Consumers have a lot of political power–not just at the voting booth, but in the checkout line. I designed a program to promote sustainable, carbon-efficient small businesses through community programs and increasing informed consumer purchase decisions. Deliverables include storefront identifiers, mobile review app, community workshop, promotional mailers, and customer survey boxes.



3 Weeks, Spring 2020


Sustainability fanatic 🌏

Design thinker 🏆

UX designer 🦾

Interviewer 👥



Key Findings

1. Small business owners may feel that they don’t have the money or resources to put into sustainability and energy efficiency practices.


2. Small business owners have limited time to invest in sustainability.


3. Owners of SMBs may not see the value in sustainability and energy efficiency.


4. Small businesses may be interested in increasing their sustainability and energy efficiency, but they may be unsure of how to begin. It can feel overwhelming and seem like there are many barriers to entry.




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Store-front Identifiers

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Design Questions

How might we help consumer make informed purchase decisions?

Design Solutions

  • Store-front identifiers 

  • Mobile Review App

How might we open communication between businesses and consumers?

  • Survey boxes

How might we help businesses make more sustainable decisions in their day to day operations?

  • Community workshops




Survey Boxes

The survey boxes are meant to minimize the barrier between customer and businesses. These often leave business owners worried and unaware if big sustainable transitions will negatively impact theIr business. The phrase “share your two cents” allows the customer to be a participant in the business decisions. Further, the box can serve as a donation jar for the business itself or a charity of choice. 


Mid-point Reflection

Understanding the why

Why buy local?

When you spend money at a local business, a significant amount returns to the local community. This income helps to foster economic growth and local development, benefitting everybody in your community. Big box stores cost local communities $12 million per year in sales.  Local businesses donate more per sales dollar to local non-profits, events and teams compared to national chains. Further, there is an extremely close correlation between big box corporation and low wages.

Why geared toward local sustainability?

Locally owned businesses make more local purchases requiring less transportation and set up shop in town or city which generally means less sprawl, congestion, habitat loss, and pollution.

Member Login

Members can save new found places, revisit history, and review places they love.


Category Selection

Users can choose their type of service and further choose a type of "genre" or subcategory within that service.


Service Discovery

Once the user selects the type of service they would like, the offerings within that category can be further categorized and displayed to show what type of sustainability level they maintain.

Business or Consumer Portal

By providing a portal for business owners within the app with premium analytics, a sense of incentive is attached. Business owners are able to gauge some of their biggest questions concerning their audience. The section will include: customer loyalty, satisfaction, frequency and overall value in their progress in sustainability.


Key Takeaways

What did I learn?

Involve the user in the process. Bring in the users for regular feedback sessions, but also create alongside with the users. If I could go back, I would have hosted a preliminary workshop with business owners to understand how they react to learning about sustainability and go past the initial point of becoming sustainable. How can we get them to *stay* sustainable? Also, what are some immediate benefits of supporting small?

Analog items such as the survey boxes can feel like an intrusion rather than a compliment to the current service offerings. An amazing benefit to digital design! I would love to add a twist to the survey boxes and maybe switch it toward a POS extension. It's easier on the customer and the business owner. Also, when testing some said they would be more inclined to paticipate if advertised the money was being donated.