With COVID19 disrupting the way we shop in person like farmers' markets, local produce vendors are unable to meet the farm-fresh needs of the community. 


An 18+weeks remote group project to explore the future of physical-digital shopping at farmers' markets. Fava connects a younger generation of casual farmers' market shoppers to local vendors via recipes to let them know where to buy the seasonal food, and how to use them. For the scope of this project, we focused on creating the shoppers' views of the experience.

My Contribution

Product lead
Art Director
Storytelling-Motion Design


2020 summer

Team Members

Rachel Denoble
Veronica Wojnas
Jean He

Advised by Deloitte-Doblin


Figma/ Adobe XD/ Illustrator / Photoshop / After Effects

01. Design Challenge

How might we increase the casual shopper's commitment and loyalty to Seattle's farmers' market vendors in order to build economic resilience scalable for COVID-time and beyond?

02. Goals

Business Goal:

How to create a physical-digital experience for Farmers' Markets to attract more potential millennials and Gen-Z casual shoppers to shop more at farmers' markets by providing farmers stories, seasonal products information, and recipes under COVID.

User Concern:

The Casual Shopper is someone who visits once a month for a fun experience. They seek out organic food or specialty retailers. Due to COVID, they have to cook at home more than ever. So, they need to rethink where they buy their food. 

User Problem:

What do Casual Shoppers need for an informative and pleasurable famers' markets shopping journey during COVID?

An End-to-End Process

Start with User Preference

Onboarding based on values

When a user first opens Fava, they go through a short onboarding sequence to inform more personalized recommendations.

Our research showed that casual shoppers connect their market trips to their personal values and aspirations (ex. supporting local business, buying sustainable products, eating organic food)

Connect with the product and the stories behind it

Informative ordering experience

Beyond regular online shopping, Fava also gives the shopper opportunities to understand more about the farmers' markets' in seasonal products and farmers' stories.

80% of users voiced that they don't know why the price is so high when they go to a farmers' market. Understanding all of the work and care that vendors put into their products helps to rationalize why some prices may be higher than mass-produced supermarket products. This context comes alive in the vendor profile.

Adapt to the COVID new normal

Maintain a sense of fun and discovery while waiting in line

Due to the unique physical market shopping characteristic, Fava gives a balance between online shopping and market pickup within an informative and efficient physical-digital experience.

Farmers' markets, like many public spaces in the pandemic, must regulate capacity to abide by social-distance guidelines. Signs show around the market that shopping must be limited to 10 minutes or less to keep the lines moving. Fava's My Order tab streamlines the pickup experience to help the user get in and out quickly.

Make Farmers Markets as a weekly shopping routine

Be part of shoppers' lives

In additional market maps, Fava also calculates a pickup route to streamline the at-market journey along with the after-market shopping plan. 

90% of users say they liked the way to embed FM's trip with other shopping plans.



Tough times have been underway for years; COVID exacerbated the challenges facing farmers.


By 2019, the local food market in the US was expected to hit $20.2 billion, nearly doubling from 2014.

While farmers’ markets have continued to grow in the last 10 years, the growth has slowed down substantially; as of 2019, there are more than 8,800 in the U.S.


Small local farms report that 40-75% of their income comes from farmers' market sales.

While farmers' markets have continued to grow in the last 10 years, the growth has slowed down substantially; as of 2019, there are more than 8,800 in the U.S.


Markets were forced to operate at about 10% capacity according to a local market manager.

COVID-19 has dramatically affected market operations, markets had long entry lines, shoppers were asked to shop in 10 minutes or less, and samples are prohibited. These restrictions deterred casual shoppers from visiting and supporting markets during the pandemic.

01/03. Generative Research

We spent 10+ weeks conducting generative research.


01. What seems to be happening?
02. What’s really happening?
03. What might happen?

How does COVID affect market operations?

What do farmers' markets mean to different shoppers?

How to build resilience for farmers markets?


88% of potential shoppers are Casual Shoppers. To build resilience for farmers' markets, we should facilitate them to buy more.

02/02. Research Insights

Understanding the shoppers.

02/03. Research Insights

Synthesizing insights.

Using different methods, such as affinity mapping, spectrum mapping, organizing observations, and analyzing data, we synthesized insights.


The Farmers' Market is often not a standalone destination for casual shoppers.

Casual shoppers tend to combine going to the Farmers' Market with another activity, whether on purpose or by chance.


Internal aspirations and external validation influence the Farmers' Market experience, but don’t drive it.

Shoppers who value (or claim to value) things like local, sustainable, ethical, or organic products shop at the farmers market to affirm their values internally or project them externally.


Trying new things is fun but requires guidance and support.

Shoppers have some openness to exploring the market and trying new things. They are encouraged when they try samples, receive guidance or recommendations from vendors on unfamiliar products, or see posts on social media.


The product bridges the vendor and shoppers.

Both sides seek a certain level of interaction at the market, but neither wants to make the first move. Products make great icebreakers and continue to be the focal point of relationships between vendors and customers.

02/04. Design Principle

What if ...?

We could attract more casual shoppers to come to buy at farmers' markets with a system that ...


Build Context (with FM's products)

This system would allow vendors to share the whole story. Our response lets vendors share the whole story.


Supplement Connection

Enhance the connection between shoppers and vendors in-person and continue to foster them when they're online.


Drive Exploration

Encourage shoppers to try new things and build new connections in the market and the surrounding community.


