Shelf Reading Mobile Application

01 Overview

The Product

A mobile app for student workers, volunteers, and staff to help manage a range of common library tasks, from reshelving items to basic inventory. By replacing paper workflows, this product can save time and improve both efficiency and accuracy of the users work.

My Role & The Team

As the Sr. User Experience Designer assigned to this task, I met regularly with the products Business Analyst and two primary developers. I was responsible for creating a functional prototype that was desirable, useable, and feasible. Additionally, I worked to provide stills of the prototype to the user research team to upload and build a usability session with. 

02 Discovering the Problems

  • Paper logs are arduous to maintain 

  • Students may pull a book and place it on the cart for any reason, it is easy to lose track of why an item was pulled from the shelf for review

  • The process of pulling a misshelved item and making sure it gets to the right spot are often two different workflows


03 Defining the Problems

I poured over research previously performed and I was able to gain the following insights:

  • Libraries need the ability to split multiple lists of inventory across multiple devices so that more than one volunteer at a time is able to perform the shelf reading workflow.

  • Items may be pulled from the shelf for any reason but the most common are

    • Missing label

    • Damage to the item, such as water marks

    • Content that is outdated

    • Item is misshelved (in the row but not supposed to be)

    • A connection to the Library Management System is necessary to know what items are currently checked out by patrons and are, therefore, not expected to be on the shelves. 

04 Defining the Main Problem

How might we empower student workers to feel more confident when checking shelves for missing inventory and inventory that needs to be recycled or relabeled.  

05 Designing the Solution

Fortunately for me, I picked this project up in the middle of the concepts phase. Leveraging what was not working well with the original prototype, I was able to rethink the approach. 

Screen Shot 2020-06-01 at 11.20.31

06 Delivering the Solution

I created a high-fidelity prototype using Axure RP from which stills would allow usability participants to interact with proposed features such as…

  • Mark an item as on the shelf without issue

  • Mark an item for review

    • Tag with a reason​

    • Note a custom reason

  • Export finished list 

  • Go to last marked item

  • Manage an unexpected item

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07 Testing the Prototype with Users

Unfortunately, due to the nature of my contract position I was unable to see the outcome of the usability test performed for this project. 😥


“I had the pleasure of being Courtney's manager as she transitioned in the user experience design industry. Her design thinking, strong collaborative and organizational skills, and focus on accessible design made her an immediate contributor that everyone enjoyed working with. When I think of Courtney, I think of the phrase, "A rising tide lifts all ships." I look forward to when we can work together again."

Binaebi Akah Calkins

Experience Design Manager at OCLC