Leif Morton


Designing an MVP mobile application to help readers discover books they'll love.
Creating an initial proof-of-concept prototype for the hypothetical mobile app, Gallery Pal, within a one-week sprint.
Designing a Brand Image/Logo/Style Guide, Product Detail Page, Comparison Feature, and Guest Checkout Flow for the hypothetical e-commerce brand, Munari Cycles.
Optimizing the desktop and mobile web experience for VMP, an online record store and Record of the Month Club.
Building a web application from scratch as the founding product designer at Josie, an AI-powered career development platform.
Redesigning key site pages with a focus on boosting engagement for the e-commerce brand, Rotate Watches.
UX Case Study | 2021

About the project

Ramble was a personal/hypothetical project I undertook to showcase my strengths and desired focus areas within research, information architecture, UX/UI design, and branding strategy.

Over a 3-month period, I worked through the design process to create an MVP concept for a mobile application that helps readers discover books they'll love.

The problem

Despite the rise of ebooks and online bookstores within the past two decades, finding that next great book to pick up seems to be as hard a task now as ever before, maybe even harder.

As a book lover, I felt this sentiment personally and had heard it echoed amongst friends who were equally discontent with the lack of tools available to address the frustration.

To understand the problem space, I began conducting background research (academic journals and articles), competitive analysis, user interviews, and surveys.

Key Insights

1.) While people generally share a desire to read more, they often don't follow through.
I found that time and motivation were the most common factors hindering users from reading more.

2.) Users shared the common frustration of having trouble “breaking through the noise” and becoming overwhelmed in the process.
Not only was the inability to find relevant books very frustrating to users, it also seems to negatively impact their motivation. As one user put it– "I have trouble starting a book, but when I do and am engaged, it kind of takes over my life (in a good way)".

3.) The reasons people read are as varied as the approaches to book discovery.
When asked why they read, all of the responses from the participants I interviewed could be grouped into two categories- “to escape reality” and “to gain insight”.

Similarly, I found that each user generally took one of two approaches to book discovery. While some users chose a more passive approach (e.g. finding books through friends, bestseller lists, social media influencers, etc.), others took on a very active role, treating book discovery like a journey and enjoying all of the nuances and serendipity involved in the process.

The Process

After mapping out my research and creating personas, I set out to design an MPV of a product that could help readers "break through the noise" by providing them with tools to discover books that match their unique interests and criteria.

Given what I knew about the different approaches users took towards book discovery, I knew I needed to design a product that would provide personalized recommendations, as well as boast advanced DIY search tools.


Creating a good onboarding experience would be key to the success of this app, since so much would rely on an intelligent algorithm, loaded with each user's interests and goals for reading.

Since a relatively long onboarding process would be necessary, I wanted to design an engaging experience that would incentivize users to provide as much information as possible while giving them the ability to easily skip over optional fields.


While the onboarding flow was critical for the recommendation aspect of the app, I knew from my interviews that a significant portion of users preferred a more active approach to book discovery.

With this in mind, I designed a robust set of search tools that would provide a gamified and novel approach to book discovery and mimic the nuances of discovering books in a typical bookstore setting. This idea of paying homage to traditional bookstores also influenced the visual design of the app when it was time to create the style guide and brand platform.


After creating a lightweight brand platform and designing high fidelity versions of the key screens within my user flows, I created a clickable prototype to test my designs. Using my findings from these usability tests, I was able to polish off the final designs.