My Role
UX/UI Design
UX Research
Information Architcture
Oct 2020 - Dec 2020
Project Info
Group Project
Team of 4
Tools Used


The Problem

Our task was to create an information resource to solve a real problem faced by a group of people who are typically under-served by information technology. We researched issues related to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and the following statewide shutdowns. We discovered many Asian small restaurants in our own Chinatown-International District were forced to close due to lack of customers, misinformation, and thus poor business, destroying many communal livelihoods and economies. If this problem could be remedied, employment would rise, and local Asian eateries, which encapsulate the rich culture and history of Seattle, could be saved. ​​

Our Solution

Our app Locally provides an interactive platform that allows small restaurant owners in the International District to extend themselves online to customers in an informative, user-friendly manner, through cuisine recommendations, promotions, and customer engagement functions.


  • Restaurants in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District have reported business drops from 40% to 90% due to the pandemic (Seattle Times, 2020)​
  • The 140 restaurants in Seattle's Chinatown-International District have been suffering significant losses in revenue since the confirmation of Covid-19 in Washington State (SCIPdpa, 2020).
  • Chinatown-ID restaurant owners were forced to dramatically cut hours for servers and kitchen staff due to their 40-60 % decrease in revenues (Kuang, 2020)
  • Revival of tropes about Asian cuisine being dirty spread immensely due to media and political information distortion and sensationalization (PBS, 2020)


Empathize, Define
Understanding the space
Defining project goal
Project timeline
Competitive Analysis
User Interview
User Personas
Design, Prototype
Solution Framing
Interactive Prototype
Project Reflection
OverviewResearchDesignFinal DesignReflection


Research Methods Used

Competitive Analysis
User Interviews


We looked at information-driven solutions that currently exist on the market. Limitations with these current platforms included over-complexity, lack of information, information overload, irrelevant functionalities, and non-inclusive design or ethics.

Outcome: We concluded that there is no technology that necessarily provides a platform that promotes information inclusivity, simplicity, and interactivity for small-scale restaurants specifically.
U.S. Small Business
Administration Relief Platform
Puget Sound Small Business Interactive Map
Zomato Cuisine Directory

01 - Difficult Discoverability

Current restaurant directory platform hierarchy systems make small, independent restaurants more challenging to discover for users. Smaller establishments are often discovered via word of mouth or by chance.

02 - Difficult information navigation

Lack of streamlined, relevant restaurant information on current restaurant information platforms creates a time-consuming hassle for users

03 - Shared information interests

Interviewees valued cuisine imagery, display of exclusively relevant, simple information, and basic search flexibility when researching restaurants.

04 - Safety Concerns

Interviewees valued cuisine imagery, display of exclusively relevant, simple information, and basic search flexibility when researching restaurants.

05 - Ubiquity of mobile phone

Subjects often rely on their phone for entire restaurant research process - searching directory platforms, menu inquires, comparing pricing, etc.

Design Implication: The solution should be mobile-based and easily accessible.

Generated Themes

User Interviews

Goal:  To gain insight into the pandemic consumer perspective as well as user tendencies, ideas, and values when searching for a restaurant. Direct interviews were appropriate as we wanted to gain a more detailed and personal insight. We interviewed university students in the Seattle area to do so.

Outcome: Our interviews revealed a pattern of common preferences in interaction habits and search concerns as well as current solution pain points.


Goal: To gain insight into the impacts of the pandemic on small restaurants in the International District based upon stakeholder responses to a variety of multiple choice and free response questions.

Outcome: Dramatically reduced visitation rates to the International District was expressed during the pandemic compared to before the spread of the virus. The drastic change in visitation highlights the loss of business for small restaurants in the international district — huge losses of income due to the lack of visiting people in the international district.

User Personas

Outcome: Using data from our research, interviews, and survey, we were able to create distinct user personas involved in this issue and identify their needs, goals, and pain points. These personas ensured our solution would remain user-centered.

The Bottom Line

Many people have a set of criteria and goals when considering a charitable donation, but are faced with a narrow scope of organizations, personal misgivings, and difficulties throughout the entire donation experience.


