Fresh City Market Experience Design

Modern urban grocery markets are usually located at the center of a populated neighborhood and have the advantage of being convenient to shoppers around it. However, frustrations may still occur to shoppers because of its small selection of products and its limited ability to restock certain items promptly. Shoppers are usually left confused and spend extra time to find items that may not be even carried by the store. Oftentimes, they end up buying things they did not intend to buy initially, causing the shopper to waste their time and money. The goal of this project is to design the shopping experience based on these potential problems.

Time | 10,2017   3 weeks                                              

My Role |  User research, user interface design, usability testing

The Background and Design Process


Fresh City Market is a grocery store located on the Purdue campus, mainly providing fresh vegetables and fruits. Most customers are students at Purdue University.

The store usually restocks on  Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.



The Research

We conducted interviews in order to investigate and understand people’s frustrations of shopping at the Fresh City market  (click to see interview protocol).  Five (n=5) interviewees participated in our interview sessions including 4 males and 1 female.

We did an observation of shoppers’ shopping behaviors at the Fresh City Market on a weekday afternoon. We observed the shopping behaviors of 5 different shoppers. We adopted the “fly-on-the-wall” methods and recorded their shopping routes, time spent in store, and types of purchased items. In addition to observing shoppers’ shopping behaviors, we also paid attention to the how items are laid out in the store as well as the how fresh their produce actually is. 

Data Analysis


The results from the interviews and observations were wrote on the sticker notes. The post-it notes were then categorized into the following groups:

1) Shopping Frequency 

2) Time Spent on Each Trip

3) Good/Bad Experiences 

4) Stocking Issues

5) Problems Encountered in Shopping

5) Information Cared by Customers when Shopping

6) Desired & Previously Purchased Items

7) Budge & Shop List

  • Shoppers were mostly quick at shopping, spending an average of 10 minutes in the market.

  •  Fresh fruits/vegetables, deli, and non-perishable food are the most popular items shopped at the market.

  • However, People do complain about the fact fresh fruits/vegetable always sell fast and can usually go out-of-stock.

  • Out of stock frequently

  • Limited variety of goods cause limited options 

  • Less shopping assistants in store

  • Great location

  • Nice and comfort environment

  • The cashiers are nice & friendly

  • Fresh juice provided everyday

Findings of the store

Findings of the shoppers 



User Modeling


Problem Statement

It happens often that people cannot find what they exactly want due to the limited amount and variety of goods.



Four potential solutions:

  1. Products generated by popular recipe will be provided on the top of the shelf for more choice when people cannot get what they originally want

  2. App version of recipe idea

  3. Check availability information of the product in advance in the app, scan to get coupons if the customer has already arrived at the store and the product was sold out.

  4. Checking the product information easily by adding the items to the regular list, also, people can vote for the desired product that is not currently in the store.

Afer the discussion, we kept the solution 3 and 4 for the reason that 1 and 2 did not directly solve the problem.








Home page
Voting page
Scan coupon page