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Scotty's Market


A Reimagined Retail Experience


UI Designer
Visual Designer


User Research
Product thinking
Interaction design 
Visual design 




11/2023 - 12/2023


Scotty's Market, situated near Carnegie Mellon University, serves as a popular destination for students and faculty. The market boasts a wide range of products and a lively atmosphere. However, challenges in store navigation and overall shopping experience were prominent. My task involved designing solutions to enhance store usability and promote Scotty's commitment to sustainability and diversity, and most importantly, improved the overall visual communication of the product.


1. Interactive Dashboard Design

The features below are designed to improve the customer experience of searching and exploring items.

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Locate Items Feature: Enables users to search and locate products, improving in-store navigation.

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Build Your Own Meal:

Offers recipe suggestions based on scanned items or dietary preferences, with ingredient locations and QR codes for easy recipe saving.

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Dish of the Day:

Showcases a daily special with recipe details, ingredient locations, and QR code functionality.

Build Your Meal.png

Scotty's World:

An experimental feature that allows users to explore future sustainability initiatives of Scotty's Market.

2. Informative Brochures

Designed to educate customers about product origins, emphasizing Scotty's support for local businesses.

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3. Eco-Friendly Tote Bags

Created to foster community spirit, promote sustainability, and support Scotty's diversity message.


4. Wayfinding System

Redesigned to clarify store layout, making item searching and food ordering more intuitive while reinforcing sustainability and diversity messages.

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5. Scotty's World (3D Digital Twin)

Designed as an experimental feature, leveraging asset management for store owners, and improving item searching in the immersive space.


Project Scoping

The initial challenge in this project was to ensure comprehensive coverage of Scotty's Market's needs within a tight timeframe. To achieve this, extensive collaboration and communication with key stakeholders, including the store manager, staff, and suppliers, were crucial.

Collaborative Insights

Successfully collaborated with the store manager, staff, and suppliers to gather essential operational insights for design accuracy.

Time Management

Managed to complete the design, usability testing, and iterations of all deliverables within a tight three-week deadline.

Stakeholder Engagement

Continuous engagement with stakeholders provided critical feedback, shaping the project's direction.

Rapid Prototyping

Implemented an iterative design process with rapid prototyping to quickly refine ideas based on stakeholder input.

Feedback Adaptation

Adapted designs swiftly in response to real-time feedback from different user groups, ensuring relevance and effectiveness.

Focused Decision-Making

Learned to make decisive design choices under time constraints, prioritizing core functionalities and clear communication.


Navigational Challenges

How can we simplify the process for customers to find products efficiently within Scotty's Market?

Information Accessibility

What solutions can we implement to provide customers with more detailed information about products, particularly their origins and production methods?

Message Amplification

How can we more effectively communicate and amplify Scotty's commitment to diversity and support for local businesses?

Digital Engagement

In what ways can we integrate modern digital tools to enhance the overall shopping experience at Scotty's Market?


Customer Feedback

Common feedback from customers indicated confusion in navigating the store and a desire for more information about the products and their origins.

Staff Observations

Staff members reported difficulties in assisting customers efficiently, especially during peak hours, due to the lack of a streamlined wayfinding system.

Market Trends

There was a growing trend in retail for stores to offer more digital and interactive shopping experiences, something Scotty's Market was lacking.

Sustainability Focus

An increasing emphasis on eco-friendly practices in retail presented an opportunity for Scotty's Market to align its operations with sustainable and socially responsible values.


Enhance Customer Experience

To make the shopping process at Scotty's Market more intuitive and informative, ensuring customers can easily find products and understand their origins.

Promote Sustainability

Integrate eco-friendly practices into the market’s operations, such as using sustainable materials for tote bags and highlighting local and sustainable products in brochures and the digital dashboard.

Streamline Store Navigation

Develop a user-friendly wayfinding system that simplifies in-store navigation, reducing customer frustration and enhancing overall efficiency.

Adapt to Modern Retail Trends

Implement a digital dashboard that aligns with current retail trends, offering features like 'Build Your Own Meal' and 'Dish of the Day' to engage customers in a more interactive and diverse shopping experience.


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Initiated the project with a comprehensive benchmarking phase, analyzing existing solutions and best practices in the retail industry. This step provided a clear understanding of the market standards and innovative trends in store design and customer experience.

