Candle Libre

Designing a mobile app to brings e-commerce to local candle businesses.

My Role: UX Research & Design

May – September 2021

Candle Libre Title Image

Project Overview

Candle Libre is a new app designed to help people find and place orders for quality candles with local suppliers. Candle lovers, stores and makers can connect through Candle Libre to support their local economy and be kinder to the environment.

You can download the full presentation slides here.

The Problem

Candle lovers have difficulties finding and buying quality candles online without harming local businesses and the environment.

The Goal

Design an app that allows users to order candles online for local delivery or pick up from local businesses and minimise environmental impact.

My Role

UX researcher and designer for Candle Libre’s mobile app, from conception to delivery.


Recruiting and conducting interviews, competitive audits, personas, user journeys, storyboarding, paper and digital wireframing, low and high-fidelity prototyping, usability studies, accessibility review and iterating on designs.

Understanding the User

User Research Summary

I conducted a series of interviews with candle shoppers in my local city to understand their needs and motivations. A primary user group identified through research were adults in their 40s to 60s who have a spiritual connection with candles and prefer to shop at local stores.

Research with the user group confirmed initial assumptions about customers benefitting from the convenience of online ordering, although it also revealed some reluctance in using e-commerce giants (e.g. Amazon) owing to the challenges in finding authentic, trusted and quality candles. Other problems included concerns for environmental impact and the threat to small businesses in their area.

Pain Points

1. Quality

The quality of candles is not assured and only becomes apparent when burned.

2. Trust

People trust products they know well, but are distrustful of ordering online for risk of fakes.

3. Information Architecture

Overwhelming choice and poor categorisation often makes products difficult to navigate.

4. Environment

Shoppers prefer to buy from local shops and enjoy the convenience of deliveries, but see online retailing as a threat to small businesses and the environment.


 Persona detail for one of the primary users

Problem Statement

Stephanie is a busy home-working adult who needs convenient access to quality candles because they have no time to risk disappointment on poor quality and fake products.

User Journey Map

Understanding Stephanie’s user journey revealed opportunities for helping users through a dedicated Candle Libre app that connects independent shops with local customers.
User journey map for one of the primary personas

Starting the Design

Paper Wireframes

The draft iterations show how elements evolved towards an organised and curated page that brings local shops closer to meeting customer needs.
Excerpt from the set of paper wireframes created for the app

Digital Wireframes

Example of a digital wireframe following feedback and findings from user research

Low-Fidelity Prototype

Using a complete set of digital wireframes, I put them together for a low-fidelity prototype that could be used for a usability study.

The primary user flow involved entering your location, choosing a local store then ordering candles for local delivery or collection.

Low-fidelity prototype for Candle Libre

Usability Study Findings

I conducted two rounds of usability studies. Findings from the first study helped guide the designs from wireframes to mockups. The second study used a high-fidelity prototype and revealed aspects of the mockups that needed refining.

Round 1 Findings

  1. Users want to easily recognise stores
  2. Users wanted more information on stores and products
  3. Users wanted a local delivery option

Round 2 Findings

  1. Users wanted consistent navigation
  2. Users were more likely to use mobile payment as their main method for a rapid checkout
  3. Users wanted information on products before entering their postcode