A conceptual design project
The Project
Duration: December 2020- January 2021
Tools used: Figma, Google forms, Miro and Adobe Illustrator 
My role: Crafted questions focused on user frustrations and experiences, created wireframes, scenario maps, product logo, and final prototype design
This was a personal project that I completed outside of school during my winter break and a little into my winter semester of second year university.
The Problem
Many local businesses are currently struggling with the given pandemic conditions. Local governments have been encouraging citizens to shop locally but many still rely on big box stores to purchase their items. I wanted to find out why people were not shopping local and how I could find a solution to this problem.
The Solution 
My solution to this problem was to create a mobile shopping app called Local Markets where people could go to find local businesses in their area
Although not ideal, I used surveys to gain a better insight into buyer frustrations and experiences. Due to the given state of the world, I thought this was the safest solution to gathering information. I asked people to tell me about their experiences shopping local, what a typical shopping experience looks like to them and if they had any frustrations and solutions to those problems
From the information I gathered, the main pain points of customers became clear. 
1. Knowledge-  many people agreed that they did not know any small businesses in their area to shop from.
2. Cost- Customers also found smaller businesses to be more expensive 
Convenience-  almost everyone agreed that shopping from places like Amazon are just more convenient for them.
My main question became "How might customers conveniently shop local and find items they need while also staying in budget?".
Results from the information I gathered related to shopping local and ideas I came up with to try and solve users main problems
I turned the information into one main persona in order to give me a better insight to a realistic user.  Rowan wants to support their local businesses but does not know any in their area and also finds local shopping more expensive. Though they want to support local, Rowan will ultimately end up picking the store that is more convenient for their needs and wants.
Persona created in Adobe Illustrator
A simple scenario map of a typical user's experience created in Miro
Wireframes and Process Work
This was definitely not a single iteration type of project. I started designing in greyscale first to ensure I got all interface elements right without the distraction of colour. There were also some changes from the original wireframes to the final prototype based on feedback from user testing.
Pictured on the left is the low fidelity wireframes. Located on the right are screens I started designing based off the wireframes without any colour
The two main interactions of the app. On the left is where users can search for items while also staying in budget using the price filter. On the right is where they can discover local businesses bases off the item they searched.
On the left are different colour variations I was experimenting with and on the right is the first iterations of the prototype with many different interface elements that did not flow as well as I had hoped.
Final Design
The Prototype
One of the main interactions of this prototype is how a user can find local businesses by simply searching for the item they are looking for. Users can even order their item from the app and get to decide whether or not they want to pick it up or have it delivered. This solves the problem of convenience and lack of knowledge of businesses in user's communities. 

There are also filters built into the search bar so that users can input the maximum amount they wish to spend on an item. We can not dictate how much businesses sell their products for but, we can help the user find the item they need while staying on budget.
Designing by yourself is harder- Since this was a personal project, I did not have a team to help with design ideas. I am used to working in a team and having other people to help when it comes to design thinking and developing ideas. This project pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me develop confidence in my decisions and design ideas.

User experience > User interface- The experience should ALWAYS take priority over the interface. I got discouraged when designing the interface for this project because I did not believe it looked as nice as other projects I would find on Dribble or Behance. Then I reminded myself that the user’s experience should be my number one priority and aesthetics come after that.

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