The City of Stockholm Libraries wanted to see more children reading books. inUse was hired for the initial work. Developed together with kids, the Bibblix app — a digital children’s library — is now out.
In January 2015, a new initiative kicked off that would eventually lead to the Bibblix app, where children can read and receive book tips. Early on, City of Stockholm Libraries turned to inUse to develop an overall concept. The underlying objective was to increase the desire to read, and children were the target audience — in particular, kids who weren’t frequent library-goers.
“Those children are used to direct consumption. You have Netflix. You have Bolibompa. If it’s not direct, it takes too long for kids who aren’t used to going to the library. They want to read now”, says Marianne Wallin, Interaction Designer at City of Stockholm Libraries.
The app provides book tips, using algorithms and input from children’s librarians, who made the selections using the information gathered in user tests of how children reason.
Several things became very apparent in the testing. Any preconceived ideas were totally shattered – for example, that young people want things to be cute. Children often want things to be straightforward, clear and comprehensible when they select books, covers and layouts.
“You could see how they shuddered when they were treated as kids. Childish things revolted them”, says Sigrun Tallungs, UX Designer at inUse.
“If it hadn’t been so apparent in the interviews or in the target group analysis, we would have had a harder time explaining certain decisions. For example, there were ready-made icons for categories in similar contexts – a decision to not use them would have been harder then. But we understood that they wouldn’t work here. Instead we had to make something of our own”, says Marianne Wallin.