Empower NYC Produce Street Vendors

The story:

Palash is an immigrant from Bangladesh and has been working as a vendor for 9 years. He operates his food produce stand located on the corner of 22nd Street and 6th Avenue in Manhattan from 7:00am to 7:00pm every day. We spoke to the vendor and gained a strong understanding of his most outstanding challenges. The vendor agreed to share more about his service with us, and he was very enthusiastic about our project.

Challenge

To improve the underrated and under-supported small service business in New York City — the produce street vendors.

Deliverables:

Provide the vendors tools, effective design solutions, and competitive edge to innovate in their market space and to thrive with their own superpowers.

My Responsibilities:

In a team of four, I conducted desk research, user interview, problem analysis, and prototyping.

Team:

Angie Ngoc, Xiaoxi Yuan, Mia Darling Ibáñez Risso

Our Focus: Produce Street Vendor

Discover the Problems — Research and Analysis

Research: Barriers and a Huge Amount of Cost

1 / Permits — High demand and low supply

Analysis: Deep dive into their business system

To better understand their operation system and all the problems that might lead to a damage, we did an analysis by mapping out all the touch points, interactions and connections alongside their operation flow.

Service Blueprint
Problems

Risk = Probability times Damage

The vendors’ salient attributes are convenient, cheap, quick, and sold via the exchange of personal relationships. However, the service has faced many challenges. We placed all the pain points discovered from the research onto the Risk Matrix and decided to tackle the ones at the top right corner as those imposed the highest risks to the business.

  • Fines
  • Unclear perception of value
  • Interrupted sales flow
  • Cooperate with City Regulations
  • Increase customer’s WTP
  • Improve Sale Logistics

Providing Solutions

Overview:

1/ Cooperate with City Regulations by equipping vendors with regulations knowledge.

Regulation Toolkit
Information Signage
Price Tag Redesign

Details:

Cooperate with City Regulations by equipping vendors with regulations knowledge

What are some current problems vendors have with the city regulations?

  • Language barriers — Communication is very important to collaborate with polices and health inspectors. However, vendors do not know how to stand their ground and defend themselves because of language barriers as most of them are immigrants and English is their second language.
  • Too busy to remember — Even though the sellers know all the regulations, they are too busy to take care of the business. Regulations are oftentimes simply forgotten.
  • Existing good materials — Vendor Power, a poster uses simple graphics and minimal text — in the five languages most commonly spoken among NYC’s vendors — to explain some of the most-often violated laws. But how to turn those valuable information into actions?

Solution: Vender’s Toolkit

  • Help with Language Barriers
  • Risk Calculation
  • Leverage Existing Materials
  • Distribution Channel

Increase customer’s WTP by Surfacing hidden values to customers.

What are some hidden values?

Solution: Information Signage

  • Content
  • Presentation
  • Cost
  • Durability
  • Location

3. Improve sales logistics by Improving stand presentation and sales management.

What slow down the sales?

Solution: Price Tag Redesign

Before and After
v1 — v2 — v3

Feedback for our prototypes

Our prototypes were iterated based on feedback from vendors, customers and walking-by pedestrians.

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Yumeng Ji

Yumeng Ji

17 Followers

I'm a product designer and street photography enthusiast. I enjoy designing experiences that simplify and bring more delight into people's lives.