AEIOU Field Research

onducted in-depth AEIOU (Activities, Environments, Interactions, Objects, and Users) field research. This methodical approach allowed us to gather holistic insights into the store's operations, customer behaviors, and the interaction dynamics within the retail space.


Stakeholder Interviews

Engaged in extensive interviews with various stakeholders, including store managers, employees, suppliers, and customers from diverse backgrounds. These conversations were crucial in understanding different perspectives and needs within the store environment.


Importance-Effort Mapping

Following the interviews, we plotted our findings on an importance-effort graph. This visual tool helped us prioritize features and initiatives based on their impact and feasibility, guiding our decision-making process in choosing the most effective deliverables.

Journey Mapping & Information Architecture

Developed the information architecture for the dashboard and began wireframing. This stage involved structuring the content and layout in a user-friendly manner, setting the foundation for the subsequent UI design.

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Deliverable Selection

Based on our research and mapping, we came up with some possible key deliverables: the interactive dashboard, informative brochures, eco-friendly tote bags, and an intuitive wayfinding system.


Ineffective Branding

  • Scotty's Market's commitment to community building, diversity, and supporting local businesses is not prominently highlighted or effectively communicated to customers.

  • There is a missed opportunity in leveraging branding to showcase Scotty's unique values and mission, which could resonate well with the customer base.

Confusing Navigations

  • The current navigation and signage system in Scotty’s Market is unclear and inconsistent, leading to customer frustration and inefficiency.

  • Customers frequently require assistance from staff to locate items, indicating a significant gap in the store's wayfinding strategy.

  • This confusion in navigation detracts from the overall shopping experience and can impact customer satisfaction and retention.

Unorganized Customer Experience

  • The shopping experience at Scotty’s Market is not tailored to meet the needs of its primary demographic, busy college students.

  • There is a lack of streamlined, quick, and easy shopping solutions that align with the fast-paced lifestyle and preferences of students.

  • Improvements in store layout, information availability, and digital integration could significantly enhance the shopping experience for this target audience.


Information Architechture

The information architecture of Scotty's Market is meticulously crafted to streamline the user journey, focusing on high-impact features that require minimal effort to implement. By mapping these features, we ensure a seamless flow, enabling easy navigation and interaction while anticipating and eliminating any user experience breakpoints.



The wireframes for Scotty's Market serve as a blueprint to validate the user flow, enabling us to identify and address potential breakpoints in the customer journey. Through these visual guides, we ensure that navigation is logical, features like item location and meal customization are intuitive, and the overall user experience is seamless.




The palette is anchored by 'Scotty Red', a warm hue symbolizing the flavorful offerings of Salem's brand foods. 'Scotty Yellow' radiates the diversity and inclusivity of the CMU student body, while 'Scotty Green' represents the market's commitment to supporting local businesses, weaving the narrative of community and sustainability into the visual identity.


For digital interfaces, 'Open Sans' is the chosen font for its readability and modern feel, ensuring clarity and ease of use within the digital dashboard. In contrast, 'Barlow' is used for physical deliverables, offering a subtle differentiation that complements the tangible aspects of the brand's materials without compromising on legibility or design integrity.


A light and minimal illustration style is adopted to maintain a clean and approachable look that aligns with the brand's friendly and open ethos. The illustrations are designed to be engaging yet not overpowering, ensuring they enhance the user experience without detracting from the functionality of the information being presented.


UI Dashboard

The final UI design for Scotty's Market crystallizes a streamlined user experience with a focus on key features like 'Build Your Own Meal', 'Locate Item', 'Dish of the Day', and 'Scotty's World'. It's crafted to confirm the efficiency of the user flow, mitigate breakpoints, and provide a visually appealing and intuitive interface that simplifies navigation and enhances user interaction.

Tote Bags

The tote bags for Scotty's Market boast a design that is thoughtfully aligned with the illustration style of the dashboard UI, ensuring brand consistency. They feature eco-conscious materials adorned with graphics that echo the dashboard's visual language, reinforcing the market's dedication to sustainability and community values. This cohesive design approach extends the user experience from digital to physical, seamlessly blending utility with Scotty's distinctive identity.



