Promote local commerce in a sustainable way

During the COVID-19 lockdown, there was concern about the impact it could have on a possible crisis in local businesses. One of the most affected groups in the economic sphere it will surely be local commerce. Would help a lot that these establishments had at their disposal a platform to promote themselves.

Local businesses that are not digitized are the ones that have the hardest effort to back to normality. Promoting small establishments is necessary to compete against superstores and big corporate chains.


Mobile app


UX/UI Designer


Master's Dissertation


May 2021


Challenge, problem,
task & solution.

Challenge: Help local businesses

In a situation hit by Covid-19, the challenge is to find a collaborative and sustainable way to help local business problems. It was mandatory that it be an app.

Problem: Big business and crisis

Small business closes because of the economic instability caused by the Covid-19, their low digitization capacity that makes that they have less visibility and the competition with large corporations.

Task: Design

My task within the project has been quite global. From research to know the needs and opportunities of the project, analyze the competition, to the design of the design system and the app itself. It has been a shared project with 4 more colleagues.

Solution: Close and quality service

The solution is to find a mobile application with the aim of differentiating itself from big brands, giving strength to direct contact with the user, the quality of the local product and take advantage of the wave of sustainability to give strength to local solutions.



We did 29 interviews to consumers and local business owners.

We detected a series of patterns and insights that helped us understand people's frustrations, as well as those factors to which prioritize and importance when developing.

In the interviews we found examples such as being local, they take the opportunity to take a walk around the neighborhood and buy something. Other examples, such as being close to people and socializing while shopping. There were also cases of people who buy to support economically the nearby shops or simply because it is close to their home.

Many cases that we researched were that the user likes to be attended when he goes to buy in a local store. Although the difference between a local store and Amazon should be the personal service, it is true that it generates a lot of frustration having to wait for an order (for example a few days because the store does not have it) when online you can get it cheaper and faster.

To see more in depth our work methodology, the user persona, user journey, empathy map, wireframes, tests, etc. consult the entire project in the link below (in Spanish).


What can I do in LocalHero?

LocalHero app screenshots

The benefits of local shopping and the benefits of online shopping, mixed.

You can see the businesses near you, search and buy as an online store but with the addition of having a more personal experience and service through a direct platform with the local business.

You can also use HeroBot, a personal assistant that will help you to find the right answers to your questions and the perfect business to help you. Even if you don't know where to buy. Not only for shopping, also for an improved service.


Typography and colors






secondary COLORS





Hero button

A shortcut to personal service.

We created the Hero Button as the main focus in the app. It is the button where it takes you to the closest and most personalized experience, from there you can contact your local business directly or send questions to businesses or specialists.


Future iterations

LocalHero app screenshots

This was just the beginning, there was much more.

Aunque debíamos entregar un MVP con un cierto tiempo limitado descubrimos muchísimas formas de mejorar la app en futuras interaciones. Algunos ejemplos serian:

  • Badge system for businesses with an environmental and ethical commitment

  • Development of hero user profiles, with a prominent presence in the app, as experts. They help other users to answer questions and recommend products and shops.

  • Collaborative shipments between users of the app, so that a neighbor can deliver a package to another and receive a reward for it.

  • A points program or discounts for recurring purchases in a wallet with a virtual currency.

  • Development of the entire backend system of the application, so that businesses can manage their stock and products.



Being part of the whole process has been really rewarding.

On the one hand, I have been able to know the reality, the problems and the fears of businesses with this pandemic and what will happen in the future. It has also been very helpful for me to see the trends from now on by users in the shopping environment. Also I've noticed how important it is to find the right people and ask the right questions.

Being too close to the design of the digital product made it difficult for us to step back and see the architecture and hierarchy of the app from the outside. Only when we had feedback were we able to pivot and simplify the application and its structure.

We found that the obvious is not so obvious, especially when you focus your design on user feedback. Carrying out usability tests opened our eyes.

And mainly on the other hand it has helped me a lot to know from end to end the whole process of creating an app working with various profiles with different points of view.

Moreover, I've worked in a more remote collaborative way, which was usually 100% face-to-face. At the same time being a project with 4 more people, I learned ways of working and tools with particular ways of using that teach me lots of things.