Nearbuy is a shopping app that aggregates the inventories of local stores, to help buyers find exactly what they need, exactly when they need it.

The problem: Retail foot traffic fuels local economies and makes cities vibrant, livable places. But small retailers struggle to compete with stiff competition from Amazon, and as a result our city is filled with more and more vacant storefronts. Beyond contributing to urban blight, the loss of local retailers means fewer jobs, fewer tax dollars in city coffers, and more waste and pollution from increased e-commerce deliveries.

The solution: Nearbuy — my year-long thesis project for the MFA Interaction Design program at SVA — reimagines local shopping. By channeling the simplicity and convenience of e-commerce, Nearbuy making local shopping a meaningful alternative to Amazon. In the video below, I introduce and demo the concept:

After months of research, prototype testing and iteration, I landed on inventory management as the key to this intervention. Through a round of experience sampling with online shoppers, I identified confidence and trust as key contributors to the idea that online shopping is more "convenient" than local commerce. As a result, Nearbuy tackles this by helping buyers rapidly find exactly what they're looking for at local stores, whether that's a certain brand of green tea powder or a 3/8″ hex wrench.


My work for this project involved formative market research, design research, and in-depth user research sessions with both shoppers and retail store-owners. The design process involved iterations of sketching, wireframes, visual design, and branding, coupled with click-through and interactive prototyping, and leading to final development in Swift.


Learn more about Nearbuy’s development at