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Shuyu prefers to introduce herself as a "designer"  who isn't confined to any role like motion graphics designer, UI/UX designer, or 2D animator. She relies on her rational thinking and spontaneous creativity to dig up solutions for any existing problem from clients or society at large.




Sunrise Mart is one of the most popular Japanese groceries in East Village and has developed a large amount of non-Japanese-speaking customers in the past few decades. However, language boundaries stop customers from discovering uncountable great products hidden in the store,  at the same time, slow down the growth of the business.



  1. How did you discover Sunrise Mart

  2. How often do you visit the place

  3. Do you find any difficulty when shopping in Sunrise Mart without knowing how to read Japanese?

  4. What would you do when you see something has a well-designed package but don’t know what it is? (Ask a staff, use a translation app, or guess)

  5. Is the information you got accurate

  6. What kind of products do you purchase most of the time

  7. Does the instruction clear enough

  8. How do you discover a new product (accidentally, suggested by friends or staff)

  9. What other service do you wish Sunrise Mart provides but it doesn’t

Besides these questions, I prepare 5 cards with features I would like this app to have as a non-Japanese speaker and asked my interviewees to sort them out from the most essential to the less. Here is the result:


  1. Translation

  2. Product Recommendation

  3. Instructions

  4. Online Shopping

  5. Help from Store Staff

Gongyu & Alison

  1. Product Recommendation

  2. Online Shopping

  3. Instructions

  4. Translation

  5. Help from Store Staff


  1. Non-Japanese-speaking customers find difficulty while shopping in Sunrise Mart, but very few of them are willing to ask staff for help.

  2. Recommendations from others increase the possibility that customers might be satisfied with the product they purchase for the first time.

  3. Delivery service is in high demand.

I am surprised that my interviewees would rather take the risk of buying products they don't like than ask staff for help. At the same time, this situation proves that a service that provides all information translated into English or another language is needed. Also, other customers' reviews will provide references while making a decision.

Ideation & wireframe

Testing & Feedbacks 

This was the first UI/UX project I've ever made. So feedbacks I received, other than features updates, were mostly advice to clarify the wireframe and make it more informative like adding an icon indicating a picture, or putting on dummy text instead of leaving the comment section blank. Still, here are some feedbacks on current features:

  1. Add “create new recipe” to the home page

  2. Refine create recipe feature on the mobile experience

Below are the refined wireframes for Sunrise Mart App and desktop service.


Final design

Today is May 29, 2023, eight months since New Yorkers are no longer mandated to wear masks on public transportation. Last year around this time, Sunrise Mart closed down their East Village location(where I did all my research for this project) for good due to Covid-19.


In the past few years, grocery stores like Whole Foods started delivering for those in quarantine; services in the city like Gorillas and Instacart have expanded their locations and business with an abnormally increased number. Meanwhile, more than 5000 businesses closed down in Manhattan at the height of the pandemic, and some more were permanently closed caused by increasing rent during the post-pandemic time.


When I was organizing research, photos, and interviews taken for this project in late 2018, I always wondered, if my short-sightedness had let a chance to make changes slip away.

User Story

Zoey is an international student from China currently studying in New York. She loves Japanese food so much that can't focus while doing schoolwork without a bowl of miso soup.


Not long after she moved to New York, Sunrise Mart as a very famous Japanese grocery has become her favorite spot in the neighborhood. "It's a vault full of heaven's food (aka instant Japanese food)," she said, "There's no place like Sunrise Mart that has such a variety of products I love."


Today, like every Sunday, Zoey has to visit the Sunrise Mart locates in East Village.  She walked to the instant soup section directly as usual. A new product that seems like instant miso soup immediately caught her eye. Without even thinking, she had made it on today's menu.


However, before putting the miso with colorful packaging into her basket, Zoey wants to know what exactly it is. Since everything was printed in Japanese, she had no choice but to open a translation app and hope that could help.


Well, Zoey got more confused after the information was translated.

Sunrise Mart app, an online purchase and recipe-sharing platform with a plug-in Japanese-English translation service for customers of Sunrise Mart as well as Japanese food lovers all over the world. Share the joy of cooking Japanese!

1. In-store translation

1) Open the Sunrise Mart app, click the camera icon to turn on the camera.

2) Scan the barcode or package of the item.

3) Related items will be shown on mobile.

2. Online purchase

a. Browse products on the app, add products to cart, then check out.


b. Search for a recipe, select related products on recipe detail page then add one or more products into shopping cart.

3. Recipes sharing

1) Enter details of a new recipe

2) Preview the editing recipe

3) Shares the recipe

5. Profile page

The user can edit personal information (user name, address, contacts), check order history, review purchased products, and access their recipes

4. Bookmark

Users can bookmark any product or recipe listed on the App.

Mobile App demo

Desktop demo