Front of the Book

Research & Discovery

Back of the Book



Project Manager

UX Researcher and Designer


Eileen Blancas
Kim Kappmeyer
Nico Gonzalez

Company Story

LetGo is a mobile application that allows people to buy and sell used items. Sellers can easily upload photos of what they want to sell onto the app, and buyers that are geographically nearby can browse and make offers on those items.

The Challenge

At this time, LetGo’s transactions are solely on the shoulders of the buyers and sellers. It is up to both parties to coordinate a physical transaction, and many users are not familiar with the best practices for safely making monetary transactions.

The Solution

To facilitate face-to-face interactions by allowing for the option of in-app payments between the buyers and the sellers.




2 weeks



Research and Discovery

User Survey

Our research process began with a user survey. We wanted to find out what makes shoppers and sellers feel safe when making online transactions. We asked people what online services they were familiar with and if they had any security issues with these services. Our survey generated 53 responses within 2 days. From there, we would reach out to survey participants to interview for more insights. Our target group for interviewees were people who had bought or sold used items online.

Competitive/Comparative Analysis & Heuristics

In order to empathize with our users, our team created interview questions based off of a competitive and comparative analysis, using our own set of heuristics. We looked at 4 competitors and 4 comparative sites. 

From the analysis, we were able to create assumptions and a hypothesis regarding the safety of buying and selling online:

Users need visual indicators to feel a sense of safety. More features are needed to show that LetGo cares about the welfare of its users.

Full analysis may be viewed by clicking the image.

User Interviews

We interviewed 7 participants from the user survey, all adults who had bought and/or sold online. Two sets of questions were created in order to validate the assumptions and hypothesis from our analysis. The set of questions that would be asked to a participant was determined by the amount of activity they had buying and/or selling used items online. Some participants were asked only one set of questions, some were asked both.

Most of our interviews were conducted in person. Out of state interviews were conducted via Skype.

What they say

“I always read the ratings and reviews before buying a product.”

“Exchanging money is the hard part, it can go one of two ways.”

“I like eBay because I’m able to scan a seller’s profile which helps me identify if they are credible.”

“I always look for safety indicators like the ‘Secure Checkout’ logo.”

Defining the Problem

Affinity Mapping

Affinity Mapping was used to synthesize the data found through the user interviews, we found the following trends that further validated our hypothesis while giving us other points to consider:

Motivations: “I buy online for convenience.”
Trust Indicators: “I need a website to have trust indicators to feel safe.”
Validation: “I feel safe buying from established brands/websites/users.” “I need buyers to know I am a trusted seller.”
Setting: “I care about the time and location of a face-to-face transaction.”

Persona Creation

Trends taken from the synthesized data were used to create 6 personas that would represent LetGo’s user base and their painspleasures, and user goals. Our main persona, the Collector/Hoarder named Stephen, is a power user who both buys and sells on websites like eBay and Craigslist. Learn more about Stephen and the other personas in the gallery below.

Scenarios and User Stories

Scenarios and user stories were created to figure out what functions would best facilitate our personas’ user goals.

Developing Ideas

Feature Ideation

To consider features for LetGo, our team looked to the trends found in our research. Our thought process was that if the buyer and seller felt that there were enough trust indicators to validate the LetGo user, the more likely they would feel safe making their purchases online (motivation) and would feel a little more at ease when selecting a time and location (setting) for face-to-face transactions.

Using the 6 personas to create the list of features that tackled their pains and pleasures, I lead our team into the MoSCoW Method. This method was chosen to quickly pick out the features that would be most important for our initial designs. We determined that we would implement the “Must” and “Should” features into our designs, as it provided the most validity and security for LetGo users. “Could” and “Won’t” features were placed in the “parking lot,” that is they will be reviewed at a later time for future iterations.

Information Architecture 

Once our features were selected, we updated the app map to include pages for mandatory descriptions on product items, a way to view buyer/seller reviews, and the entire verification process. We decided to keep the rest of the app map the same so that current users of LetGo would be able to navigate the mobile app intuitively with the functions they were already used to.

Design Studio

To implement the new features, I lead our team through a brainstorming method called Design Studio. This process allowed us to communicate our best creative ideas together as a team. Through rapid wireframing, our team was able to conceptualize 28 designs in 10 minutes, before confirming the designs for our first set of mockups.

Medium-Fidelity Wireframes

Once the designs were confirmed, I assigned each team member a set of pages to create medium-fidelity wireframes for usability testing. To the left are the wireframes I had created for the Product Page and the pages for Transferring Funds.
Using the wireframes, Kim was given the task of creating our first prototype in Invsion. Nico and I used this prototype for our first round of usability tests. The goals of the user tests were to have the user:

  • Verify their seller account
  • Transfer their current balance into their bank account
  • Review a seller’s profile
  • Use LetGo’s function to purchase electronically
  • Describe whether the experience allowed them to feel more safe

Usability Testing

In order to test our new functions and to see if the following goals would be met, a script based on our main persona, Stephen, was created by me. Again, Stephen is a representation of the users we are designing for. A total of 3 people were tested during this stage of usability tests.


Take Aways & Iterations

After the first round of usability testing, we changed a lot of the content and copy that was confusing to the participants. For example, “Make a Payment” was changed to “Buy Now,” and the seller rating was moved from under the profile to beside it.

One additional feature was implemented after a user felt uneasy about having their credit card information stored on the app. Anyone could pick up their phone and make a purchase. To remedy this, we added a fingerprint scan for saved accounts.

High-Fidelity & Usability Testing

After discussing the takeaways, Kim designed a prototype for our last round of testing. Nico and I tested this prototype on 3 people, with each person reaching the goals set for the main persona, and were quoted as saying they would feel safer using this version of the app.

What they say

“Wow, that was simple!”

“Reviews are a big thing for me, and seeing people write about them is HUGE.”

“I think the verification is a big deal. I feel like the company is responsible since they are verifying the other person.”

“I really like it. I would feel safe shopping on this app.”


The following is a walk through of our final product as our main persona, Stephen. He will be performing the tasks that were set as user goals during the usability tests.

LetGo Demo, Security Features from Eileen Blancas on Vimeo.

Future Testing and Next Steps

The proposed security features are just the beginning. These new features can be refined and would allow for an experience users can put their faith into, with continued support from LetGo. If given the opportunity, our team would continue developing the new features and explore the following:

  • Client edits and further iterations
  • Add GPS tracker location of users for transactions
  • Improve customer support and live chat
  • Further testing of the high-fidelity prototype
  • Continue to explore the verification process for the credit card for those unable to scan their finger
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