Mobile App MVP
Figma & Illustrator
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.
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.
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.
• 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.
After learning about people and their pain points while shopping, I began to synthesize the research and define the user experience.
I created an empathy map to capture knowledge about an Umbrella user’s behaviors and attitudes.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.