Marek Żernik – Designer

Marek Żernik


Centro — shopping center app


Research, UX Design, UI Design



Product type

Mobile app

Centro is an app for shopping center with main focus to build trust and loyalty with customers via rewarding system.


Why to create this app?

01. Customers

  • Problem in finding stores they need.
  • Problem in finding car on large parking with many sectors and levels.
  • Problem in finding informations about current offers and events.

02. Business

  • Problem with diminishing zone-to-zone conversion rates.
  • Problem with decreasing number of active customers buying in-store.
  • Problem in profiling customers, their preferences and interests.

How Customers and Business will gain on that?

01. Customers

  • Collecting points and redeeming for rewards.
  • Lotteries for active users.
  • Easy navigation to selected place.
  • Saving a car parking space.
  • Easy access to offers and news.

02. Business

  • Analysing user’s time spent in front and inside the shop.
  • Using gathered data from navigation to better manage mall’s merchandising, improve user paths and marketing.
  • Profiling customers by tracking stores, restaurants, places they visit.

Main hypothesis

I believe that implementing rewarding system will build bigger trust and loyalty with customers and increase their visit frequency.

I will make feature based on points colleting from customer purchase. Points will be using to redeem for rewards and to take part in lotteries.

I will know the hypothesis is valid when users start collecting points and redeem for rewards.

Besides the fact that e-commerce took over a huge transaction traffic, shopping malls still have a lot of customers on everyday basis. There are some reasons for that.

  1. Hang out

    According to my research, people want to go out, spend time in different way than sitting on computer — specially in post-pandemic times. Shopping malls also organizes events and attractions for kids which additionally attract families.
  2. Try on
People want to try on clothes and shoes and see how it looks like in real life. Also you can’t e.g. smell fragrance online or quickly ask shop assistant for a help.

Why rewarding?

The most trending and probably effective solution is rewarding system which in principle should build a greater bond with customers and encourage them to more frequent visits and buy more in-store to get something back.

As Frederick F. Reichheld and W. Earl Sasser, Jr., wrote in “Zero Defections: Quality Comes to Services” (HBR September—October 1990), a company’s most loyal customers are also its most profitable. With each additional year of a relationship, customers become less costly to serve. Over time, as the loyalty life cycle plays out, loyal customers even become business builders: buying more, paying premium prices, and bringing in new customers through referrals.

Rewarding system use a few shopping malls in the research area of Silesia  — I do not have information whether it works but it is very likely. I asked a couple of people what do they think about that idea of getting rewarded for purchase and were highly interested. If I asked them if they were aware of such solution in shopping malls they visit — about 80% have not heard about that.
So rewarding is probably great idea but adoption might be a challenge.


Advantage over competition

Rewarding system which does not require bills scanning. My solution uses shopping center’s card which user scans during every purchase. The advantage of that solution is convenience for the user because it is not needed to scan every receipt and send for verification. Also receipt scanning system requires additional department to verify bill’s correctness and authenticity. Two nearby shopping malls use rewarding system based on that method.

Verification and iteration

First designs and testing

Having established hypothesis and prepared IA and user stories there were a time to make some first wireframes and start testing usability with users. Tests gave me needed feedback and validation, notes were made and conclusions drawn.
After that I focused on UI design including moodboard with inspirations, styles, and design system.

User Interface

UI Design

As the app is aimed at people of different age and tech savviness, it is important to make sure that the interface is reasonably clear and easy to use. Despite the fact that the application has quite a lot of functionality, it is necessary to present and embed them in such a way to not overwhelm the user.

App have eye-catching, intuitive bottom navigation with both icons and labels, high readability text, visual hierarchy supported by text size, colours and spaces.

Light, versatile background sets the effective space for a variety of photos and graphic that comes with rewards, lotteries and stores.

The search field is easily found on the top of the home screen and helps user to find stores, toilets, exits, elevators, saved parking space and more.

Redeeming points for rewards

Saving car spot with navigation

Bottom line

A lot has been done, but the potential is even greater

In my opinion app has really big potential for future and further development. There is a place for both business and users improvements and amenities.

It would be great to create management panel with stats and real time data about customers activity. It would be also for stores management, rewards and lotteries setup. For sure there is a lot of things that should be researched and verify but the potential is big.

From the user perspective interesting might be best time to shop feature which would inform about the current and general traffic in the shopping center.

Another idea is to allow users to plan visit in shopping center — especially for those who prefer fast shopping. User would select multiple locations and app would recommend the best route. This functionality however prioritizes the needs of the user over those of the business. So it would be worth considering whether it is even worthwhile.

The last idea is more of a loyalty campaign to encourage and appreciate the customers of the gallery. It is about rewarding customers with additional points on the card. This would happen on different holidays and other occasions.
It would also be a good idea to introduce a functionality that allows you to increase your level due to collecting points for purchases. Users with certain levels would have additional perks and benefits.