To the produce shopper🥬,

As a busy family member, you told me you needed a quick, low-cost, and quality solution.

I know you have limited time, and going very far is out of the question. You also want to make sure that the store you choose to go will have all the items you have on your grocery list✅.

After our conversation, I sought out to explore ways that a local produce shop, known for competitive pricing and quality fruits and veg, can empower their customers to find their list items as well as try new things.

In my interviews with produce shoppers, I found experiences that aid in and are appreciated for weekly food shopping. I incorporated these in a website for a mom & pop produce shop in hopes that it would give you confidence that this is / or isn’t the destination for your shopping list this week.

I’m really excited for you to check out the Nathan’s Farm website – let me know how it works for you!

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Only the best,

Nathan’s Farm

A 10 minute (or half mile) walk down Manhattan Ave in Greenpoint provides 8 produce shopping options. Nathan’s Farm is one known for their fresh vegetables with a notable asian selection, and low prices.

Though a household name in Greenpoint, their online presence is not entirely claimed. Users cannot find accurate open times, and information about their unique offerings. This project seeks to uncover how a responsive website will allow for a mom&pop shop to take control of their identity and communications with their community.
The Challenge
A student project to discover user needs and design a new feature for an existing application. The existing UI is to be used to build out the new feature, consistent with the brand.

I chose to solve an area of need in the finance space, and to expand on a feature within the Charles Schwab application.
The Scope
Nathan’s Farm, Responsive design
Sept — Oct 2023
80 hours
My Role

The Solution

Users look to a business’s website to be a source of truth

Nathan’s customers love Nathan’s Farm for their fresh produce and great prices and are willing to try new things! They just need the push, with a little more information on what some items are and how they can use them in their own homes.
My usability test suggests that users trust that Nathan’s responsive website will provide the latest offerings and hours.

Next, we build out our inventory

In a future iteration, I would consider building out an inventory list, as shoppers voice they are busy and need to know that they will be able to get the item they are looking for in the stores they visit.

Thank you to all who have made this work possible

This project helped me understand how we can, through design thinking, empower connection between local businesses and neighborhood communities.

Primary Research

Competitor analysis

Key takeaways and questions

📈 Produce shops have a very clear niche market: Health conscious, specific location, late hours, or specialty foods
What is Nathan’s niche market?
🔎 Supermarkets and specialty grocers have websites, but small produce shops do not.
Why not?
How might Nathan’s Farm and their customers benefit from having one?
🔲 Most weaknesses identified like long lines, dark corners of the store, and confusion about hours, are easily fixed. 
What might Nathan’s problems be that might be easily solve?

User Interviews with 5 participants who shop regularly for produce this year to answer:

How do users shop for produce?
Why do users shop where they shop?
What would get users to shop somewhere new?
or to purchase a new product?

My grocery store has everything I need, whereas smaller shops only have some of the things I need.”
User comment on why they choose to shop where they shop

Research synthesis with an affinity map of user comments organized by:

The Process → What works → What doesn’t work → What it can be

Themes uncovered from affinity map

Theme 1


Grocery lists, browsing items on sale, and prepping reusable bags, are deemed essential to making the shopping experience efficient and fiscally responsible
Theme 2


Some people can’t afford to spend too much time, or leave the home for produce shopping. Convenience means close proximity (or delivery) and a diverse selection of items for a one-stop-shop.
Theme 3


Customers require for their go-to store to provide in a way that fits in with their unique values; confidence that their time and money will be well spent here.
Theme 4

Shopping experience

Users will return for a clean and well organized shop. They might be willing to try out somewhere new for free samples or for a better deal.

Overall learnings from research

All in all, time, cost, and lifestyle being a huge driving factor in produce-shopping, one must trust that a grocery store meets their needs in each of these areas.

Users need to trust that they will receive the ideal shopping experience: A clean and well organized shop that allows for quick finding of items on a shopper’s list. Free samples of items are offered; A zero-cost way to try out new and unknown products. Lastly, an efficient and friendly check out experience seals the deal.

User personas by thoughts on food shopping

Persona 1

One stop shop 🐬

Shopping as quick as possible
  • Somewhere that does not require a car
  • Delivery
  • Provides all items on the grocery list
Pain Points
Limited time, limited methods of transport
Persona 2

A family activity 🤝

To have a good time with family,
  • Diverse, healthy options, and nice packaging
  • Great store organization and customer service
    Pain Points
    Badly organized stores and bad customer service
    Persona 3

    Give and take 📓

    To buy quality foods and to try new things
    • Quality, even at a higher price
    • Samples
    Pain Points
    Large industrial stores are too stimulating

    Key research questions answered

    How do users shop for produce?
    🗓️ Some take their time with it in-stores, some just want to make it quick. Despite the difference in how we shop, one thing is consistent: We all make a list, and go to the place that would fulfill the list best.
    Why do users shop where they shop?
    🚀 It's simple! Users return to stores that are well organized and have good service.
    What would get users to shop somewhere new? or to purchase a new product?
    ℹ️ Users will likely try a new place if they advertise better prices. Users rarely buy new products they didn’t have the opportunity to try, so samples play a big role in purchasing new products.

    New store or new products alike, users are more likely to try something new if it is recommended by the people they trust (friends, family, media).
    Project Commitment
    For this project, I would like to explore ways that Nathan’s can empower their customers to find their list items as well as try new things. See how a responsive website can connect a local produce business to produce shoppers.

