Alana Vaccaro

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Project Duration: May-June 2019
Role: Product Design


A mobile application that serves the military community


BaseHubs is a media company that provides information to the military community. BaseHubs (previously Valor Worldwide) acquired vermouth, a mobile app that allows you to share your favorite places with people you know in a pinterest—esque way.

Our goal for the new mobile app design was to reimagine Vermouth with the military community in mind. The military community is underserved and lacks resources catered specifically to them. For the new mobile app, military members can access information about their base and surroundings based on other members in their community.

In this project, I worked closely with BaseHubs’s team as the only Product Designer to build the MVP in preparation of the app launch in November 2020.

How it works



Stakeholder Interviews

To begin the project, I analyzed the summary of needs for Valor. This meant understanding the business requirements and learning what key features they wanted to include. This gave me a better understanding about their customer. I also analyzed the existing application to learn what aspects needed improvement. The original application followed Pinterest very closely, but the updated version would have significant changes to the UI.

Throughout the design process it was very important to balance Valor's business model with the customer experience: have companies use Valor's mobile app as a marketing/ad platform.

Qualitative Research

User Interviews

With the busines model in mind, it was now time to get a better understanding of the customer. I interviewed three women ages 37, 28, & 26 who were all military spouses. The women were either currently living on post (living on a base) or had previously lived on post. The three women would act as Valor's "super user", essentially influencers for the mobile app.

I scheduled 1 hour long zoom interviews where I could perform qualitive, open-ended question interviews to gain a better understanding of what they were looking for and expected from the app, in addition to current challenges accessing information about services at their posts and in the surrounding areas.

During the interviews, I gathered information about their demographics, experiences living on post, goals for the app, & current likes and dislikes for other applications they use to find information.


Problem Statement

The user, military families, are constantly moving from base to base. Constantly adjusting to a new place and learning your new surroundings is often stressful and challenging.

Solution Statement

Be redesigning Vermouth to suit the needs of military families, our goal is to reduce the stress of moving to a new place by providing a directory of businesses and activities in the area. By creating a feed filled with local businesses, users are able to follow other people and get recommendations.

User needs


From my interviews, I was able to come up with my persona Lauren.



Competitive analysis

I conducted a competitive analysis of other mobile apps and websites that offer similar services. Additionally, I looked at community based apps to see how they are organized and display information. Some of the services I compared were

  • Pinterest
  • Yelp
  • Airbnb
  • Offerup
  • Groupon


After analyzing competitors, the existing structure of vermouth, and requirements for the redesign, I began to began to sketch out some different user flows, including the onboarding and what the user would want to accomplish while using the app, and what the business requirements are.

I quickly sketched out the flow and worked out some ideas of what should be on the home screen. Vermouth originally had a list/map toggle menu on the home screen. Since the idea of the app is to follow people and essentially create a yelp/pinterest, I decided to do some explorations of following a similar pinterest layout with a toggle menu of "for you" and "following" and then creating a tab bar item with the map as its own view. My thoughts behind this was that the list view and map are completely different. List is a way to explore and kind of have this social media aspect where you are constantly discovering and connecting. If you kept the first screen to a list view you could then have a top navigation menu that allows the user to toggle between "for you", "following", and then different tags such as "restaurants" "shops" "special events", etc. Then in the map tab, it could be strictly location based and allow a user to explore what is around them and flexibility within the map. Both views would have a search bar with the option to take a picture allowing the user to quickly post a pin. Because this is a community based application that provides a service for both businesses and consumers, It was my goal to create a design that adds value for both.

User flows


The onboarding flow has several key aspects:

  • Military Verification
  • Account creation ( email & password)
  • Username/ name ( how can people find eachother, do we request phone numbers?)
  • General information about the user to help curate the feed (gender, marital status, children
  • Curating feed (selecting categories, influencers, and finding friends

Once the user completes the onboarding process, their main goal is to find a business. They can access listings three main ways:

  • Search
  • Select from categories
  • Select from curated feed



Information Architecture









Usability Testing

Eye tracking

User feedback