Project Overview

We all know reading is important,
but have you thought reading books is not as easy as you think?
Is there a way to encourage the MZ generation to read more and think deeply on things?

Hopefully, Thinkfully can help.


UX Researcher
UX/UI Designer


10 weeks
Summer 2022


Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Illustrator



Things that are disappearing

As a UX designer, what can I do to make a positive impact on society?

Technology has made the world a better place...
However, there are things that are going away as society becomes more advanced.

This prompted me to think:
“Things that are disappearing with the development of technology”

In-person interactions with people...
Ability to focus and think deeply on an idea...
Reading books...

I wanted to design an app that encourages people to read and think more deeply!
This was idea that made me design the app “Thinkfully”

Key Features

Browse people’s library

Do you want to read a book,
but you don't know where to start?

With Thinkfully,
you can browse the library of your role models,
influencers, or close friends.

You can also create your own library!

Venn Diagram Search

Do you want to find a book
that all your friends or influencers read?

Try using the Venn Diagram Search Feature!
We’ll search the library of people you choose
and surface books they have read in common
so you can join them!

Build a reading habit

Starting is always the key,
but we know it's hard to build a habit for consistency!

Thinkfully has a calendar,
so you can see your reading time and statistics In a single glance!

Share your thoughts
and think together!

Discuss your thoughts with others!
If we think together, it breeds creativity.

Project Process


Secondary Research

There are many positive effects that the act of reading provides: increased concentration, critical thinking skills, and mental and physical stability. While everyone is likely aware of the benefits of reading,
the population that read on a regular basis is in a decline.

However, there is a statistical irony to this study.
People who have had the habit of reading books read
more than in the past. On the other hand, people who read book less frequently are reading less and less as time goes on. There is a polarization to this statistic, and the gap is only growing.  

What can I do to encourage people
who do not have the habit of reading to read more?


I conducted a survey of 56 people in their 20-40s.
The survey was about reading habit awareness and patterns.
91% of participants answered “reading is important”
But 57% of participants only read 3 books last year.
52% of participants answered they would rather spend time on TV/YouTube/Netflix/Web Surfing. 

Key Insights

1. People recognize the importance of reading, but they do not read.
2. Those that do read, they choose books to read through Best Seller Listing or Recommendations.
   (Role Model / Influencers / Friends)

Unexpected finding

Reading books from cover to cover is not important.

Competitor Analysis

I reviewed over 100 reviews from AppStore and google play
to find out what features are favored by users and to know the user frustrations

Key Insights

1. Users are satisfied with:
The reading community, targeted recommendations, recommendations from their friends, and a tracking mechanism.
2. Too many recommendations:
There needs to be a way to prioritize the recommended list.
3. App’s main targets are primarily mid~heavy readers:
The app needs to be more accessible to light readers.


Affinity Map

Goal: To find the difference between reading habit and the user's need.
Method: I interviewed participants for various criteria.
The age of participants ranged from mid-20s to 40s.
There were participants that read a lot, that don't read, and that read books occasionally.

Key Insights

1. People prefer other peoples’ recommendations when they choose a book to read.
2. Light readers feel there are too many book recommendations, they do not know where they should start. 
3. People need to be interested in the topic or need a motive to read.

How Might We

a more targeted book selection?

How Might We

help users
read books more consistently?

Actionable Insights

1. Personalized book recommendations:
recommendations based on people that influence the reader and/or the user's preference.
2. Add the social media element - e.g. The Library feature
3. Create a habit developer - e.g. book clubs or a tracker

User Persona & User Flow

I created two personas based on the survey and research.


2x2 Metrix

I had a meeting with a senior engineer to figure out the feasibility of each feature

Selected Ideas

  • Reading Level & Preference Test
    Thinkfully shows a questionnaire to figure out the user’s preference or reading habits.
  • My Library
    User can have their own library to show books that they have read,so users can browse other’s libraries as well.
  • Venn Diagram Search
    User can use this feature when they want to narrow down their book recommendation.
  • Book Club & Reading Challenge
    These Two feature help users/ building reading habits.    


High Fidelity


Users can do quick surveys and divided users into some groups like MBTI or Hogwart houses, so Thinkfully can recommend more targeted books and readers as their connection.


Based on the onboarding survey, Thinkfully is able to recommend a more targeted book selection.
Top part will show personalized book recommendations for users,
 and bottom parts are more general book recommendations based on events occasions


Every user can have my library page like an instagram feed and users can also browse other peoples' libraries.
They can read other people’s journals as well. this feature can create interests and also provide increased selection to users.

Venn Diagram Search

This feature shows the books people who user selected have read in common.
User can choose and prioritize which books to read 


I put tracking and cheering functions in the activity section.
It can encourage users to read books and help build reading habits.


User can search and find book clubs based on their reading group or their interest.
user can feel a sense of community and they can share their thoughts with other people.



Usability Test & Survey

I conducted usability tests on three people who are in their 20s to 30s.

Goal: duration of time, learnability, and the level of satisfaction.
Duration: 25 mins per person.
User 1: Light-reader (has read less than 3 books last year)
User 2: Moderate-reader (has read 4~10 books last year)
User 3: Heavy-reader (has read over 10 books last year)

Usability Test Result - average 0.62  
Usability Scale Question - average 83.3

The difficulties commonly experienced by participants are:
*Took a bit of time to find “My Library”
- users clicked the “Profile” button instead 
* Did not know how to search for a new book club
- users searched using “Browse” on navigation

View the full version of the report here.


What I Learned...

Survey included too many short-answer questions, and a third of the participants skipped these questions. Also, I made the survey too lengthy (20+ questions), which lost the interest of participants.
Learning is to narrow down the questions for the next survey. 

I wished to include a lot of functions as a P0 for the app, but I think I do not need to put duplicate/common functions in different places if it is not necessary.
I learned to prioritize the features based on the user’s needs.


Thinkfully E-book: TEB 

* Background Music Player feature
* Post-it Feature:
Users can read other users’ comments or thoughts related to a particular section (sentence or paragraph) as they read.
* Include books or essays that can be read in 30 mins to an hour.