Kensington is Kensington

E-commerce for the old

Project Timeframe — 2 weeks
Style — design sprint
Individual Project

Research in Short

The rising demand:

What customers are looking for?

Can Kensington Market stands within time?


The project goal:

The project goal is to keep Kensington Market up-to-date, have it stand-in-time for this digital era and address business grow requirement stated in the project brief.

Something wrong?

During research, my respondents also show love to Kensington Market, but they would not shop on Kensington Market’s e-commerce site if there is one because they only like to buy from the Amazon, Ebay, Forever 21 or H&M as these companies give them the best services and online secure checkout.

What’s the challenge during research?
Through research, we learned Kensington is a rich cultural community rooted with different level of stores and people, including high-end shops, instead of a flea-market some might misunderstand. The challenge is how can we make changes to it while, based on research, users — Kensington visitors and Kensington store owners — don’t want changes.

Kensington at a glance: culture, arts, music, architecture, local vendor, local labours, local visitors, your neighbourhood, tourists, private mom-and-pop shops, high-end shops, fashion shops, vintage shops, authentic food, cafe, and restaurants.

If you been there, for this known Toronto landmark and self-breathing area of Toronto that brings tourism and revenue to the city, this community is fun, full of music, one-of-a-kind shops, food, vibrant and irreplaceable. Instead of changing it, we will enhance it by providing an e-commerce platform, so it stands within the time eclipse.

Further research is conducted to understand our users more in-depth on how they think about Kensington Market and what do they like and dislike about e-commerce sites:

Primary Persona loves everything Kensington Market has to offer and it means word-of-mouth, close relationship with owners and a day-trip for her. She prefers to buy from Amazon, Ebay, Forever21 or H&M’s secured e-commerce site instead.
Secondary Persona states a great e-commerce means great delivery, fast and convenient to him.

Research method used:
Survey, in-person interview, guerrilla interview on site with real users, on-site observation, competitor analysis and domain research.


How to bring them together?

Create a Kensington cultural feel e-commerce site still carrying its unique products with user-flow similar to Amazon, Ebay, and BestBuy. The site will also has no or minimal ads, has sales content and continue the close relationship with owner and word-of-mouth culture through on-site blogging.

Key Feature List:

  • centralized e-commerce site for all stores at Kensington
  • customer review available at each product page
  • detail product information and store info throughout the site
  • every store at Kensington is encouraged to create their in-site blog account to blog about their products, history, stories and etc. to increase sales, store awareness and become search engine friendly
  • secured and top-of-the-line checkout and e-commerce flow
  • in-store pick up and less-wait-time local delivery

Site Map:

User Flow — focusing on product purchasing:

Prototype (Desktop version):

Usability Testing result:

  • User likes the Deal section
  • User recommended store images such as storefront image, and the layout of the store to add interest


To increase sales and customers for Kensington Market and have it stands in time by creating an e-commerce that users like (reviews, detail info, and a breathing community) with a familiar flow.

Future plan to support this project:

  • a strong yet easy-to-use back-end that helps Kensington stores to set up their blog, product uploading, inventory tracking, shipping and tax calculation and etc.
  • a customized feed of regular or recommended products based on users’ purchase history available at users’ profile upon users’ voluntary click
  • a full mobile-first responsive site, for example:

My Learning:

In the beginning of the project, I was thinking how can I modernize this Kensington e-commerce project, but as time and as more research get into my head, I found Kensington Market means irreplaceable for many, and modernizing it might not be the way. Therefore, why not take a challenge of bring this affection online by providing store owners an e-commerce platform that is ready to make sales and blog. They can also put their own store info so the Kensington Market lovers can like, share or comment on the blogs online to recreate this self-breathing community online.

In this project, I also learned some more technical skills, such as putting together site map and user flows that focus on cases.

Side article:
What Kensington Market was Like in the 1970s?

Other UXUI projects: SafeMap, AskMom, FeedBack, Connects Fashion Professional, A Trackable Start for Eva’s Initiatives