Case Study: Umbrella

Product Designer

4 Weeks

Mobile App MVP

Tool Stack
Figma & Illustrator

Umbrella logoImage of mobile mockups of app

Introducing Umbrella

The Challenge

According to the study, “Shopping While Black,” published in the Journal of Consumer Culture, 80 percent of Black shoppers reported experiencing racial stigma and stereotypes when shopping. This experience isn't limited to Black shoppers– the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities and so many more marginalized communities also bear the burden of experiencing acts of discrimination while shopping.

The Opportunity

Umbrella serves as a digital community of people and businesses that view inclusion as the foundation of human interaction. This mobile application publishes crowd-sources reviews of businesses while centering the lived experiences of marginalized people.

Think The Green Book meets Yelp.

Image of Victor Hugo GreenImage of The Green Book posterImage of Green Book catalogs


Conducting research to define the existing shopping experience

The goal for user research was to learn more about people’s shopping habits, specifically around how they find and determine what shopping experiences are safe and inclusive. I also conducted a competitive analysis on other applications with a similar focus.

Some of the pain points for users include:
•   Some marginalized communities experience anxiety     and frustration while shopping due to the fear of facing     acts of discrimination.

•   Historically, people have relied on Google searching and     Facebook groups to find recommendations for safe &     inclusive businesses.

“Shopping often adds to my anxiety.”

“I’ve noticed that I get followed in stores while shopping because I’m Black.”

“Experiencing microagressions while shopping happens all the time.”

Illustration of woman shopping

Must Haves for MVP:

•   The products needs a robust filtering features that     allows user to search by category, needs, intersections,     etc.

•   There needs to be a way to have verified crowdsourced      information from members of the community.

Competitive analysis of Lavender bookCompetitive analysis of The Green Book Project


Defining the user experience

After learning about people and their pain points while shopping, I began to synthesize the research and define the user experience.

Empathy Map
I created an empathy map to capture knowledge about an Umbrella user’s behaviors and attitudes.

Empathy Map showing what user says, thinks, does and feelsTask Flow

Onboarding Task Flow

Defining the onboarding experience had two major considerations: 1) Creating an intuitive and accessible user experience and 2) Establish trust that Umbrella will serve as a safe space for marginalized identities.


Ideating on the onboarding experience & brand identity

With a solid understanding of user pain points & goals for the onboarding experience, I began to sketch different layouts for this task.

I also began to develop a brand identity for Umbrella that would align with Umbrella's bold mission and inspire inclusivity and accessibility.

An image show sketches and wireframes of the new Kaus siteiPhone Mockup with app designiPhone Mockup with app design

Building a more inclusive onboarding approach

One of the main pain points users identified was the fear of experiencing acts of discrimination when looking for resources.

The onboarding experience solves for this through inclusive design. One of the design solutions is that users are able to select their race and gender from a more holistic list of options or self-identify. This allows users to show up authentically when looking for resources specific to their identity and needs.

Umbrella logoUmbrella brand colorsIllustration of umbrella with hearts

Umbrella branding

Prototyping & Testing

Testing assumptions and validated design hypotheses

Using the prototype, I conducted usability tests with a few objectives in mind:

• Evaluate whether users are able to build trust while   onboarding

• Observe any areas of hesitation or confusion when   answering onboarding question

Usability tests findings

A key takeaway from the usability tests is that users must be able to build a sense of trust during onboarding in order for them to complete each step. This is especially true for enabling location services.

Delivery of Final Product

Final Deliverable

After conducting usability tests, I distilled any actionable insights from the feedback and implemented them in the new design.

A few of the design solutions were to offer alternatives to enabling location services in onboarding so that users can continue to explore Umbrella without doing so. Also, by using tooltips users will learn key terms that they may not be familiar.

iPhone mockup of designiPhone mockup of designiPhone mockup of designiPhone mockup of design

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