Creative Director, Visual Designer, Interface Designer, Experience Designer, Wireframe, Digital Prototype, Quality Control
Vanessa Liu, Richard Hoang, Michaela Tsumura, Naixin Zhang, Mandy Cheung, Jackie Chui
During a 5-week project, my team and I were tasked to identify an existing business that was in need of a digital design intervention. After the inital ideation phase, we selected Canada's largest book store, Chapters Indigo, in hopes to strengthen the Canadian literary community. Indigo offers a selection of books, toys, home décor, stationery, and gifts.
Indigo's book sales are declining because readers are opting for more convenient methods to obtain their books quickly and at a lower cost using internet-based retailers like Amazon and Walmart.
How might we improve so that:
1. Indigo can rebuild their loyal customer base, while also generating an alternate revenue stream? 2. Indigo strives towards differentiation, without competing within the existing market?
This service is designed for book enthusiasts and independent Canadian authors. This platform will allow authors to showcase unpublished written work and allow readers to discover, support, and help bring these stories to the market. The goal is to strengthen the Canadian literary community and to rebuild a loyal customer base for Indigo. We are proposing a multi-device platform optimized for mobile, tablet, and web usage. It allows authors to upload their unpublished work, to receive feedback, and to build a fanbase. With enough support from their fanbase, the author's work can be introduced to an appropriate publisher. Once published, the book will be displayed and sold in Indigo's bookstores.
FRAME + REFRAME
Initially, our solution to this problem was to directly compete with the big e-commerce giants like Amazon and Walmart. However, we discovered issues that would result from trying to compete directly them. We reframed this issue by shifting Indigo's service to strive towards differentiation, and found it appropriate to incorporate the Ansoff Matrix to grow the business. This involves creating a market for something that doesn't previously exist. By doing this, Indigo would be able to market their product or service in a place without any competition. This strategy is most risky because both product and market development is required. However, this shift will create a new revenue stream putting Indigo in a better position within the market.
INSIGHT + SMART RECOMBINATION
We gathered several insights from the Luchtsingel Bridge project in Rotterdam. By building this bridge, a connection is formed between surrounding areas and "dead zones" are revitalized with life and people. This project tests the policy framework and design visions for the city of Rotterdam while experimenting with alternative development strategies for the city. Through this process, we smart recombined and kept the concept of developing a community in mind, but at the same time, we developed the brand with alternative strategies.
INDIGO'S CURRENT BRAND POSITION
Indigo currently follows the process of commercial publishing, much similar to the online-retail giant, Amazon.
PROPOSED BRAND SHIFT
Choosing to shift Indigo's brand position was one of the biggest decisions we had to make for this project. By doing so, Indigo's business model will increase the brand awareness at a much earlier stage in the customer journey framework. With our proposed digital service, Indigo will take on the role of a digital agent to help with connecting both authors and publishers. We understand that we are taking a risk with the brand shift, but at their current state, altering the business model will not only create a new revenue stream, but it will put Indigo in a better position within the market.
This framework shows the journey of how a user would discover and use this proposed service.
For our platform, we wanted to introduce a new design language that compliments Indigo's existing visual branding style. Since we are providing them with an additional service, we felt that it was appropriate to have a separate visual brand. We used neutral colours with two accent blues to keep the majority of the focus on the content being showcased. The combination of serif and san-serif typefaces contribute to the overall delicate and clean aesthetic.
Browse through the list of featured books. Previews are shown with a quote from the story to allow readers to discover content in a new way.
Scroll down to read the uploaded chapters, and turn on comments to read comments that have been made public by the author.
After discovering a book readers can highlight a specific part of a story to comment on while reading and start a conversation.
Share your favorite quotes and stories on social media.
Bookmark books to get notified when there are new chapters. Bookmarking is a way of motivating and a sign for the authors to know that are being supported.
Click or tap the support button to upvote any book you would like to see published. There is also an option to donate money to support the authors.
The success of this project can be measured by looking at: + the number of people uploading stories and supporting work + the number of books being published through the use of our service + the percentage of books (published through our service) sold in-stores and online + the increase in online and in-store traffic
This proposal brought along different challenges and we fell into a lot of traps. However, after two months and several iterations, my team members and I were able to introduce a unique service that is valuable for both authors and book enthusiasts. From this project, I learned how to speak intelligently about my work and was able to explore different ways of approaching design in a professional context. My awareness and understanding of being design-driven has expanded, and I learned to make smart design decisions along the way. I was also able to engage in and develop strong communication skills to create dialogues with my team members and stakeholders to. Ultimately, I was able to solidify my service design principles to ensure a thoughtfully seamless experience that adds value to the customer and the brand throughout the experience.