top of page

Case Study | Mobile App 

Spark for Small Businesses

Instagram x Adobe Creative Jam by Team Missing Links

For this creative jam, we were prompted to think about ways to highlight small businesses and creators in comparison to larger corporations that have extensive marketing budgets. Spark is a platform where users can highlight small businesses through supporting missions they resonate with, encouraging close connections and interactions with the faces behind these businesses.


July 2021 (48 hours)


Allison Yick, Annie Gao


Product Designer, UX Researcher

How might we design a solution to empower the community to highlight small businesses and/or creators through a platform of discovery?

Researched Key Findings

Realizing that people are more likely to support companies based on a connection with missions they resonate with, we wanted to create Spark with the intention of being personable and impactful with the way users can support small creators


  • Promoting through videos and stories was a good approach

  • Thoughtful visual aspect 

  • Navigation and structure was simple and straight forward

  • Appreciated the focus on accessibility through high colour contrast 

  • Bring forward the video content in company stories – it feels 2 steps behind in the app, harder to reach.​

  • Could be more intuitively clear if this is an e-commerce app or if this is something where you would have to go in person to these businesses? 

    • If it is e-commerce, show more detailed and upfront product pages, and if it was in-person, leaning on location tools – bring in the focus of the app's purpose. 

  • Value proposition to be more clear upfront.

    • There seems to be a lot going on, so we could aim to streamline what you're able to achieve through this app. 

Next Steps

  • Narrow down the scope of our product, to make the value proposition a little clearer to users upon first using the app. 

  • Expand controls for smaller businesses to interact with their customers directly, helping to build user retention. 

Combining our key research findings as well as our competitive analysis, we did a short brainstorm of what was effective from existing products in the market as well as what customers are looking for. From there, we continued to narrow down certain features that we would want to include in our final product.

Competitive Analysis

We took a look at existing apps that small businesses and creators currently use to market themselves and analyzed what made them effective for building relationships between  businesses and consumers. 

Challenges & Learnings

With the limited timeframe of this project, my teammate and I learned to prioritize certain steps of our process to ensure we would finish in time. We decided to prioritize our research which ultimately helped with narrowing down our solution even faster, as well as prototyping the final app given the deliverables of this creative jam. 

Big businesses have unlimited marketing resources, whereas small businesses and freelancers have to keep hustling to continue revenue flow. Instead of promoting ourselves, how might we design a solution to empower the community to highlight small businesses and/or creators through a platform of discovery?

Our challenge was to design an accessible third-party app for Android mobile devices that highlight people's favourite local and undiscovered small businesses. 

bottom of page