Sarah Ferraro
I am a User Experience Designer with a background in libation creation and project management. Striving for success by crafting well-balanced designs that facilitate delight.

Peak Thrift

Peak Thrift Responsive Web E-Commerce


Peak Thrift Responsive Web E-Commerce

Life is like a thrift store. You never know what you're gonna get.

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The Project

Individual initiative, 3 week timeframe

Responsive Web

Objective: Increase sales and provide additional job training for at-risk youth employed by Peak Thrift, a Denver non-profit thrift store.

Challenge: Design a responsive web e-commerce site taking into consideration the unique nature of the inventory and branding.


My Role

UX Designer/Researcher


 Design Thinking strategies utilized: interviews, persona creation, journey mapping, card sorting, usability testing, responsive design, information architecture, navigation systems, user flows, wireframes, hi-fi mockups and annotated digital brand guideline


Research Process

  • Recruit users

  • Conduct interviews

  • Synthesize information with Affinity Mapping

  • Identify insights

  • Form Personas and Journey Maps to help guide the design


Responsive Design

Research Showed

  •  Customer base consisted mainly of a millennial audience

  • The site would be accessed on many different devices

It was important to optimize the design for various screen sizes so I ensured responsiveness to accommodate patrons needs.

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I create personas to serve as a representation of the users that I am designing for. I find commonalities from my research and answer the question, " Who are we designing for? "

Red Scott
Red loves finding a good deal on cool things but he is a busy guy and he can’t always make it to the thrift store with enough time to get his hunt on.
Red needs a way to shop for treasures whenever he has time.

  • Goes to school full-time, has a part-time job and freelance work

  • Loves going to thrift stores when he has time

  • Enjoys browsing through many items to find a treasure


" I like finding a deal, and I also like finding very unique things. It makes me feel like I have found a gem, and of course there is excitement that comes along with that."

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Journey Mapping

I create journey maps based on research to empathize with customers thoughts and feelings as they are completing tasks. I use these pain points to determine the opportunities I have for solutions. 


  • Customers enjoy viewing new items online

  • Week day store hours do not currently cater to busy customers


  • Continue to advertise new items through a New Arrival section

  • Online shopping can be done at the customers convenience

  • Pick up at store option allows local customers to avoid shipping costs and increases in-store traffic


Card Sorting

I utilize remote and in-person card sorting to map out recognizable categories for navigational structure.


The diverse inventory needed to include many different categories in the navigation system for customers to quickly find items they are looking for.

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To optimize time, I first lay out my layout ideas and possible flows in rough sketches before adding details to wireframes that I generate in Sketch. 


Lo-fi Prototypes and Testing

Utilizing clickable prototype testing with lo-fi wireframes allows me to get early feedback from users. Users are more willing to give feedback on designs that don't look finished. There is also more focus on function and flow when colors and pictures are not involved.


  •  Lack of personality, there was little use the existing branding 

  • The design was clunky and outdated for the younger target customer

  • Navigation system needed more thought, too many pages for such a small inventory


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Exemplifying the branding

  • "Get the look" section added to engage employees and customers

  • Teal color added to embody a youthful tone

  • Repeated mountain pattern from the existing branding throughout

  • Modernized the look of the navigation for filtered results product page

Considering unique nature of the inventory

  • Single product results page with filtered states for small diverse inventory

  • Timer on items in cart as their would be a one-off inventory

  • Item auto removal from site when purchased for easier site management



Style Guide for Peak Thrift Online Store

To create styling for the digital brand I leveraged the existing branding and exemplified the youthful tone of the target audience.

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Hi-fi Marvel Prototype


Annotated Digital Brand Guidelines

I created a detailed document annotating my design so that I could easily discuss my prototype with developers.


Next Steps

Throughout the last iteration phase, I was in direct contact with a developer to validate my design decisions within the limitations of an e-commerce site that could be maintained by a junior staff.

Currently I am working with Peak Thrift on expanding their social enterprise through user research and design. I have proposed this case study as an ongoing training program involving graduating students of General Assembly and the youth employed at Peak Thrift.

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*This initiative project was designed while attending General Assembly and was not affiliated with Peak Thrift.