HelMet Pocket Library is a library application for smartphones. It includes loaning library items peer to peer, outside the library. This feature is unique worldwide. HelMet Pocket Library was published in October 2012 and has over 300 daily users in June 2013. The version 1.0 was in use until 2015.
The project was implemented mainly in-house. The project started with customer collaboration in Suuntaamo. The user interface was a collaborative effort together with Taiste Ltd. The service design and architecture were planned and executed among the project team. The end-product has had a good customer reception. The app was published as open source in May 2013 (https://github.com/helsinki-city-library/pocketlibrary).
In 2014, the app was picked in Finnish Design Yearbook 2014-2015.
I worked as the project manager from the funding phase 2010 to 2013 when the app was moved in standard upkeep. My role was to manage a small project team inside Helsinki City Library and the partner collaboration with Demola, Taiste, Helsinki coders, kirjastot.fi, Suuntaamo, and others. I was also in charge of customer involvement throughout the project and designing the features, usability, and outcomes with partners and the project team.
The main challenges were in limited interfaces in the background systems and the complexity of library services. As part of the project, we needed to provide basic smartphone training and information both to staff and executive team. We had also a limited marketing campaign designed together with MEOM.
The original idea was based on Timo Tuominen’s work. With Timo, we shaped the goals and means of the project resulting in unique features and top-notch usability. I would also like to thank Taiste for its excellent work and practical ideas.