by Pratt Institute

Small businesses are the heart and soul of urban communities. But they face rising rent and more competition from large corporate retailers and eCommerce platforms. We found that financially independent young adults represent the consumer group with the most significant shift towards online shopping through research. Hence, we designed Spotlite, a mobile application highlighting local and undiscovered small businesses.

We consider the consumers' needs to connect with the surrounding community and the frustration with the time-consuming and unreliable search for the right store. On the other hand, business owners would like to encourage cooperation between neighboring stores and enhance their presence through word of mouth.

First, we focused on building a streamlined onboarding and search process without unnecessary tutorials or account registration to satisfy the user's primary goal. Then we implemented a dedicated map to locate nearby stores from the user's location, perfect for a short trip to the grocery or a quick cup of coffee with a visiting friend. We designed the collection and social media feature to keep users up-to-date with new promotions and offerings to encourage returning customers. Lastly, we also imagined a royalty system that is redeemable with participating businesses in the area to help recently opened stores to have a chance at becoming the next local's favorite.


Gold in UX, Interface & Navigation 2022, Student

Gold in Interactive Design 2022, Student

Silver in Apps 2022, Student

Silver in Interaction Design for Social Change 2022, Student

Created by:

Lead Designer

Jason Gong

University or Design School

Pratt Institute

Profile Website

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Project Website

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Design Team

Jason Gong, Dexin Chen