top selling books.
- The social aspect:
Book reading is essentially a solitary. Going to movies, watching a TV show with your family are social.
BRAINSTORM & IDEATION
Considered all those user demands, I decided to come up a way to encourage people to read books more consistently and frequently. Use technology to help the reading process more efficient and enjoyable. A smart tool serves as a reminder to get back to reading and helps users to form a good reading habit.
1.Why don’t we learn by watching television, instead of reading?
Reading a book is better than watching television as it gives the reader a chance to imagine the text themselves and develop their theory of mind.
Neil Postman suggests TV is never a good way to learn in his book Amusing Ourselves to Death, according to him, “Television, as I have implied earlier, serves us most usefully when presenting junk-entertainment; it serves us most ill when it co-opts serious modes of discourse–news, politics, science, education, commerce, religion–and turns them into entertainment”
Some research shows the similar result of Postman’s theory: Stern reported that 51 percent of viewers could not recall a single item of news a few minutes after viewing a news program on television. Wilson found that the average television viewer could retain only 20 percent of the information contained in a fictional televised news story. Katz et all. found that 21 percent of television viewers could not recall any news items within one hour of broadcast.
On the basis of his and other studies, Salomon has concluded that “the meanings secured from television are more likely to be segmented, concrete and less inferential, and those secured from reading have a higher likelihood of being better tied to one’s stored knowledge and thus are more likely to be inferential.”
In other words, so far as many reputable studies are concerned, television viewing does not significantly increase learning, is inferior to and less likely than print to cultivate higher-order, inferential thinking.
2. Why don’t we just read e-books on smartphone or tablets?
- E-BOOKS CAN REDUCE READING COMPREHENSION.
According to a research made by Naomi Baron about reading habit of university students sampled in the US, Germany, and Japan, that digital reading makes it easier for students to become distracted and multitask. A 2013 UK survey conducted by the National Literacy Trust shows the similar result: compared to print readers, those who read digital screens are almost twice less likely to be above-average readers.
- “What we’re learning now is that reading is a bodily activity. We take in information the way we experience the world—as much with our sense of touch as with our sense of sight.”
Every book-lover knows that there’s nothing better than this: holding the print version of a book in your hands, tear off its plastic cover, open the book, feel the touch of papers, smell the ink and flip to a random page read a random paragraph.
- Who says traditional books are meant to be boring?
Yes, electronic books and periodicals have advantages of their own. Some of them often provide links to other relevant publications or include animations, audio snippets, and interactive features. If you have ever heard a novel called S. written by J.J.Abrams, you would know how enchanting a traditional book could be.
I decided to build a physical interaction object and its App to help people read tradition books more consistently and frequently. It encourages people to seize the fragmented time and stop wasting time on staring at smartphones.
In order to simulate the scenario where people use this project. I designed a prototype smart bookmark, by using 3D modeling and 3D printing.
I will use this mockup to demonstrate how my project works and how it could encourage people to read more.
HOW IT WORKS?
1, Use it as a traditional bookmark to keep the place in a book enable us to return to it next time we want to read.
Since the second we close the book, our bookmark will turn to a SMART bookmark: the pressure sensor and timer will began to work.
And we may ignore the unfinished book or be distracted by something else, such as the Internet, social networks or anything that has to do with digital technology.
That’s OK because, during this time, our SMART bookmark is working nonstop. It keeps counting how long have we ignored the book, and send our smartphone a notification to remind us back to read.
2, Thanks to the smart bookmark, we can easily gather all useful data about your reading habits, preference, and progress, like:
“How long you have you finished each book?”, “What is your favorite time of day to read?”, “Which type of book do you like the most?” …
This kind information could help users understand themselves better and choose their next book easier. All these data can be checked on the App.
3, Meet someone has a same reading preference as you. Read their comments about books you are interested in and give your opinions as well. If you like, you can also exchange or borrow books to other users.
4, Insert the chip of metro card into the smart bookmark. It helps you to remember carrying your fav book and bookmark every day, swipe your bookmark to entry metro, read a book on your commute and utilize fragmented time to do something meaningful.
I reached to 4 of my friends, showed them the prototype work, explained how it works and ask them do not sugarcoat their opinions and give me the honest feedback.