Building Community
with Responsive E-commerce

West Phillie Produce

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West Phillie Produce (WPP) is a West Philadelphia grocery store offering access to fresh and healthy foods in an urban food desert. Their goal is to use the business as a community hub and economic source to fund their community work by branching into the e-commerce sphere.

What I Did

  • Designed a custom e-commerce experience tailored to their target user
  • Explored bringing community work into the e-commerce process
West Phillie Produce
Responsive e-commerce
Research, Strategy, Wireframing, Prototyping, Testing, Visual Design



original west phillie produce website
There were several challenges to consider at the start of this project. On the business side, WPP had no existing e-commerce platform so there was no current way for them to be reaching or connecting with their target user.
proto persona
On the user side, our target user valued quality products and experiences over price and convenience. This means they need to be able to take their time shopping, compare products, read and write reviews and are more comfortable with what is familiar when it comes to e-commerce experiences and brands.
To solve both the business and user goals unique problems, I focused on three important questions to guide my research and solutions:


Any solutions first needed to be informed by identifying key features most valuable to our user and then structure the information architecture, navigation, and content around those same solutions.
C&C Analysis
I started by identifying 3 of WPP’s top competitors and performed a feature inventory, element inventory, and task analysis of the product discovery and check-out process.
feature inventory
Key Findings:
  • Only one offered limited comparison abilities
  • 100% required an account to shop & check-out (which was a lengthy process)
  • 100% offered more than produce
  • 2 out of 3 mentioned their partners and brands they worked with prominently
how apple & amazon let users compare
With information on what our competitors were doing well and what could be improved upon, I next sought out best-of-class Comparative companies offering similar experiences and features in different industries
Information Architecture
Userflows of the e-commerce experience were developed for quick adding items, comparing items, and the check-out process to maximize the find-ability of key features.
The sitemap was created after card sorting to ensure site content was organized, accessible, and where users expected to find it.


Armed with my research and IA, I began ideating on tangible solutions with sketches for both desktop and mobile, focusing on the homepage (where we would have the opportunity to turn site visitors into conversion rates) and product page (where our comparative shopper would be spending most of their time).
Wireframes & Prototypes
User needs for familiarity, reputation (with review reading and writing), and comparison needed to be built into the UI for a seamless experience optimized for comparison shopping.
The comparison feature was also considered on both a micro and macro level. Users could decide how deep of a comparison they wanted for multiple products.
While most of these features carried over into mobile format, the comparison feature needed a specific solution for mobile viewing.
There was also an opportunity to consider our greater WPP business goal here and highlight ways to bring the community mission into the e-commerce experience.


Usability Testing
Delightfully Not Visible
  • The most interesting insight from testing was that while all three of the users found the overlay comparison feature “delightful” ⅔ of them could not find it immediately
  • When asked if there was anything that would have highlighted the “Compare Similar Items” section more, all said it was because they had to scroll to see it, it was below the fold
  • I wanted to iterate on solutions that would bring that info above the fold and be visible to viewers without scroll


The biggest inspiration for my visual design was W.E.B. Dubois' Data Portraits which debuted at the Paris World Fair in 1900 and were recently published by the Princeton Architectural Press.

The powerful portraits were the first representation of the promise and creative possibilities of Black art and science, and the very real economic "color line" of our nation's history. Their stunning geometric shapes and colors were decades ahead of their time and the perfect conduit to represent the building blocks of the community mission and economic vision of West Phillie Produce while celebrating Black founders and history.