A web app for book recommendations

Missy is a web app that helps you find a list of book recommendations within a theme. The site is focused on children’s books and topics that would help adults have difficult conversations with children.

These are all the important documents that made up the project that you can have a look through:

The Design Document

The Wireframe Prototype

The Mood Board

The Final Prototype

Estefania and I worked together at an independent bookstore in New York, and as booksellers in the children’s section of the bookstore we noticed a pattern that parents wanted to find books that helped them talk to their children about important topics.

Estefania came up with the idea, and she will be building the back end functionality of the site.

I created the design document, prototypes and branding for the project.

We chose to limit the books to children’s books, and have a set amount of themes on the site to choose from. The ability to include your own theme, or to select a broader range of age groups would be functionality we could add later. To make up for the fact that you can’t input your own theme in this version, I included a section of the site for users to suggest themes that are missing.

The tool Estefania is using to create the functionality of the site works as if a real user is operating a browser. We asked ourselves: how can we make this better than someone just doing a google search?

The site map shows the way a user would input information to get a list of book recommendations.

After we finished creating the design document together, I made the site map and the wireframes. I created the mobile wireframes first, and you can click through the prototype.

I then created the brand identity of the project. I created a moodboard to inform the direction of the branding, and library posters were a primary inspiration for the direction of the visual identity of the project.

At first we thought the name of the project should be a fictional character that solves all her problems by reading books, like Hermione or Matilda but after I drew a charming black cat we decided to name the project after Estefania’s cat, Missy. 

I used style tiles to show the illustrations, colors and typefaces together before I started working on the final prototype. It was a way for us to talk about typeface, color, and the way that it fit in with the illustration before I started putting the final prototype together.

I designed a system for the way the books would be displayed on the site. This way the books would be uniform, and it would make the code more efficient because we wouldn’t have to include the book cover image.

Then I created the final prototype. Since we loved the cat illustrations so much, I wanted to include them on every page to add some playfulness to the experience.

I had to make intelligent guesses in the prototype and make choices before we knew how the web app would work.

The next step of the process is to build the site, and prepare for things to change based on what we learn about how the site will function once Estefania goes deeper into creating the functionality of the site.

I would like to be able to test the prototype and see how parents of young children would use it.  I would like to know how what we experienced as booksellers in a community bookstore translates to a web app.

Thank you!

If you’d like to talk to me about this project, please  write to me or find me on twitter!