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Fall 2020 - 6 Weeks  - User Experience In Design (Des 3131)

Role: Product Designer

Tools Used: Figma, Fig Jam, Qualtrics

Instructed by Debra Lawton


shop.small is an app that challenges to address the issue of unsustainable fashion and consumerism by helping users discover local sustainable businesses across several categories. The app enables users to search for stores that meet their specific criteria and shop directly through it. It also provides information on what movements each store supports.


Customer Problem, User Personas


Competitive Analysis 


Lo-fi Prototypes, Iterations, User Testing


Clickable Prototype


The Customer Problem

Climate change is an impending problem that continues to weigh on the minds of our generation everyday. Many try their best to consume less and do their part to support businesses and brands that prioritize their beliefs, but struggle to know where to start. Shop.small aims to take the burden off of them and provide an easy way to find local shops and restaurants that stand for what they believe in.

How Might we

  • Shop Locally?

  • Shop Sustainably?

  • Stop buying fast fashion?

  • Learn what we are supporting with our money?

  • Better choose what we support with our purchases?

  • Consume less?

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Empathy/User Persona

We utilized user personas and an empathy map to better empathize with the expectations, challenges, and motivations that a potential user of the app may have. Our main target market was eco-conscious consumers from the age of 20-35 who live in both the cities and surrounding suburbs. We discovered that although users have the intention of helping support causes they believe in, they find it hard to balance their beliefs with their personal wants like convenience, speed, and personalization.

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Think Out Loud Test: I Shop Local

To gather more information about the usability of our competitor's app, we conducted a "think out loud" test. The specific questions were:

  1. Find the location of Woldruff’s Footwear

  2. You are searching for a new necktie. Use the app to find a men’s suit store and determine the hours that it’s open.



A few takeaways from our audit were that we could include a map view of the different local options, and that we can prioritize having easy navigability in our app overall. This audit gave us guidance to begin our first round of ideation for our app.

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Initial Ideation

After looking at what other applications have in their design, we gathered an initial round of prototypes using the Crazy 8 method. We then converged our ideas and created a mid-fi prototype on Figma.

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Mid-fi Prototype

After creating the mid-fi prototype, we conducted our first round of usability testing. We interviewed 15 people in total. Based on user feedback, the Shop.Small website had several areas that need improvement. From the first round of testing we decided to make several changes.

Some of the specific feedback that we addressed included:

  • Increase size of star to minimum of 40x40px

  • Add landing page back with different categories right away

  • Move star to left side on individual store page

  • Make sure each store is clearly labeled for what category it is (use icons)

  • Put store hours on first browse page

  • Increase picture size/add picture carousel to store profile

  • Mention of who owns the store (reinforce relation between customer and owner)

  • Reduce information density in store entries

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Talk Out Loud Test

After redesigning our first iteration of prototypes, we created a Talk Out Loud test on a more high fidelity prototype. We tested our prototype on 12 more participants.

Some of the specific feedback that we addressed included:

  • Switch toggle destination should move to category selection instead of browse all

  • Move "back to categories" button to top

  • Move sustainability rating to top

  • Add distance indicator to address in shop details

  • Carousel is not obvious


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Overall, this project taught me to truly enjoy the iterative process and take in feedback as a way to improve. We were able to gather feedback from both our own found users, class participants, and even designers in the industry. It was a great exploration into the full process of developing an idea to creating a design. I was able to get an understanding of using research to create requirements, as well as creating designs based on the requirements developed.

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