Disclaimer: This project is only conceptual.


Library at Your Fingertips, Powered by NFC Technology

Take advantage of your NFC enabled Android smartphone. With UBooks you can perform contactless scanning of books. You can borrow or buy them. You can even forward loans to your friends.

And the best part, you can do all this outside of the library. Go on, take the library with you.

Screenshot of UBooks splash screen


Solving Lack of Affordance

NFC is an "invisible" technology.

A quick, easy and intuitive in-app tutorial will teach you about NFC technology and how to use it.

Learn NFC in 4 easy steps

  1. What is NFC
  2. How to activate NFC on your smartphone
  3. How to use NFC in practice
  4. And, why NFC and libraries are a perfect match
Screenshot of UBooks app


Groundbreaking Library Feature

Forward a loan within seconds!

Just tap your smartphone together with the recipient's smartphone to forward the loan. Wherever you want. Easy as pie!

Screenshot of UBooks app


Receive personalized suggestions based on your lending history, books that you scan, what you're searching for, your curriculum and more. Just lean back and let technology do the rest.

Looking for eBooks? Look for the tablet icon in the feed.

Screenshot of UBooks app


Add books to your collection of favorites with deilightful finger gestures. Your favorites are always easy accessible from the app menu.

Screenshot of UBooks app


Add your courses and let the app look up the correct curriculum. No more hazzle with cluttered reading lists from your clumsy lecturer.

Screenshot of UBooks app


You've got the library at your fingertips.
Explore it!

The flexibility of library APIs makes it fun to explore. Read abstracts. Find other publications by your favorite authors. Discover literature.

With smart links to Amazon you can buy books and eBooks in notime.

Screenshot of UBooks app


Keeping track of your loans have never been easier. A countdown timer for upcoming due dates lets you know exactly when you have to return the book.

Easily look up books from your lending history. It's all there!

Screenshot of UBooks app


This project was originally part of the course INF5261 Development of Mobile Information Systems at the University of Oslo fall 2012.

The University Of Oslo Library is rolling out and enabling hundreds of thousands of RFID chips as labelling technology for books, articles etc. To assist librarians and students utilizing this library convergence, we designed an app that could read RFID tags and handle requests to and from BIBSYS (The Norwegian Digital Library Archive System). Few students had experimented with NFC technology before us, so we had little or no clues on how to solve this challenge.

What we realised was that most people in our target group actually had used NFC technology before, they just weren't aware of it. For instance, people use NFC enabled travel cards every day when commuting. They scan their cards on card readers without knowing how this technology works. We faced a tough design challenge. Unlike barcode scanners with built-in smartphone camera, NFC scanning happens automatically by near field detection. The problem was that interaction with RFID utilities actually lacks visual affordance - there are no visual clues on how to use it.

We solved this problem by using intuitive illustrations together with interactive tutorials built inside the app that show you how to control your phone, how to interact, and give hints about where the RFID chips are usually located to avoid using precious time searching for detection.

Original contributors:

  • Espen Johnsson
  • Kristoffer Wang


To practice visual design, and interaction design for mobile I have redesigned the app from top to toe. Instead of a hybrid app design approach which we did at first, this time I chose to go native using official Android design guidelines. I've taken the liberty to rethink existing and introduce new concepts and features that I believe will improve the user experience. Still, most of the concept and the interaction design from the original work are preserved.

Methodology and Technology

  • User-Centered Design
  • Surveys
  • Focus Groups
  • A/B Testing
  • Usability Testing
  • Paper Sketching
  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator
  • InDesign
  • PhoneGap

The work presented on this web page are based on original work part of the course INF5261 Development of Mobile Information Systems at the University of Oslo fall 2012. Design mocks, concept and features presented in this project on this web page are only conceptual. The name "UBooks" is fictional, it's not copyrighted, and is not to be associated with the University of Oslo or the University of Oslo Library.

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