Understanding User Desires and Designing a Mobile App for Buying and Selling Used Books


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 22, 2023

4 min read


Understanding User Desires and Designing a Mobile App for Buying and Selling Used Books


Designing a mobile app that caters to the needs and desires of users can be a complex task. In this article, we will explore the process of creating a mobile app that allows users to easily buy and sell used books. We will delve into the steps involved in understanding user desires, defining the app's scope and functionality, conducting competitive research, and validating the app's features. Additionally, we will discuss the importance of recognizing and controlling our own desires, as well as the influence of social media on our desires.

Understanding User Desires and Defining the App's Scope:

To begin the process, we need to empathize with potential users and conduct research interviews to gain insights into their needs and desires. This step will help us define the different types of users and their actions within the app. By breaking down the problem into parts, we can identify the functionalities required to create an end-to-end solution for various user scenarios. Additionally, it is crucial to define the business model that will drive the app's success.

Competitive Research and Ideation:

Once we have a clear understanding of user desires and the app's scope, we can move on to competitive research. By studying existing apps in the market, we can identify their strengths and weaknesses and gather inspiration for our own app. This step allows us to refine our ideas and brainstorm unique functionalities that will set our app apart from the competition. It is important to consider what elements should be present on each app screen and to map out the user journey to ensure a seamless experience.

Validation and Actionable Advice:

After ideation, it is essential to validate our concepts and functionalities. User testing and feedback play a crucial role in refining the app and ensuring it meets user expectations. Here are three actionable advice to consider during the validation process:

  • 1. Conduct user testing: Invite potential users to test the app and provide feedback on its usability, functionality, and overall experience. This will help identify any areas that need improvement and ensure the app aligns with user desires.
  • 2. Incorporate social integration: Integrate social media features into the app to allow users to share their book listings, recommendations, and purchases. This will tap into the mimetic nature of desire and create a sense of community among users.
  • 3. Prioritize user security: Implement robust security measures to protect user data, transactions, and personal information. This will build trust among users and encourage them to engage in buying and selling activities within the app.

Understanding Personal Desires and Controlling Mimetic Desire:

In addition to designing an app that fulfills user desires, it is important to reflect on our own desires and understand their origin. Desires differ from needs in that they are intellectual appetites for things we perceive as good, even without a physical or instinctual basis. Our desires are often influenced by social processes, where we learn what to desire from models within and outside our world.

Recognizing the influence of internal and external models is crucial in understanding our desires. Internal models are those within our reach, such as friends, family, and co-workers, who shape our desires through their influence. External models, on the other hand, are people we have no direct contact with, such as celebrities and historical figures, who shape our desires through media representations.

To gain control over our desires, we must identify the systems of desire we are enmeshed in. By understanding the influences that have shaped our desires, we can distance ourselves from them and make conscious choices. It is essential to find our own north star and map out our desires' history to distinguish between fleeting desires and those rooted in our core values.


Designing a mobile app that caters to user desires requires a deep understanding of their needs and preferences. By empathizing with users, conducting research, and validating our concepts, we can create an app that meets their expectations. Simultaneously, recognizing and controlling our own desires is crucial for personal growth and contentment. By understanding the influence of mimetic desire and finding our own north star, we can lead a more fulfilling life.

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