Art Director & UX Designer
INTRO colors4.jpg

The Brooklyn Public Library app

Redesign of the Brooklyn Public Library app

After seeing the issue that users could not look for a book, I wanted to rebuild the app using a user centered approach where we could achieve users main goal.


User Researcher
I led the user interviews, the usability testings, the competitive analysis, the card sorting and the feature prioritization.

User Experience Designer
I synthesized all the research to create user goals, user flows and personas which led to the creation of low-fi to high-fi prototypes.

Visual Designer
I created a new set of icons and I selected the colors and fonts respecting both the BPLY brand guidelines and the feedback from the usability testings.


Usability testing
Competitive analysis
Card sorting
Affinity mapping
Feature prioritization

Design & Prototype
Users flows
Low-fi paper prototypes
Mid-fidelity wireframes
High-fidelity mockups
Clickable prototype


Research tools
Optimal Workshop

Design & Prototype tools
After Effects


BPLY app users
BPLY app potential users

Focus groups with experts
Product Designers
Software Engineers
Data Analyst
Creative Director

Being an avid user of the Library, I felt that the app was dysfunctional and not giving the ability to users to do what I thought they would like to do.
— assumption

User research

User Interviews findings

User goals are:

  • Find a book and check it out

  • Read an ebook in the app

User motivations are:

  • Library books are free

  • Ebooks are easy to read in the subway

  • Using the app is faster than to go to the Library.


Usability Testing

App tested on both actual users and potential users (people who live in Brooklyn and read):

  • Can’t read ebooks within the app

  • Many links to externals websites or products

  • No mistakes allowed, searching is not intuitive (when you type you do not get suggested results)  

  • Can’t search from the home page

  • Crowded and confusing

  • Outdated and too bright


Competitive Analysis

Exploratory Analysis

Studying a few other apps led to 3 really important findings:

  • Search is always on home page/navigation

  • Search is intuitive and gives suggested results.

  • There is a clear call to action to buy or check-out

All the apps studied had a search function on their homepage or in the navigation bar. This finding reinforced what we initially found doing usability testing on the current app.
— competitive research

User Personas

Persona 1 - goals:

  • Look, find, reserve and check-out a book quickly and easily

  • Read an ebook

Persona 2 - goals:

  • Managing easily borrowing books for several users

  • Be able to use the BPLY digital products even being a non tech savvy person

Look, find, reserve and check-out a book quickly and easily.
— main user goal

Main user goal: user flow

Because of the time constraint, I decided to focus on the flow of the main goal and build the process from there.


Paper prototypes & usability testing



  • Confusion between book type and book category

  • Confusion between my card and check-out

  • Catalog and browse books should be the same item

  • Confusion between get it, place a hold and check-out

  • Need for more categories in the catalog

  • Users expect books recommendations

“I think ‘catalog’ and ‘browse books’ should be the same item.”
— user during usability testing

Feature prioritization

Card sorting & Navigation map

I led a card sorting to figure out the navigation and what to prioritize on the home page which I crossed with a feature prioritization.

I finally got to a final navigation/site map with the 3 main features needed on the home page:

  • Search

  • My Account

  • Catalog


Making the BPLY app a simple experience for people to borrow books, read more and enjoy a free cultural public service.
— project proposal


Advanced usability testing


Usability testing findings

  • Book type is too small on book page

  • What about if they are more than 3 book types?

  • It’s unclear what kind of book you are Borrowing

  • No one can find how to look for a book in another Language

  • No one noticed the book types at the top of the catalog page


Visual Design


High fidelity prototype

The main problem was solved since a search function was added to the navigation and users are now able to look for a book quickly.

To be improved

  • Improve onboarding process, specially for non tech savvy users

  • Improve the sign up process

  • Improve the possibility to use the app when not having a library card yet

Next steps

  • Adding buttons on each book for a quick check-out

  • Designing My BPLY page

  • Instoring a better check-out process with physical books with the app when at the Library

  • Adding an ebook/audiobook reader

What I learned

  • The most simple/basic feature can be the hardest to implement

  • Every piece of research brings answers and feedback, there is almost never too much research


  • Being empathic to the users needs and not acting from a place of “I want, I think” is key to a clever process

  • Visual design is not only being “pretty” or “trendy” or “in brand”, it is a way to give the user the ability to reach his/her goal as easily as possible