Barnes & Noble.com purchased Tikatok, the online storytelling platform for kids, and engaged the team to create innovative new products for the company’s Nook Color and Nook Tablet. The first of these was a platform-exclusive mobile version of Tikatok’s web-based digital picture book creation and sharing software. The mobile format presented many challenges in adapting the desktop-based editor, but also some new affordances for expanding and improving the experience.
The unique requirements for this product included:
- Providing the ability to discover books created by other kids and painlessly save them to the device for offline reading
- Creating a simple mobile reader compatible with the Tikatok format and supporting playback of a child’s audio voice recordings
- Adapting the desktop book editor and templates to a touch-based inferface
- Syncing books and bookshelves with the Tikatok website
- Building a best-in-class drawing tool for creating images that could be added to a book
Ultimately, two apps were created: StorySpark and Draw, Write, Read, the latter including the new drawing tool.
Note: The Tikatok platform was since acquired by Pearson Education for exclusive use in classrooms as a way to engage students deeply in subject matter through active authoring of their own content.
As the lead Product Manager for the Tikatok team, I guided the development of this project from conception to launch to several app updates, my day-to-day tasks evolving with the product status.
My tasks related to this project included:
- Product Strategy and Documentation – Creating product requirements including roadmaps and prioritized use cases for the MVP
- User Experience Design – Creating all original wireframes for the full app flow including the drawing tool, and integrating feedback from BN.com’s UX design team
- Project Management – Coordinating the efforts of internal and external engineering teams
- Art Direction – Guiding the work of external visual designers and artists to create the final icons, buttons, and other visual assets
- User Analytics – Monitoring and processing feedback from usability tests, and using this information to inform sprint planning and the product roadmap
- Product Marketing – Coordinating the product launch with the Nook’s app store and marketing teams, and creating marketing materials including the video shown above (app navigation was entirely simulated in Adobe Premiere using static screenshots, as there was no way to directly record from the screen of the Nook).