UX Design


Design of an app to eliminate the risk of in store shopping in a post-covid world
Jan 2021


What is Brisk?

Brisk is a mobile shopping app intended to revive the in store shopping experience, by making it

  • safer
  • faster
  • easier

Brisk is the result of SMU's UX Bootcamp capstone project.

What was my role?

As one of 3 UX Designers, I contributed to all parts of the process, from end to end user research, to interface design, to usability testing.


In-store shopping is ripe for innovation

Customers are ready to return to an in-person shopping experience but feel unsafe doing so due to contact with others, touching surfaces, and long lines at check out.

Increase foot traffic → Increase revenue for businesses

How might we create a safer, more efficient in-person shopping experience?


Market Research

The team analyzed apps in the space to identify existing trends. Identifying these trends led to Brisk's ability to create product differentiations within the market

Takeaways from Market Research

  • Many businesses have their own apps, but no solid app that could be used in any store. Opportunity for a 3rd party provider
  • Still a need for an item locator to remove the need for in person employee help
  • Robust skip the Line capabilities, for both checkout and validating purchases are still missing


*Online survey conducted from 52 closest friends and family - data is obviously not representative and the team acknowledges its limitations

Interviews & Observation

I went to local grocery stores to observe how shoppers were shopping, and interviewed a few of them (8 total).

Shoppers are scared

  • Most shoppers wore masks, wiped down their carts, and maintained social distancing.
  • People were cautious, touching fewer things at checkout, using things such as Apple Pay or chip to avoid contact

Shoppers are in a rush

  • It was evident within the first hour of observation, shoppers were looking to get in and get out of the store. Many had lists and seemed to just be walking fast through the store.
  • Many families/groups would split up the tasks of getting items.
  • Additionally, though outside the realm of this project, its noteworthy that many shoppers use curb side pickup and or delivery services to receive their items


User Stories & Epics

Using the insights from the research, user epics and stories were created. This helped lay out all the tasks that users should be able to accomplish and what features would be necessary to do so.


Workflows were built from the epics and user stories, laying out the core sections and flow of the app. This served as a roadmap and single source of truth for the rest of the development process.


Epic #1 - Locate Items

Brisk leveraged Augmented Reality (AR) technology in its design to enhance in-store shopping navigation — Simply select an item from your shopping list while in store and begin your journey.

Customers are given the convenience of finding exactly what they want, which blends online and in-store shopping experiences and encourages them to return in the future.

Epic #2 - Scan Your Items

Customers can now utilize their mobile devices to scan and read items found in-store.

Once scanned—customers are provided product information (product name, price, etc.) and the ability to add to cart.

Epic #3 - Skip the Checkout Line

Once ready to checkout, customers are no longer required to wait in line. Simply utilize the checkout system within the app to complete a seamless mobile checkout transaction.

Pay with your phone—Skip the line

The Brisk Aesthetic

Using brands like Uber as inspiration, the team set out to establish a “beyond-simple” brand philosophy.

Brisk strove to create a modern yet simple user interface that allowed for stores of all sizes to feel comfortable implementing Brisk into their shopping ecosystem.

Considerations & Revisions

Aligned design patterns

To ensure the app looked cohesive and professional, a great deal of time was spent aligning design patterns across the app

Narrowed scope of app

Considering the time frame scope of the project and its goals, some executive decisions had to be made about what features should or shouldn't be developed further. Some of the features excluded from the current development phase:

  • In Store Shipping
  • Purchase Validation
  • Curbside Checkout
  • Social Features

Built prototype for app for testing

  • To effectively test the product, it was imperative to have a working prototype to give to the testers
  • The team focused on prototyping the key features that made up the 'meat' or core of the app


Moderated In Person Testing

The team conducted several usability tests with friends and families. The tests ranged from more specific A/B Tests to more general exploratory tests.

Below is a clip of how one of these tests went for me in my home.

Key Finding #1 - Improve Product Info

Key Finding #2 - Label Navigation

Key Finding #3 - Relocate Scan Feature


Business Model

Heavily inspired by Uber Eats

  • Businesses pay a fee to have their stores listed on Brisk
  • Customers pay a nominal tax on checkout

Focus is on being a 3rd party app, that is brand agnostic

  • Stores of all sizes and brands can be on Brisk

Product Market fit

  • Business and customers alike are searching for a robust way to shop in store – Brisk can fill that void

Next Steps

Conduct more thorough usability testing

Build out more key features

  • Curbside Pickup
  • In Store Shipping
  • Theft Prevention
  • Audio Dictation Search

Speak to store owners

Explore Investment Opportunities


Collaborating remotely is TOUGH

  • Managing schedules, holding team meetings, making important decisions became 3x harder due to COVID-19

UX principles and methods are different in practice

  • Throughout the bootcamp, my team and I were picking up so many tools and methodologies, and felt confident in our ability to apply them
  • However, when it came time to apply these learnings for Brisk, the team's inexperience showed in the difficulty of applying the tools to the project
  • Challenges such as: sticking to the process, conducting real objective research, aligning design patterns, building a WHOLE app, and much more
  • The team, though pleased with their effort, quickly saw how much more there is to learn when it comes to UX :)

It's easy to bite off more than you can chew

  • In person shopping is a monster problem, with many nuances and opportunities - focusing and solving just one problem well was surprisingly difficult
  • As young and eager UX Designers, the team wanted to plug every hole and improve every aspect of the in person shopping experience. Of course, not only is this not possible, but it's also not smart
  • Over time the team learned how to focus their efforts on just a few core problems, and truly solve just one of them