Interaction Designer

Tool Library hero Shot.png

NE Seattle Tool Library App

Design Research

Product Design

UX/UI Design

NE Seattle Tool Library Mobile App 


The current website doesn't reflect the goals of the NE Seattle Tool Library


Design a mobile application for the NE Seattle Tool Library


A mobile application with streamlined tool categorization and added social and calendar features


All makers or aspiring makers in the NE Seattle area


Micro-interactions, Principle Prototype, Projects Design and Functionality


Nicole Chen, Alisson Chang, Olivia Carter


5 weeks


User Testing > Wire-frames > Lo-fi Prototype > User Testing > Principle Prototype


Discovering Objectives

The Seattle Tool Library is a free lending library for tools in the Wedgwood neighborhood of Seattle. A Community-built nonprofit, the library aims to increase accessibility, education, and sustainability through events, classes, and a large selection of tools available for borrowing.

In speaking with a representative, it became clear that community engagement was the number one objective for the tool library. They rely on local makers to volunteer their time and lend their expertise to help maintain and repair tools, as well as provide a guiding and motivational presence for all members.



Information Hierarchy 

After giving each click-able option on the current website it's own index card, we asked a group of potential users to separate the cards into sensible categories.

We also asked them to perform simple tasks on the website like "find and rent an axe."

Card Sorting Image- Tool Library.jpg

All three participants expressed frustration. The categorization of the site was too rigorous and confusing, and there was no option for reserving a tool, or signing up for the classees that certain tools require. 


Old Site Map

Simplified site map for Mobile App

Simplified site map for Mobile App


Key Findings

Community as resource

The volunteer staff at the Tool Library are all makers and members of the NETL community. They often lend their expertise to members, strengthening ties to the neighborhood as well as creating a more knowledgeable and respectful community revolving around the Tool Library. 

I wanted to create a feature that allows members to plan, create, and share their projects, all through the app.  



Design Principles

Building Together

  • Empower individual makers

  • Encourage community interaction through project sharing easy calendar access

  • Provide users with a fun browsing experience as well as tools to help get their projects done

  • Simplify and streamline existing UI for greater user satisfaction and task completion

Tool Library Wireframes.png
Tool Library ToolBox+Projects Flow.jpg


Final features



The new NE Seattle Tool Library App features explicit on boarding, where potential new members learn exactly what they can accomplish with the app.


Welcome screen

The landing view serves as a newsletter, easily updated with featured events and browsing suggestions.

The suggested projects bar gives members a chance to scroll through other people's projects, which were all completed with the help and guidance of the Tool Library staff.


Toolbox : for an improved browsing experience

Members now have the option of putting tools on hold, or adding it to the toolbox, where they can then separate and store tools by project.

Tool Browsing- Tool Library.gif

Projects feature

From the toolbox, members can separate tools into ongoing projects, or start a new project.


Calendar/ Class-sign up

The App gives members several options to sign up for necessary classes, fixer nights, or to RSVP for special events.



Final App Run-through