Better World Books

UX Design Case Study

Improving the shopping experience of an online bookstore during a pandemic.

Services: UX Design
Year: 2021
Institution: General Assembly


Note: Full case study can only be accessed upon request.

Full Case Study Visit Website Desktop Prototype Mobile Prototype

The Scenario

The highest priority will always be given to improving the digital experience of purchasing products and services of the business. Since the pandemic, BetterWorldBooks (BWB) feel a dire need to improve its online experience to drive purchases of its book stocks and make it easier for people to order some products online. They have built their own website but are not pleased with the results. There have been plenty of website visitors yet few completed purchases.

The Challenge

Through an improved eCommerce website, BWB wants to showcase their products while maintaining its brand image, unique selling point, product appeal, and great customer service.

Research Summary

To get first-hand qualitative and quantitative insights of Better World Books’ current website state. I conducted 9 user interviews, survey forms, and usability tests of the current website. And below are the insights I got:

Overall first impression is visually cluttered
Elements are all over the place which disrupts focal point
Book page is overwhelming due countless CTAs
Book thumbnails are cluttered as well with “ships free” everywhere
Corporate page not consistent with the store (vice versa).

Empathizing with the users

Understanding the personas

Abel “The Casual”


  • Discovering new books by the author and genre preferred
  • Ability to preview books and cover
  • Discover Book bargains fast

Cookie “The Prime”


  • To have a simplified browsing experience
  • Make search more immersive and specific
  • Better information about the books
  • Discovering new books by the genre preferred

Analysing Buying Journey

To further validate the user’s motivations, pain points and goals. I consolidated the data gathered in the interviews to formulate their buying journey in the current website.

Framing The Problem

Abel needs to be able to have better suggestions so that he will have better bargains and experience and spend more time browsing the shop to help in deciding on the purchase.

Cookie needs to be able to have a better way to search to get better information so that she will have more immersive and seamless browsing and buying from the shop.

The Solution

An IMPROVED BetterWorldBooks eCommerce website experience though:


Visual clutter will be controlled through better visual composition


Books for sale will have better information and categorisation


Book recommendations be more personalised and based on preference


Searching books and bargains will be better, easier and more fluid

User Flows

User Flows are defined by Personal Recommendations, Deals, Book Finding, Purchasing, and Wishlist (collections).

Information Architecture

I.A. was done with card sorting with the users for better and improved sorting.


The Book Genre (category) was simplified and sorted to trim down the number of main categories


Book authors/publishers information will be interconnected with the book and the genre

Formats/ Conditions

There will be 2 formats and 2 physical conditions (New and Used) for the book

The Design

After a wireframing sprint. Here is the overview of the visual.

Desktop Visual

Mobile Visual

Initial Usability Tests

The initial usability test for the first draft of the 2 iterations (Desktop and Mobile) is generally positive with an average adaption rate of 9.12/10. There were some feedback on clarity and other functions hence the improvements below:

Quick add

Quickly add items to bag and an option to continue

Buy Now

Will help in instant buy upon decision

Better Variations

Used and New along wit the format will be organised better


Upon arriving in Order Confirmation page there will be CTAs and other actions for continuity

Improved for For You page

Improved personalised page will feature preferred genre and a specific book the might get user interest

Obvious discounted price

Discounted prices will be crossed out and will have a more visible tags and discount price

Key Learnings

Although the general feedback is good on average. It will be more insightful to add more personas as book-buying patterns of users worldwide are very different, especially with the demography and interests of the users.

Some things some of the popular online bookstores fail to provide is a usable “preview” to really get the feel, especially buying instead of generic photos.

On a small scale, the UX methodology helped me trim down all assumptions and cater to my qualified users.