Making age-appropriate books accessible to below-grade readers


Premise: Kids at below-grade reading levels often fall into a discouraging cycle of failing to read as well as their peers, resulting in teasing or bullying, which creates an aversion to reading that can impact their success in school and their chances of graduating from high school.

Approach: Our cross-disciplinary team set to work developing a v1 concept for testing. I started with user research interviews and an AAU (attitude awareness and usage) survey, then consulting our engineers for technical feasibility developing such an app on an e-rader device. I also made a userflow diagram for our two primary user types (parents and kids), then mocked up the v1 golden path experience in higher fidelity for the engineers to implement.

Results: The Readable app was submitted to Startup Weekend Seattle, winning 1st place and receiving praise from the judges for providing a thoughtful solution to reading material adaptation & accessibility.

Timelime: 2014-2015
Role: Product Designer

User interviews & profiles

After an initial blast of parent surveys and interviews with parents of children who read below grade level, we established that Readable would need to serve two distinct types of users:

  1. Kids: focused on picking out & reading books that interest them, in particular popular Young Adult novels that their friends or classmates are reading
  2. Parents: want to curate a family library their kids will be interested in, add books from the child's classroom curriculum, and monitor their children's progress

The survey we sent out also returned that the average family with parents like Gloria and kids like Amy are more likely to live in a household that owns at least one e-reader device, and whose children are already light-to-moderate users of that device.


User flows & mockups


Leading a group sketching session, we mapped out a rough onboarding flow to get the Readable app set up, customized, and ready for kids to start reading.

The flowchart artifact ended up being a great alignment tool working with product managers and engineers on the first-time user flow before we committed to anything.


With the golden path mapped out, I wanted to focus on the most frequently performed actions that users would be performing inside the Readable app (core user loops).

I made a series of high-fidelity mockups, showing how users seamlessly go from signing up, to populating their library, to reading a book and asking for help understanding certain words, and finally viewing their progress metrics.


Watch a demo of the finished prototype:

Watch a demo of the finished prototype:

Next Project

Dataquest's New Learning Platform UXEducation prototype testing and iteration

Dataquest Redesigned CheckoutSaaS subscription checkout best practices

Dataquest Product Experiments ProcessDiscovery agile track for product development

Dataquest Redesigned Onboarding FlowGetting new users to the right place the first time

Dataquest Referral ProgramSaaS platform acquisition growth

Osso VR Collaborative TrainingRemote virtual training for surgical teams

Osso VR Analytics 2.0Virtual reality surgical training insights

Osso VR SCFE Hip PinningSurgical precision & scoring accuracy

Osso VR Support & FeedbackCustomer support portal

Avvo Legal ServicesLegal services e-commerce platform

NewtonVRVirtual reality physics-driven interaction system

Avvo Find a LawyerResponsive web directory of every attorney in the U.S.

Ebola Training ProjectJust-in-time VR medical training