Design and Interaction


UI, UX & Strategy



Buying Items Around The Globe

Ever want to buy a product from a specific country but they don’t deliver to you? Or, maybe you moved away from home and want something from your old local shop that you cannot buy anywhere else? That is where YAO comes in.

YAO aims to help connect people traveling from one location to another, with others who are after location-specific items.

User Experience Is King

Yao is quite a unique app. With that uniqueness, comes confusion. Users who haven’t used something similar to this process before can easily become confused upon first use.

That is why it is incredibly important to fully flesh out the flow of the application and make sure it is as simple and easy to use as possible. The less friction a user has when placing an order, the better the user experience will be.

A few of many wireframes created whilst fleshing out the UX of the application.

Building Application Familiarity Through UI

The next task was to give the application some style and market fit. Understanding the ideal users would be between 16 and 25, the design of the app reflects that. It is very bold and bright, whilst also keeping the important information-heavy sections light and structured.

Yao was also built with consistency and re-usability in mind. As we use duplicate elements across the application, we subconsciously build app/use familiarity with the user, making the app easier to understand as they use it more.

Yao Product Screen-min
Making it bright and exciting where we can, but simple and clean where needed. We don't want the information to be hard to read or understand.

A Humans Touch

The profile page is one of the few pages both the buyers and travelers will share. However, it is slightly more focused on the traveler. This is because they will be updating their profile with upcoming travels, as well as trying to show a bit of their personality. After all, people are trusting them to personally deliver an item to them, so building a human-connection is important to build trust.

YAO - Profile Screen-min

Building Trust, Reducing Anxiety

As I said about the profile page, trust is one of the top issues buyers may have when using YAO. To combat this, we made the checkout and delivery process as simple and transparent as possible to relieve any anxiety.

The traveler will be asked to update at certain milestones, whilst also allowing an open communication between the buyer and shipper throughout the process.
Every step is documented and displayed within the app.

YAO - Profile Screen Copy-min
A few screens of the delivery process. With regular updates, open communication and a "coded" handover to complete the delivery.

Project Ready To Ship

This project was one of the most interesting and unique ones I have worked on for a long time. Initially, it felt it was going to be similar to a standard e-commerce app. But, it turned out to require a lot of complex functionality that needed to be conveyed as simple as possible for a smooth user experience. Buying things online and trusting a stranger to deliver it is stressful enough, we didn’t want navigating the app to add to that stress too.

All of the internal engagement was a nice challenge too. We initially didn’t have any plans on how to combat or ease that feeling of getting scammed, so designing an entire system based around transparency and security without being overbearing or too formal was a challenge I thoroughly enjoyed.

Just a small sample out of the hundreds of screens designed during this project.

After Project Thoughts

I rarely get to work on E-Commerce projects. Which is funny because whilst in university, I started my own clothing line store and spent so much time researching and designing my own E-Commerce store from scratch.

I think the world of E-commerce is starting to look a little plain, and too many people are afraid of trying something new and are instead sticking to the typical strategies and designs.

I would love to take on an E-Commerce project that has something special about it. Something that makes it stand out from the stock-layout product stores I see everywhere. Whether that be with a unique approach such as YAO, quirky features or just trying to add some personality and mix up the system.

If you have an E-commerce store, or know of one I should reach out to, hit me up! I would love to brainstorm some ideas with people who want to give their online store that extra umph!