Goodreads - reimagined

Bridging the gap between user needs and digital experience.

goodreads redesign mockup

01 / Background

Project deliverables
Redesigned Goodreads app,
Wireframes, Prototype, Mockups
Tools: Figma, FigJam
My role
UI/UX Design, Research,
Interactions and Visuals
Project context
Winter 2023 — 6 weeks
Goodreads redesign
Team: Self-led project
Project overview

Are you a book lover? If so, you're likely familiar with Goodreads. And if not, allow me to introduce it briefly. Goodreads is the biggest place for book readers. It started in 2006 and grew fast, now having millions of users. You can find new interesting books based on what you've read and like. You can also see what books your friends are reading, write reviews, keep a list of books you want to read, join in on discussions, become part of book clubs, and more.

The aim of this project was to rejuvenate Goodreads by updating its user interface and improving usability, focusing on streamlining book discovery, tracking, and finding friends - for a richer, more engaging user experience.

goodreads redesign mockup - current screens


Users are seeking alternatives for discovering and tracking books

Goodreads is facing criticism for its outdated user experience (UX) design, leaving users wanting more from the platform. Despite its wide range of features, the lack of updates to its design and interface has led to frustration among its community. This has resulted in some users seeking alternatives for discovering and tracking books.

Main issues: impossible to find your friends, no additional book editions on the app, outdated UI

Goodread hmw question


Seamless user experience promotes engaging book exploration and interaction

In my quest to enhance the Goodreads app, I focused on three key solutions designed to enrich the user experience significantly.

mockup - goodreads discovery page
Updated UI for a better UX
  • Modern Aesthetic: a contemporary, clean design to enhance visual appeal and user engagement.
  • Intuitive layouts: reworked navigation and page structures for straightforward, user-friendly interactions.
  • Consistent experience: uniformity across all pages and features for a cohesive look and feel.
Find your friends easily
  • Enhanced search function: a robust search feature to quickly locate friends by name or username.
mockup - goodreads profile page
mockup - goodreads profile page
Find your friends easily
  • Enhanced search function: a robust search feature to quickly locate friends by name or username.
mockup - goodreads book details
Access to other book editions
  • Edition Selection: enable users to easily find and select specific editions of books, including hardcover, paperback, and digital versions.
  • Detailed edition information: comprehensive details on each edition, such as publication year, cover art, and ISBN.


All about research and iterative design
design thinking process


Addressing the feature gap between iOS and Android

Goodreads has a relatively high rating on App Store (iOS) with an overall 4.8 (529.9K) and relatively low rating on Google Play with  an overall 3.2 (141K). The gap is mainly due to iOS having features that Android doesn't.

One of the most rewarding aspect of redesigning Goodreads was the ability to empathize with users by understanding their issues with the app through their feedback.

The first step was to gather as much information as possible about the current user experience. This meant delving into app reviews on platforms like the App Store, Google Play, and Reddit. I sifted through hundreds of feedback entries, looking for recurring themes and pinpointing both the friction points and the moments of delight.

The main feedback highlights a disparity in features between the Android and iOS versions of the app, with Android users noting fewer features. Surprisingly, even iOS users found the app's features lacking compared to the website. Common concerns included an inability to search for friends, missing various book editions, and an outdated user interface.

06 / competitive analysis

Competitors often offered more modern interfaces

In my initial research, I explored competitors of Goodreads that boasted high user ratings and positive feedback. In the competitive landscape, I narrowed my focus to two major competitors StoryGraph and Booksloth, both prominent book tracking app. These alternatives also addressed some shortcomings identified in Goodreads, offering features and experiences that users found valuable.

StoryGraph focuses on detailed reading insights and personalized book recommendations, appealing to users seeking data-driven suggestions. BookSloth, on the other hand, emphasizes a more visually engaging experience and community interaction, catering to those looking for a social and personalized reading experience.

Both competitors aim to fill gaps by providing features that Goodreads lacks, such as more nuanced recommendations and a visually appealing interface.


Users want a modern interface, better friend-finding capabilities, and access to diverse book editions

These pain points serve as a guide for potential improvements and redesign efforts, aiming to address the gaps and enhance usability across the platform.

pain point 1 - Incomplete mobile apppainpoint 2 - no search engine to find friendspain point 3 - outdated ui

08 / Audience profile

Understanding the Goodreads community

Typical users of Goodreads range widely in age, but there's a notable concentration among individuals aged between 25 to 44, who have a keen interest in reading. These users are often looking for a platform to discover new books, track their reading habits, and share recommendations with a community of like-minded readers.

There's a slight preference toward female users, who tend to be more active in sharing reviews, participating in community discussions, and using the platform to connect with others over shared literary interests.

*This profile is a synthesis based on general trends observed across book recommendation platforms and may not capture the full diversity of Goodreads' user base*

goodreads persona
user flow illustration
wireframes mockup
phone mockup

09 / Design

Moving from initial sketches to a polished digital prototype in Figma

I started the design process by creating mood boards to capture the essence of what a modern, user-friendly book discovery and tracking app should look like. They helped me nail down the aesthetic: clean, modern, and bookish.

Next up, paper wireframes and prototypes came into play. Old-school? Yes, but super effective. I sketched out my ideas on paper, laying out the navigation and key features. I enlisted a small group of friends who are active Goodreads users to interact with the paper prototypes. Their feedback was invaluable, highlighting areas for improvement in navigation logic and the overall user flow.

From paper to pixels

With the sketches as a guide, I translated paper prototypes into digital low-fidelity (low-fi) wireframes and prototypes. This step was about bringing my paper ideas to life, focusing on layout and functionality without getting bogged down in design details just yet.

Then came the crown jewel of my process: crafting a detailed prototype in Figma. This is where everything came together. I designed high-fidelity screens that reflected the new and improved Goodreads experience. This prototype was the blueprint for what the app could become - more intuitive, more engaging, and a lot prettier.

goodreads prototype
goodreads prototype
goodreads prototype
goodreads prototype
goodreads prototype
goodreads prototype
goodreads redesign mockup

09 / Conclusion and lessons learned

Moving from initial sketches to a polished digital prototype in Figma

Diving into the Goodreads redesign was like opening a book full of surprises. This solo redesign project served as a comprehensive exercise in user-centered design, emphasizing the need for feature parity across platforms, an updated and intuitive user interface, and the integration of enhanced functionality inspired by competitive analysis.

Through this project, I gained a deeper understanding of effective UX/UI principles, demonstrating the potential of thoughtful design to significantly improve user engagement and satisfaction in digital platforms.