Designing a mobile application for an agile startup.

The Challenge:

To create an iOS application while accommodating a limited budget and timeframe. (Some elements of this project have not yet been added to the case study).

Goals and Objectives:

• Research the target audience and industry.

• Design an iOS application.

• Develop a consistent brand.



Carrots was founded in 2020 as a solution for food waste and CO2 emissions generated from the global food distribution network. These problems are tackled by providing a market place for consumers to purchase local goods and have them delivered to their door.


UX Design, User Research, Interaction Design, UI Design, Prototyping, Graphic Design, Usability Testing


Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Sketch, Adobe XD, Adobe Photoshop, Maze, Google Forms, Word, PowerPoint, Well Seasoned Coffee Mug


3 weeks | 120 hours.

01. Empathize

To be able to create an appealing brand, website and iOS applications we had to first understand and identify the goals, needs, motivations, and frustrations those customers feel towards household food acquisition.


Research Plan.

We began by creating a research plan that would help keep me organized and on track for such a quick research phase. Our goals were to conduct one-on-one interviews, as a survey for current food shopping habits with a focus on food delivery apps. By performing interviews of current shopping habits, we could find insights and patterns on users’ decision making process to enhance the digital experience as well as identify pain points.

• Research Types: 1–1 Interviews, Contextual Inquiry
Total Participants: 5 Total ( 5 Women)
Age Groups: 26–65 year olds (Mixture of Millennials and Boomers)

Through the research, we were able to identify some needs, pain points, and motivations of these shoppers that were really helpful.

Interviews & Survey.

We created and conducted a survey using Google Forms to better understand the users needs and to gather information about user’s likes and dislikes when acquiring food for the household, and the likelihood of using a service such as Carrots.

We were able to collect results from 11 total participants. The target audience were primarily educated women who were in charge of household food acquisition, and aged between 27 and 65.

The key findings of the surveys were:

  • Average audience household has 2 or more members.
  • Majority of audience actively gardens at home.
  • Majority of audience has the time to prepare their own meals.
  • Majority of audience has expressed concern over food safety.
  • Majority of audience has expressed a preference for healthy choices.
  • Finally, nearly every respondent expressed concern for how environmentally friendly their food is.

Persona Development.

Based on what we uncovered during research, we synthesized the findings and created a realistic representation of the 2 key audiences in the form of personas. The personas range from customers who have (list details from posted personas).


02. Define

Project Strategy.

After developing an understanding of who the audience is, it was time to look towards the market and the product. We did a detailed competitor analysis wherein we learned how the already existing companies have approached this industry. With this high level view we were able to determine the ideal feature set for the application MVP (minimum viable product) as well as some additional features to implement post beta launch.

03. Ideate

Application IA Map.

It was time now to think of how users might navigate the app as both a Shopper and a Farmer in order to make purchases and manage product listings. It was important to keep the information architecture as simple and concise as possible since most of the users would use this regularly to participate in the marketplace and communicate with Carrots. This was accomplished by placing most app settings under the profile screen, thus simplifying the most commonly used flows.


Interaction Design.

Before we started sketching and building out wireframes, we wanted to figure out what the user flows would look like for customers trying to accomplish specific tasks. The two tasks chosen would highlight the main feature functions that the app would provide for the user.

  • Search for and purchase products.
  • List products and register as a farmer.


The next step following the creation of the user flow maps was to start sketching wireframes. Before we made my digital wireframes, we drew up quick sketches showing some of the key screens that we would need to build out when creating the app.

Low Fidelity Wireframes

We started to create the initial wireframes illustrating how the app might look like post log-in. Creating wireframes first helped me visualize our ideas as well as give us the basic structure for how users would use the app for reviewing quotes and managing booked trips. When creating these wireframes, we made sure to keep the user needs from our persona, empathy map and research in mind.

04. Usability & Testing

Usability Testing & Finding.

• A total of 7 participants completed this usability test.

3 out of 7 tests were conducted via Zoom interviews.

4 out of 7 were conducted via maze.

• Participants using Zoom spoke out their actions and thinking while completing the tasks given to them while we observed making sure we could assist at any point if needed.

• Participants were also asked to use the app freely via Maze and provide any feedback or recommendations. The unmoderated participants were asked to complete 3 tasks and provide feedback on their experience, what they thought of the interface, and how they would rate the ease of using the app prototype 1(Difficult)– 10(Effortless).

Key Findings.

Although many small signifier and affordance changes were identified and implemented, some key functionality was identified and integrated.

  • Participants expressed some confusion with the Calendar functionality and desired a simplified interface.
  • The users felt they would like to be able to leave a tip for the driver during the checkout process.
  • Users expressed the desire to be able to filter search results between foods and farmers.

05. Brand

Fleshing out the brand identity.

Now that we had completed the user research and wireframing, it was time to add some flesh to the bones of our applications, dashboard and website. We began this phase of the project by returning to my personas and asking myself what would resonate most clearly with our audience.

we wanted to present a sense of refinement while also making the brand relatable and memorable. We decided to carry the minimalist elements of the wireframes through into the general branding while using consistent colors and imagery to provide a sense of cohesion.

Option 1
Option 2
Option 3


We had a general idea of where we wanted to go with this, but we also wanted to provide a range of options to the company. The ownership of the company is mixed male and female so it was interesting to have both genders providing their perspective for this project. The women tended to lean towards the more simplistic design (option 2), while the men leaned towards the more complex and bold designs (options 1 and 3). There was a consensus for the company to go with option 3. However, after consulting with some of the respondents to the interviews, we ultimately worked with the company to go with option 2, as this resonated more with the audience.

The key decision making factors were:

  • Predominantly female audience.
  • Respondents preferred simpler, more elegant design.

Typography, Colors & Imagery.

Having found firm ground with the logo and minimalist direction, we chose to use Sofia Pro as the font for the applications, website and admin dashboard. It has a clean, sophisticated and feminine essence while maintaining a superior legibility through a wide range of weights.

The chosen colors pay homage to the company's namesake while further softening the look and feel. We chose two primary colors, a muted earth tone green, balanced by an energetic and vibrant orange. Orange was chosen as the primary color due to its attention grabbing nature. These colors will be implemented throughout the various products with a continued aim towards minimalism.

With the colors defined, we licensed and curated a selection of photos for use throughout the company's products.

Mascot & Illustrations.

Due to the high education level of Carrots' target audience, we decided to implement a mascot for use in brand communications. Research indicates that among educated audiences brand mascots can assist in brand recognition and purchase decisions. Finally, we developed a range of illustrations for use throughout company products.


High Fidelity Wireframe.

After working on the UI Kit, we started to incorporate it into the wireframes we had created. We also starting adding a couple of new screens that would be used on a future prototype, one of those being the flow on how a farmer would create and list a product for sale inside the app.

06. Prototype

Using Adobe XD once again, we recreated the flow on the prototype so that users can easily scroll and navigate now with brand added.

Next Steps.

At this point the application is under development and a beta release is expected in 2021. The next step for the application will be to secure at least 100 beta testers and implement AB testing on key screens identified in the feedback from usability testing.

Additional Deliverables for Carrots

Customer Facing Website.

We were asked to create a customer facing marketing website to support the applications beta release. For this website, we curated a set of images and implemented the mascot as well as the branded illustrations.