The brochures for Scotty's Market, themed in 'Scotty Red', 'Scotty Yellow', and 'Scotty Green', concisely embody the market's missions. The 'Scotty Red' brochure focuses on Salem's brand, highlighting flavorful offerings and brand story. 'Scotty Yellow' emphasizes cultural diversity and international products, inviting exploration of global cuisines. 'Scotty Green' is dedicated to promoting local businesses, showcasing community stories and locally-sourced products. Together, these brochures offer a cohesive narrative of Scotty's commitment to quality, diversity, and community support. And here's more: once you collect all the brochure and put them into the brochure paper bag, it creates a grocery shopping experience for the stories and knowledge you learn!

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The final design of the wayfinding system at Scotty's Market features color-coded trails to enhance navigation and reflect the market's ethos. 'Scotty Red' marks Salem's Trail, leading customers to the food counter, 'Scotty Yellow' forms the Diversity Trail, guiding exploration of international products and dishes, and 'Scotty Green' highlights the Local Trail, emphasizing locally-sourced products. This intuitive and vibrant wayfinding design simplifies navigation while celebrating Salem's brand, cultural diversity, and local community support in a cohesive visual narrative.

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Scotty's World (3D Digital Twin)

Scotty's World is an experimental feature of the dashboard for now, and will be applied to other store management scenarios, such as way finding, item searching, marketing campaign, and asset management. The store model was built with Unity and free 3D assets on Sketchfab, aligned with the space design of the real Scotty's Market, and have been added some elements (like cows and trees) to communicate the local message of Scotty's mission.


Testing Process

1. Prototype Walkthrough:

Participants were first introduced to the prototype, guiding them through each feature - 'Locate Items', 'Build Your Own Meal', 'Dish of the Day', and 'Scotty’s World'.
2. Task-Based Testing:

Students were given specific tasks to complete using the prototype, such as locating an item or creating a meal, to observe their interaction with the system in real-time.
3. One-on-One Interview:

We conducted a detailed interview with Chris, a regular Scotty's visitor living in the CMU dorms. His frequent visits provided valuable insights into the daily user experience.
4. Feedback Collection:

Participants shared their thoughts and suggestions on each feature, focusing on usability, understanding, and relevance.


Gained Insights

  • Clearer Labeling on Features: Chris pointed out some confusion around 'Scotty’s World', suggesting the need for clearer labeling or introductory information to help users understand each feature's purpose and usage.

  • Enhanced 'Locate Items' Feature: Chris appreciated 'Locate Items' but recommended adding explicitly numbered aisles and a more defined store layout for better navigation.

  • Diversity in Dietary Options: Highlighting the absence of Halal options in meal-related features, Chris underscored the importance of including diverse dietary preferences to cater to a broader customer base.

  • User Interface for 'Scotty’s World': Suggestions were made to make 'Scotty’s World' more intuitive, such as adding labels or icons for different sections and integrating a 3D clickable store map.

  • Dynamic Elements in Dish of the Day: Implementing dynamic displays like a carousel for the 'Dish of the Day' was advised to enhance visual appeal and encourage exploration of various meal options.


Design Iteration

Post usability testing and interviews, we iteratively refined Scotty's Market digital platform. Key adjustments included clearer labeling and introductory information for features, especially 'Scotty’s World', to enhance user understanding. The 'Locate Items' feature was improved with explicitly numbered aisles and an updated store map for better navigation. We expanded dietary options in 'Build Your Own Meal' and 'Dish of the Day' to include diverse preferences like Halal. Additionally, the user interface of 'Scotty’s World' was made more intuitive with added labels and icons, and dynamic elements like a carousel were incorporated into 'Dish of the Day' for greater engagement and visual appeal. These iterations were aimed at creating a more user-friendly, informative, and inclusive experience.


The below video will guide you through a real user scenario of our redesigned Scotty's Market shopping experience, including all the deliverables - the dashboard, the wayfindings, the tote bags, and the brochures.


Collaboration Hurdles

Establishing consistent communication with Scotty’s Market collaborators presented a significant challenge, requiring diligent effort to align goals, expectations, and feedback, which was crucial for the project's success.

New Venture, New Innovations

Working with the fledgling Scotty’s Market was exhilarating, as its newness brought several opportunities for change and improvement, making the project dynamic and constantly evolving.

The Local Retail Experience

This project was immensely educational, offering profound insights into the retail environment and invaluable experience in service design, enhancing my understanding of customer needs and market dynamics.

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