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One Book Library: Online Book Sharing Platform

Mobile Application Design / Individual project / 3 months

  Concept Description


This idea comes from a personal pain point in my daily life. I'm a paper reading fan and love to buy physical books. But figuring out how to deal with the books that already been read, but don't want to throw away, is always annoying me. 


Based on this pain point, I came up with an idea: how can I build an online platform which allows people exchange their books with neighboors/ schoolmates, and maximize the use of physical books? 



The current situation of this problem is there's a lack of efficient tools/services to allow people share their idle paper books. To achieve the goal of environmental protection and reduce paper waste, we need to build a system to minimize the waste of paper books and maximize the use of them. 

  Constraints and Challenges


Reducing paper book waste is difficult, and changing people's behavior takes a long time. Without the support from governments and organizations, the solution should be very feasible and easy to accomplish.



By designing a platform to allow users to manage, share, and search book information, I'll encourage people to return to a paper reading experience. This platform includes four core functions:

1. Manage books: users are able to manage their book information and receive real-time notifications from book rental station.

2. Find a book in any book rental station.

3. Find the nearest book rental stations.

4. View the renting history of the specific book.

Core Features of This App:


  • Set personal account and manage books online.

  • Find the nearest book station and check out avaliable books.

  • Search books by popular ranking and categories.

  • Get book information in real time.

  • View the previous readers of the book.


  Research Methods 




Survey: 1 week

Field Research: 2 Days

Interview:  1 Day

Observation:  3 hours


Conducted 533 surveys (142 surveys onsite and 391 surveys online) in about 1 week. Most potential users (college students) show they have the problem of storing read books. About 90% of users said they would like to put their books in another place or share with others. 


Field Research: 

Conducted in Words and Paragraphs Bookstore in Beijing, China. The goal of this research is to gather information about existing services in physical bookstores, like return policies and book rental memberships.



Conducted three interviews with book seller and college students in Beijing, China. Some book sellers claim that it becomes harder and harder to sell physical books because some people prefer to read on digital books and websites. Some college students said they more like reading paper books rather than digital books.  



Conducted in Huajiadi district, which has a public book rental installation located by Beijing Chaoyang district governments. The installation aims to encourage local residents to increase their reading time and improve their cultural literacy. During the three hours, 5 people came to rent/return books, and an administrative staff member came to renew books stored in the machine. 3 people came and looked around but had no idea how to use this machine, 2 of them were elderly and 1 was about thirty. 



People need a tool which allows them to get instant information about the avaliable books to rent near them, and the tool should be easy to use and accessible for most people.

  Design Process 




1. Information Architecture

2. Wireframes

3. High-fidelity Interface



This product was exhibited in the Graduation Design Exhibition in June 2014 at China Central Academy of Fine Arts. Thousands of people came to the exhibition and gave meaningful feedback. Some companies contacted me with interest in this project, and offered to be sponsors to implement it.




Canvas Redesign

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