Encourage Reflection & Intention

Motivates users to build a habit and intention of going to the market by drawing on these positive feelings and highlighting the shared benefits.


01. What seems to be happening?
02. What’s really happening?
03. What might happen?

How does COVID affect market operations?

What do farmers' markets mean to shoppers?

How to build resilience for farmers markets?


Fava connects a younger generation of casual farmers' market shoppers to local vendors via recipes to let them know where to buy the seasonal food, and how to cook them through a physical-digital shopping experience.

03/01. Creation Steps

During the design process, we worked with market managers, vendors, and potential customers.

Fully Virtual Ideation

Used Miro to share and cluster our ideas. Dot-voted for the concepts that aligned with our design challenge and design principles.

Scenarios Storytelling with market managers

Collaborated with different farmers' market managers to better understand essential user flows and critical market needs and constraints.

Prototypes & Remote Usability Testing

Using Figma and Google Slides, we created low to high fidelity prototypes and tested them with 10+ potential customers to validate the concept.

03/02. User testing Insights

Some User Testing Highlights and Improvements

Version 1.0 - Before

Lack of personality as a whole

After presenting version 1.0 to our potential users, we found that although it works as a flow, it has some issues.

"It just looks like another random app, I can't relate it to fresh and tasty food." -- P11

Version 2.0 - After

Build up customers' experience inside-out

I created a more holistic user experience to achieve the goal of increasing brand value to attract more younger random shoppers.

Version 1.0 --> Version 2.0

Visuals presents more info

"Although I feel good to support farmers' markets, I still need information such as the price and image of the products." --P9

Version 1.0 --> Version 2.0

Don't forget the financial needs of customers

"Why do I have to to next page to check items availability of market?" --P9

Version 1.0 --> Version 2.0

The balance of introducing farmer vendors and efficiency of shopping

The new version will list a plan with an order list at the farmers' market and the shopping list within other ingredients from a linear vendor by the vendor confirmation process. The primary purpose is to accelerate shopping for our target audience.

Version 1.0 --> Version 2.0

A guided discovery for promote items

03/03. Product Design

Product Design & System


Product Position Metrics

By analyzing other competitors on the market, Fava is looking to focus on shopping and vendor connection.


Select Recipe

Due to COVID19 lockdowns, more people are cooking at home. By using Fava, users can get a 3-in-1 experience with local farmers' markets ingredients, customized shopping lists, and integrated recipe instructions. 


Market Matches

Fava suggests Market Matches, which are recommendations for local farmers market vendors who have the seasonal items needed from the user’s recipe. Market Matches narrow down vendors based on product availability and value alignment to make a choice easier.


Vendor Profile

The vendor profile has helpful information about products and highlights the people and stories behind them. Understanding all of the work and care that vendors put into their products helps rationalize why some prices may be higher than mass-produced supermarket products.


Market Mystery Picks

Shoppers are prompted to add a Market Mystery Pick to their order at the end of the ordering flow. This promotion aims to help introduce small or new vendors to shoppers and benefit users' special deals.


Market Vendor Discovery

We realized we could capitalize on the time shoppers spend waiting in line by adding a way for them to discover other vendors or additional market offerings. 


Pin Vendors

If users want to visit vendors they found during the discovery phase mentioned above, they can pin vendors to their pickup route for an efficient and safe trip for COVID-time and even beyond.


Order Pass & Pickup List

By showing the order pass to vendors for pickup orders, shoppers and vendors could quickly check their lists and create a connection with potential sales and services such as recall, promotion, and contact.


Shopping list

Fava also plays a role as a to-do shopping list for casual shoppers. A customizable shopping list allows the shopper to shop for farmers' markets with other places habitually.



03/15. Visual Design


Fava Visual

The attributes of Fava visual are Bold, Retro, and Crafts. By calling back the old retro styles with a new digital touch.

03/08. Next Steps

Due to the long-term impact of COVID, the food system have to make progress within technology and improve the eco-system.

1. Food traceability will be a huge part of shopping, food recalling, and safety checking.

Without a doubt, I will continue to build a food traceability system in Fava. By scanning a QR code on each package, shoppers could easily understand how the products have been grown.

2. Flush out vendor-side of the system.

For the scope of this project, we focused on the shopper’s view of the Fava experience. However, in the next phase we need to work on designing the vendor’s side of the experience.

3. Business collaboration with market organizations.

Collaborate with farmers' markets organizations to build out the whole eco-system, not only the direct-to-shoppers stage but also restaurant supply chain, go-to school program, CSA, etc

4. Change the stereotype of shopping at farmers markets.

Currently, from our research, we learned that many people have a bias towards/against shopping at farmers market. I am hopping that this product could also provide more touch points to change people's old-school opinions of farmers markets.


1.Being Able to adapt with ongoing changes

The research and design phases of this project were done completely remotely due to the COVID-19 quarantine, which wasn’t the plan. This presented our team with a slew of unique challenges to adapt our project space and execution strategy. However, we figured out how to maximize virtual tools to our advantage.

2.Consider about users, but beyond users

After this project, I deeply realized the limitation of user-centric design. It is excellent for solving user problems, especially if users know what they need. However, without considering the business value and system value behind the users' issues, we, the designers, just satisfy ourselves. For example, in this Fava project, the business goal is to help farmers' markets keep resilience. The design goal is to help casual shoppers get more information about seasonal food and vendors. If there were more time though, I would go beyond the surface problems. I would consider a different business model and ways technology lives in this area.