©2019 by Carissa Gabilheri. Proudly created with Wix.com

Book Soup Bookstore

A Site Re-Design

Book Soup is not your average local bookstore. It has been around for 44 years, it is home to over 60,000 titles, and it’s located on the prominent Sunset Strip + LAX. It is Sir Elton John’s fav. Bookstore. They also sell books by local authors, books that have been self-published, host lots of author events, and sell signed and rare books.


2 weeks


Solo Project


UX Researcher, UX Designer, UI Designer


Sketch App, InVision, Google Sheets, Post it notes, Google Forms, Miro

The Problem

Users are unable to browse Book Soup’s extensive product list - they are cannot discover all that Book Soup has to offer. They are also frustrated by the checkout process and often leave the site before making a purchase because of this.

The Design Challenge

How might we help our users find and browse books easier to encourage a better shopping experience?

My Proposed Solution

  • Create a way to enable users to browse entire stock of books

  • Allow products to be organized into categorized lists and subcategories

  • Simplify checkout process

  • Give users more options & details for shipping

  • Update site aesthetics and create a more modern atmosphere


Methods used include a Heuristic Analysis of Paint Points, a Competitive & Comparative Analysis of competing sites, User Surveys & Interviews

Analysis of Existing Site

Discovered Pain Points with a Heuristic Evaluation

Landing Page

  • Limited book browsing ability - users can only find books by limited tab options or search bar

  • Shopping cart in unusual location

  • Complicated to create an account

  • Landing page is too busy & cramped

  • Site is too dark to be pleasing to eye 

  • Best Sellers List at bottom of page is not clickable - must copy & paste title into search bar

User Interviews

3 Users

I gave users 3 different task scenarios to accomplish on the site while I observed them going through each task. They were asked to say their thoughts aloud and state any emotions or feelings they had while using the site. The interview questions were based on an evaluative method and the users were asked questions both before and after the task scenario.

While all users were able to complete the task scenarios, they all had a lot of difficulty and cited that if they were doing this in real life, they would just give up.

User 1

"This site makes me NOT want to visit the bookstore, I would assume that it would be tiny and not very well stocked."

User 2

"If I don't use the search bar I have no idea how to find a book."

User 3

"I think this is too much work, I would rather just go to the actual store or Barnes & Noble, or just buy a book from Amazon."

This is your Testimonial quote. Give your customers the stage to tell the world how great you are!

Jessie Brown

This is your Testimonial quote. Give your customers the stage to tell the world how great you are!

Avery Smith

This is your Testimonial quote. Give your customers the stage to tell the world how great you are!

Skyler Adelson

Research Synthesis

Affinity Mapping

I synthesized the data from interviews and surveys by using an affinity map. This was very helpful because it gave me a visual for all of the user research I gained in previous steps and allowed me to spot trends in what people were saying.

User Persona

Meet Bethany the Book Lover. She was created based on the user research I conducted. She helps to personify the average person who may shop at Book Soup.

Journey Map

    I created this journey map to have a visual way of walking through Bethany’s journey as she purchases a book on the Book Soup website. This map shows all of the high points and the low points - her delights and frustrations. It is a good way to really get a feel for the parts of the site that need re-working in order to give the user a better experience.