In a post COVID-19 world, how can we best support small business owners and low-tech individuals who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic?

Google Student Developers
2020 - 2021
Lead Designer
Adobe XD, Webflow
community engagement
project timeline for gnito
our team

I was lucky to be asked to be the UX Designer on Google DSC's Resprout team. Team members include Moe Hay Mar Kaung, Nurhaliza Mohamath, Haifa Al-Jubari, and Shahir Ali. As the only non-founding member of the team, my other teammates conducted the qualitative research necessary for the UX design process, and I used their interviews, insights, and user personas to help them develop their submission to the DSC 2021 Challenge.

project context

Google’s 2021 Solution Challenge was to solve for one or more of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals using Google technology.

UN SDGs (sustainable development goals)

My client, Google Developer Student Clubs of Mills College (DSC), decided to focus on small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and strived to develop an app or website that could connect them to their community in new ways.

My role was to design a webpage for DSC that worked equally for small businesses and young volunteers with tech skills.

desk research + problem discovery
problem discovery: small businesses struggle to location content, users want success stories/testimonials, and translations necessary

We released market research surveys with questions that assess technical literacy, existing community relationships, and awareness of Google products and services that sustain small business economies. This allowed us to sense what our two primary customer segments were already familiarized with in terms of technology and Google products.

Through a variety of case studies, user surveys, and in-depth interviews, we've received three key feedback points:

solutions + ideation
solutions include bringing together volunteers and business owners for mutually beneficial projects

In order to address the existing gaps above, our solutions are driven by data from research surveys and 1-on-1 interviews. These actionable insights were designed around our key consumer segments (small business owners and student volunteers) and their needs:

Within the course of a month, we decided to pivot our platform from a directory-based mobile application to a skills-developing web application, while our mission to support small business recovery from COVID-19 remained the same. This pivot was especially crucial for us to re-evaluate our tech solution for small businesses and include actionable, long-term involvement from community members:

– We integrated user testimonials and case studies from real small business clients who benefitted from pro-bono tech services provided by our partners from The Meediya Lab.

– We repositioned and centered the option to translate the platform into audio and multilingual versions underneath our primary call-to-action button on the homepage.

user personas
user personas: candyshop carla and timid tina
user flow
user flow
user journey
user journey
style guide + logo
style guide and logo: green to signifying growth and logo features word "resprout" with green arm-like stems that hold up pink and blue pot with abstract plant that resembles arms out for embrace

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Feedback for Google Products/Platforms Used: Google Translate can be more accessible and accurate, as discrepancies in language may threaten the integrity of the message trying to be communicated, especially one as important as ours. In addition, we faced significant roadblocks when trying to find any Google resources available for implementing audio assistance. Lastly, the majority of our small business survey takers were not aware of Google for Small Business and this presents another accessibility issue, as it's not reaching those who need it the most.