Case Study


Spring 2009
I collaborated on several projects with Bitspark Consulting to create user interfaces for their client’s projects.

Bookstore Inventory Management

The client approached me for design and UX guidance on their college bookstore inventory management system. The system was being upgrading from a command-line, mainframe-based existing application.

I organized and moderated a user research session, gathering users from around the country to Portland, OR for a day-long session. I used the insights gathered to provide wireframes of a potential application interface as well as a prioritized list of usability fixes and their rationale for the existing application.

The client’s initial stab at an interface was a fairly direct translation of the existing command line interface they were attempting to replace. The challenge was to create an interface that the client would be able to create given their development abilities and limitations of the back-end system.
This is the search results page the client of the prototype when the client contacted me.
After discovering from users the reason why each piece of information on the item detail screen was useful to them, I reorganized the information and tried to use colors and text weights to create a visual hierarchy of information and highlight atypical conditions that might be particularly noteworthy.
The initial prototype of the search interface required the user to specify what type of thing they were searching for prior to performing their search. This wireframe depicts an interface that would return results for all types of queries that matched the search term.
A small pop-up window that could be opened from the search results page allowed for the search results to be quickly inspected more closely without leaving the search results page.

Bookseller Inventory Exchange

This application facilitated the buying and selling of overstock from the inventories of university bookstores. As enrollment in specific classes fluctuates, university bookstores may experience over- or under-stocking of specific textbooks. An inventory management software company created this application to serve as an exchange between all bookstores that used its inventory management software.
While the original prototype focused on “lists” of overstocked books that could be purchased, users were interested in the books, not the lists. This interface focused on making the process of searching a title from the user’s partner stores and adding it to a purchase order much easier.
Since it was common for bookstore purchasers to call each other to verify the status of books shown in inventory, the contact details for a store were shown on the search results interface for each store’s overstock list.
For comparison, this is the design the client originally approached me with.