    Ideation & Definition

    Storyboarding how a user might come to use this website

    Looking for an outdoor activity for the weekend
    Educational activities can cost a lot
    New app helps users find a low cost weekend activity
    Finds new featured items and sales
    User adds these items to their shopping list
    At Nathan’s user enjoys trying samples, and finds all their list items
    Project Direction
    Now that we’ve uncovered that users have limited time and resources, we can frame our exploration:
    How might we aid existing customers in finding what they need, and to try new produce?
    & How might we encourage potential customers to shop at Nathan’s Farm?

    Priority Roadmap

    Connecting business problems with relevant user goals, to align our project goals

    1. Facilitate users 1. Help users find what they need when grocery planning
    2. Encourage users to try new foods discovering art at any time of day
    2. Facilitate users learning about the art at any time of day

    Feature Roadmap of features that would aid users in grocery planning, as well as make shoppers feel adventurous

    Each feature is organized and tagged from high priority to inessential based on its role in helping our users achieve their goal of a successful grocery haul. Prioritization nomenclature is as follows:
    1. Must-have
    2. Nice to have
    3. Surprising and delightful
    4. Can come later

    Project goals and priorities

    A sale item will be featured every week as deals are the single largest factor for grocery shoppers in choosing a store as well as creating their grocery list.
    Holiday hours will be highlighted as it is a common reason why people pick up the phone out of necessity.
    Ingredient profiles will be expanded as users need to know how to prepare certain produce before making the decision to purchase.

    Information Architecture

    User flow shows opportunities in featuring ‘Weekly Specials’, as well as ‘Seasonal Items’

    Below is a solution for a user making their grocery list at home, to their experience at the store. This shows what a user might look for each week, and how Nathan’s might be able to keep it fresh with their user every week.

    Interaction & UI Design

    Lo-fi Wireframes

    Encourage users to return regularly to the website & store
    Weekly updated Sales and recommendations
    Structure & Flow
    1. Open hours
    2. Weekly special
    3. Last chance in season
    Build trust for information on site
    Daily updated hours, call-out for holiday hoursContact options
    Structure & Flow
    1. Hours
    2. Location
    3. Contact
    4. FAQs
    Provide users with the tools to be confident in trying something new
    Ingredient profiles for weekly specials
    Structure & Flow
    1. Sale period, cost
    2. Sample hours
    3. Details: Taste, How to pick, Storage, Preparation
    4. Recipes

    Hi-fi Mockups

    Design pattern 1
    Utility navigation
    Purpose and function
    Connects users with the latest hours and location, relevant for a brick and mortar store
    Design pattern 2
    Product page
    Purpose and function
    Provide shoppers with details about a product in order to make a purchase decision or satisfy a need for ingredient-based support
    Design pattern 3
    Cards, Assist chips
    Purpose and function
    Display recipe content, Identify filterable content
    Design pattern 2
    Single-line Lists
    Purpose and function
    Continuous vertical indexes of seasonal items for easy scanning on-the-go and screenshotting
    Design pattern 3
    Descriptive, sticky dividers
    Purpose and function
    Helps separate between content, keeps label as user scrolls
    Design pattern 2
    Contact us page
    Purpose and function
    A myriad of ways for users to either get in contact or find the information they need from the website
    Note to self
    There are more user-friendly ways to display store hours. This was not an issue during user testing, but this edit should be included in future iterations.

    Testing & Iterations

    Usability tests with 4 participants who had searched for a doctor in the last year

    Goal of test
    To assess how our hero feature, the filter functions would help our users find a suitable doctor
    Participant details
    3 moderated tests with users who were interested in a better way to find healthcare providers
    3 unmoderated tests
    Test details
    Participants were asked to work through tasks related to the filter feature: to add filters, to save new filters, and search using a saved filter

    Results and key takeaways

    1. Overall, key features were easily discoverable and users found to be important for shopping preparation.
    2. Users expressed some information could be made more dynamic depending on the day, and that without actual photos, it’s hard to feel that this is a store they want to visit.

    This list of seasonal items is helpful. Especially in the winter when I’m not sure of what’s in season.”
    User comment on seasonal items list

    Persona Reflection

    Our Roth IRA contributor can be best represented by the ‘Low-effort, Target fund’ user.
    This user’s goal is to be consistent with saving; The results show that they are likely to be successful in consistently contributing and furthermore, reaching their goal within the contribution year.

    We will break down the elements that led to our users’ success in the next section.


    Usability analysis of feature 1


    Needs improvement ⚠️
    Updated recommendations to keep users engaged
    Research Insight
    Users note that store imagery is most important on this page
    Usability analysis of feature 2

    Weekly Special

    User success! ✅
    Detailed information on weekly specials to build confidence in trying something new
    Research Insight
    Users look forward to checking in weekly, and enjoy the detailed information on products
    Usability analysis of feature 3


    Needs improvement ⚠️
    Keep users informed about season-exclusive items
    Research Insight
    Users expect some imagery, not for each item, but some in-store section
    Usability analysis of feature 4

    Holiday Hours

    Needs improvement ⚠️
    Daily updated hours, call-out for holiday hours to build trust for information on site
    Research Insight
    During the holidays, users expect to find this on the front page

    Priority Revisions

    Design update
    Imagery for in-season items → List format that is easy to scan as well as screenshot
    Research Insight
    Users wanted to see more photos of the store, while we plan for a shoot, we wanted to test how a list format might work for this purpose.

    Home page hero image will then be updated with a carousel of store front and the inside.

    Try the prototype

    BackgroundThe SolutionPrimary ResearchIdeation & DefinitionPriority RoadmapInformation ArchitectureInteraction & UI designTesting & Iterations