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FIND a Space by...
A Better Experience for Library's Room Reservation 

Time: 2022 Summer

Team: Individual Work

Role: UI UX Researcher/Designer, Experience Designer

Tool: Figma, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop

What is FIND a Space by...

This project aims to improve the Harvard Library's room reservation experience by creating an App and a room usage system based on its current website. 

The idea of this project comes from the daily life when studying at Harvard. As a graduate student, I have been participating in many group discussions, meetings, and workshops. As a result, I often use the website called Find a Space by Harvard University Library to make reservations for group study rooms. However, during this process from ordering online to using the room, there exists a series of potential problems. As a designer, I would like to explore potential solutions.

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Why FIND a Space by...

Learning from Users

I found the experience of the website and in-person room usage was challenged. I heard the feedbacks from users that they had difficulty when making reservations online. They also found it difficult to find a space without making reservations several days in advance but would see many vacant rooms in the library. Besides, when using the room, users said that it was awkward to find something not working in the room because they didn't get informed in advance. And driving people away is always the first thing to do before entering the room, which is also not an easy job for most people.

Every time when I was the first one to arrive at the room, I would have to drive people away. And I hate to do so. As a result, I chose to arrive late so that my teammates would do so instead of me.”

“It’s hard to book a room if you forget to do so several days in advance. But actually, there are so many vacant rooms there because people just booked and didn’t cancel even if they couldn’t come.”

“I still remember the first time I went to the Science Center. It’s hard for me to find the room. The map only told me the location of the building instead of the room.”

Emotional Journey

In order to learn the overall reservation and use experience, I plot out the engagement of a person’s journey with experience over time. Focusing on the emotions can help to consider how users may feel at various touch points along the way.

Emotional Journey.png


After performing research, I begin to take that data and start to think of the motivations, thoughts, and actions of people as they may help solve challenges they may face.

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Frame 62.png

How Might We ?

After focusing on users' current emotional journey map, the designer begins to brainstorm different possible ideas by Hight Might We to solve the problem existing in various stages in this process. Besides, the user journey adds one more stage called Leave the Room after the current three stages, which will help to inform the whole system and solve the problem in the original three stages.

Frame 63.png

In order to solve the overall problem specifically based on users' journey, I created a problem statement categorized by journey map, and Crazy Eights accordingly. By selecting the possible solutions from the Crazy Eights, a wireframe structure was created closely based on users' complete journey.

Problem Statement

Problem Statement.png

Crazy Eights

Crazy Eights based on Problem Statement.png

Wireframe Structure

Wireframe Structure Based on User Journey.png

Design Guidelines

  1. Follow the Design of the Website to Keep the Identity of Harvard Library

  2. Solve the Pain Points of Users When Using the Current Website

  3. Make Full Use of the Advantages of a Mobile App to Make the User Flow Smoother

  4. Collaborate with the Space Design to Create Better User Experience

Wireframing Journey Path

Lo-fi Wireframing Journey Path.png

Lo-fi Wireframing

Lo-fi Wireframing.png

Iterations based on User Test



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Anchor 1

What Will the New Room Reservation Experience be Like?

High-Fidelity Design

Six Key Scenarios based on User Journey Path

Key Hi-fi Prototyping based on Scenarios (1).png

1 Book a Room



Kari is a student who will have a group meeting with the other 5 classmates

and is happy to book a room on the App by choosing the date and time first

because the team has spent a long time discussing when to have the meeting and it is the only time works for all of them.

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Direct Listings on Homepage


Different Time Length Choices

  • Always Keep the Information Related to Reservation Highlighted












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2 Share Information with Team

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Kari is a student who will have a group meeting with the other 5 classmates

and is happy to share the room information on the App via multiple ways

because it is so convenient for the team to share the information and saves time in communication

3 Space Information Updated



Kari is a student who will have a group meeting with the other 5 classmates

and is happy to check the room situation on the App before she uses the room‍

because she can prepare in advance when receiving the message reminding that the cable in the room is currently not working.

03_02_View Information.png
  • Continuous Red Dot 

03_02_View Information-1.png
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  • Manage both upcoming and past bookings

  • Response from the user end enables communication between users and the library

4 Find the Space

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Kari is a student who will have a group meeting with the other 5 classmates

and is happy to check the room location‍

because it will guide them easily to find the exact place they have booked

Campus Scale Map

to find the way to the building

Building Scale Map

to find the way to the room

5 Check in



Luis is a library staff who

is happy to see the improvement of room use efficiency‍

because it is easy to check whether students have really come via App check-in system.

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  • Besides, on the wall of each room, there would be one screen showing the reservation list. Before reservation hours, the screen would display the reminder information shown left, so that users currently using the room can prepare to leave in advance without affecting the latter users.

  • Users can either choose to check out on the screen in the room or on their own Apps. The reminder information will disappear when users check out.

6 Check out

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Kari is a student who will have a group meeting with the other 5 classmates

and is happy to rate the room on the App after checking out‍

because it will help the students to ensure the tidiness of the room after using.


1. Group study rooms of libraries are not only about finding a place to study but can also be a place for communication. This App would have the potential to extend its function in enabling people to make more new friends in different learning environments.

2. Space innovation of libraries need to listen to users' ideas. This App system, especially the rating part, can be used as a bridge between users and library aspect, to listen to their needs and feedbacks. For instance, we can learn from the data collected from the App to know the most popular learning space for students of different majors, what are the most important factors students might consider when choosing places to study, etc. These valuable feedbacks can be translated into creative design ideas to further improve our campus study spaces.

Copyright ©2023, Qingyu Cai, All rights reserved

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