FiveStars Manager


FiveStars Manager

Time is precious, and small business owners are among those who know it best. Working long hours, making tough decisions— there's barely a moment (or even the know-how) to step back and develop marketing strategies. FiveStars Manager is the support merchants need to maintain and grow their businesses.


Project Details

Duration: Nov 2016 - May 2017

Role: UX Designer & Researcher

Skills: storyboarding, user interviews, usability testing, card sorting

Deliverables: sketches, wireframes, mockups, prototypes, user flows, final assets, Play Store assets

Team: 2 designers, 5 engineers, 1 data analyst, 1 PM, 1 PMM, 1 QA

FiveStars is a comprehensive marketing program that helps small businesses succeed in customer acquisition and retention. A suite of products covering both in- and out-of-store experiences allows owners to monitor and improve their business health. While data is plentiful, its presentation is confusing, unactionable, and accessible only by a dashboard optimized for desktop access. To improve this experience, our goal was to:

  • Surface data previously hidden and visualize our impact on customer acquisition and retention

  • Consider context of product use to accommodate our users' busy schedules

  • Drive engagement with our products and reduce the merchant churn rate

  • Encourage creativity but maintain loyalty program quality via customization constraints



Most merchants have no idea where to begin understanding the promotion performance data or how to make improvements.

Most merchants have no idea where to begin understanding the promotion performance data or how to make improvements.

FiveStars' business dashboard allows owners to track customer activity, and update profile information, create and send promotions. Promotion success is demonstrated by percentages (e.g. % visits that an offer generates), and compares performance to that of the industry average.

However, there are many issues with this presentation. Without contextualizing the data, users without a business or analytics background must spend time trying to interpret numbers. 

She may wonder:

  • How does FiveStars help me reach new customers that I couldn't get on my own?

  • How do I know that I'm not just giving away free deals to regulars who would visit anyways?

  • If my promotions are performing poorly, how do I create better ones in the future?

Ultimately, a user who doesn't trust a product to reliably monitor and grow her business is likely to stop using it altogether.



We began our project by collecting relevant information from interviews conducted with 15 business owners (for a preceding project). Business owners, generally speaking:

  • Highly value their time; they love quick, easy actions and not having to think

  • Think that gaining new customers is worth more effort than retaining existing ones

  • Trust their own perception over raw data unaccompanied by easily digestible insights

We consulted 11 internal stakeholders who regularly interacted with our users. Qualitative insights and quantitative analysis led us to consider designing around the following factors:

  • Customer activity (sign-ups and return visits)

  • Promotion creation and results

  • Announcements

Our hypothesis was that by providing an easy way to interpret and respond to these factors, users would clearly see the value FiveStars brings their business.



We did a series of brainstorms not only within the design team, but collaboratively with major parts of the organization: engineering, product, marketing, and support. Using these different perspectives and previously unheard voices with good insights, we were able to generate many ideas and subsequent paper prototypes.



we did several rounds of testing and prototyping with actual merchants and with people who fit the age profile on

Card Stack Prototype

We used invision and to prototype


We each came up with ideas separately for the same issues.


Card Feed Prototype

We used invision to prototype



FiveStars Manager was officially launched on May 4 to a select group of 100 merchants. To date, 

Information in the Palm of Your Hand

Significant trends, milestones, etc. The merchant can learn who's signing up and returning to their business, even if they're not in the store. Each day is a daily update on estimated revenue generated, and weekly trends help merchants decide what is and isn't working.


Allow easy promotion creation

Send a promotion anytime, anywhere. Merchants can create one on the job during the slow times, and take pictures of merchandise in-store. They can creative-- the sky's the limit. The app guides merchants to make smart business decisions, such as targeting specific customer demographics for better results.

Always be learning; business strategy and help

Promotion reports provide the user with not only results, but also suggestions to improve results. This helps guide the normal trial-and-error approach to figuring out what gets customers in the door.



Praesent id libero id metus varius consectetur ac eget diam. Nulla felis nunc, consequat laoreet lacus id.
— Pablo

As the first product I've ever shipped, this was an amazing opportunity to design an experience end-to-end. I learned how to design for future scenarios and a component framework. Learning what MVP is and how to provide a basic but meaningful experience was difficult but extremely practical.

To date, 291 merchants have been onboarded, sent 188 promotions. Merchants using FiveStars Manager have experienced 7.2% promotion save rate, versus an average 5.9% promotion save rate from dashboard. Save rate by SMS is 10.38% vs 7.88%.

Designing systematically to allow an application to grow/put in more features.  Also working with another designer without a formal style guide outlined; because we were working in tandem without a design system or brand guidelines, it was often hard to sync up our designs visually.