Solution Framing

Intuitive + Flexible
stakeholders should not be discouraged from using this platform due to function overcomplexity
platform should be able to provide an informative experience while remaining relevant and intentional with content.
due to the intended social impact, solution must encourage patronage within the International District by providing a meaningful, encouraging experience for users.
Design Challenge
How might create a platform to connect small restaurants in the International District to customers & address their pandemic-related issues?


Primary Features
Recommendation List
Weekly-updated restaurant recommendation list with images, based upon user data to promote small-restaurant discoverability and visual appeal.
Flexible Search Bar
Flexible search feature allows users to search charity names, areas of focus, and locations via direct search or filters, creating a more streamlined and relevant search.
Ongoing Promotion List
Weekly-update restaurant cuisine deal/promotion list to encourage customers to dine at these small restraunts.
Secondary Features
Positive Rating System
A thumbs-up rating system allows restaurant patrons to leave exclusively positive feedback for a location to promote restaurant attraction and visitation.
Recommended Dishes
Each restaurant page would list recommended dishes based upon public reviews or restaurant insight to increase the ease and quality of a user's ordering experience. Images placed alongside dishes to properly inform users on Asian cuisine.
Restaurant filter
Once a user enters the search bar, they can narrow down their search to certain features and amenities (hours, pricing, etc), thus creating a more relevant, interactive search.
Map Location
Feature informs the user of a restaurant address and location on a map to promote restaurant discoverability.  

Information Architecture


Initial Wireframes (Low-Fidelity)



Filter Search

Restaurant Page

Cuisine Search Results

Restaurant Form

User Profile

Promotion Input

Visual Language Decisions

  • Our primary typeface was Roboto due to its simplistic, minimal appearance and ubiquitous usage across industry. Varying widths of Roboto created an information hierarchy that allowed for easy information traversal.
  • A combination of greys was used to improve readability and provide neutrality.
  • Color was used in specific areas to highlight information, provide contrast, or draw attention (e.g. CTA).
  • Pink and turquoise are lighter colors that evoke a sense of safety and calmness, and contrast the fiery red nicely.
  • Red's ubiquity across the food industry and overall vibrancy draw in users' attention and connects to our focus being on recognizing small restaurants.
      Roboto Bold
      Roboto Normal
      Roboto Light
      Rum Raisin Normal

      Final Design

      After iterating on my low-fidelity frames, I designed a high-fidelity interactive prototype in Figma.

      Home Interface

      The first screen shows the user the recommended restaurants and locations with ongoing promotions. The app would update these choices weekly according to user data and promotion run times.

      Search Flow

      Users are able to search for a specific cuisine or restaurant. They are able to sort or filter their search with specific information. The restaurant information interface contains relevant, specific details regarding the establishment. The thumbs-up review feature allows users to express their appreciation of a location while simultaneously acting as a non-detrimental review system. All these features help easily and informatively connect the user to a restaurant.

      Organization Interface

      A user is able to adjust their personal account and restaurant information (if applicable) through these screens. Our research revealed many small restaurants are learned about through word of mouth or from exploration. Hence, the feature for users to input a restaurant, once authenticated, is an effective business promotion strategy.

      Restaurant Profile

      A restaurant owner is able to adjust their personal account and restaurant information through these screens. From our research, price is often a deciding factor in restaurant selection. The ability to input a promotion will incentivize customers to visit a location.


      This project greatly helped me understand the design process and the importance of information inclusivity for marginalized communities. As the main design lead for our team, I worked alongside each member throughout the entirety of the design process in order to meet our objectives accordingly.

      This experience working as a group proved how vital effective communication and overall flexibility are in order to create a productive, cohesive team. When faced with challenges or clashing ideas, we conducted team meetings, where we made our best efforts to compromise and create a solution that encapsulates each member's perspective. Being able to quickly adjust our project goals to meet the needs and values of our stakeholders proved to be vital as well. While each of us had differing main roles, we made sure to discuss any potential ideas or decisions as a unit, which allowed us to meet our project deadlines successfully.

      Above all else, I realized how understanding the pain points and needs of the user allows one to design a solution that can be truly impactful. Frequently checking that our solution was meeting the needs of our target community remained our greatest priority throughout this entire product journey. Conducting research and translating it to inclusive, effective design was something I found edifying. Creating an information solution for a struggling community within Seattle was an amazing experience to be a part of.
      ECD Maturity Tool

      Thanks for stopping by, feel free to explore my other projects!