Exploration on how physical and digital user experiences can be merged to improve the shoppoing experience of customers within local communities

The project is aimed to explore how could we design a system to hance a user experience. After research and discussion, we decided to focus on local small business to explore how could we improve the users experience of the customers in local communities and help with the small business owners attact new customers.


Chenyu Wang, Justin Finkenaur, Zainab Aliyu

Choose an Exploration Direction

Given the project, we considered about lots of different directions that we could explore. We though about museums, restaurants, airports, schools and places need help when disasters happen. We deciede to choose local small business after different considerations, such as access to have a deep learning about the area and richness of the problems. We believe that through study on local small business, we will have the opprotunity to design movel solutions to make a difference.

Research to understand people and context

Contextual Interviews - Visit Local Businesses

We started from Lawrenceville, a local business area. We conducted contextual interviews with different business owners in the community to learn about how do they attract customers, conduct events, and promote sales. Great conversations were conducted with lots of insights:
• Small businesses want to target a variety of customers without being exclusive towards a particular demographic.
• Small businesses want to facilitate collaboration between neighboring stores and small businesses.
• Small businesses want to increase customer engagement through some creative and engaging ways.

Card Sorting Activites

We used different research tools to help with understand the needs and wants from both local business owners and customers. Card sorting was conducted with customers to ask about what are the factors that influence thwir decision to explore a neighborhood; what factors influence their decision to enter a particular store; and what factors influence their purchasing decisions.
We found out that the key factors influence people's willingness to a certain nrighborhood are convenience, accessibility, curiosity, certain "targeting" stores; factors influence whether entering a store are store window display, the merchandise, sales info and curiosity; key factors influencing purchasing decisions are price, budget and interaction with the product.

Shop Front Collage

After collected the different factors, we prepared another research tool to learn about how people feel about the store displays(on-street display, window dispaly, and in-store displays) and what are important to them.

Synthesising Information

Affinity Diagram

To understand more about the different factors, we put them into an affinity diagram to have a better understanding.

User Journet Map

By conducting the research, we also mapped out the user journey to identify where are the areas that we can find a product opportunity to help with enhance the user experience.

Concept Map

After conducting different research activities, it is identified that the store displays in different formats(on-street, window, in-store) are very important which has direct relationship with the factors identified to influence people's decision making process.


Personas are generated. One for business owners and two for potential customers with different styles.

Generating Concepts

Based on the research results, we started to generat concepts. Different ideas are generated surrounding the insights and design principles.

We found that the kiosk would be the key part of our design which can be used to increase the small business collabrations in a community and to address on the painpoints of different users. To make better use of place and to better fit into the local environment, we also imaged that the kiosk could be used to replace the parking meters.
We began to design our final concept, which is a system including the kiosk, the mobile application and store displays.

Story Boarding

Final Concept - Waypoint

A system consisting of a kiosk, mobile application, scannable window display adhesives, and scannable table top stands. It is designed to:
• Improves the customer experience when shopping locally
• Helps local businesses increase customer engagement
• Improve how local businesses display their productsIncrease foot traffic
• Provide a unique alternative to advertising and marketing

With Waypoint, users can engage in a more connected neighborhood experience, and receive greater transparency when it comes to exploring locally. By making meaningful connections with local establishments, you are helping to revitalize your neighborhood to become more interconnected.