Mango Lakay


The Association of Haitian Professionals (AHP) is a 501(c) non-profit organization that addresses the needs, concerns, and advancement of people of Haitian descent. This e-commerce centered site, allows for customers to connect with businesses, essentially acting as an online market hub.

Our team conducted research to better understand the organizations’ user base and potential avenues for expansion.

Mango Lakay
Lead UX Researcher
Figma, Miro, Zoom


Project Goal

The goal of our research was to learn more about Mango Lakay’s vision and how that vision could be used to expand Mango Lakay’s customer base. We first focused on understanding the current organizational structure of Mango Lakay as well as the specific vision, identity, and mission Mango Lakay wished to put forth.  Our research was primarily focused on exploring the gap between Mango Lakay’s intended identity and how that identity was communicated to customers through the site.

Key Takeaways
  • Lack of connection to vendors
  • Lack of bonding
  • Missing space for larger vendors
  • Closed network - their customer base was limited to the people that already used the site
  • Missing Haitian identity


  • Preliminary research
  • Contextual inquiry
  • Interpretation
  • Organization of collected data (affinity diagrams)
Participant Details

The team primarily interviewed internal AHP stakeholders (4) and customers (2).  That being said, our team also collaborated with the other vendor-focussed AHP team to gain insights from their vendor data. This collaboration was needed for our team to understand the overarching themes and examine Mango Lakay holistically. It is important to note that almost all, 3 out of 4, of the internal stakeholders were also vendors on the Mango Lakay site.

Interview Structure

The team conducted all the interviews remotely. We decided to focus more on the user’s perception of the identity of Mango Lakay, so our grand tour question was “What is the customer’s perspective on the identity of Mango Lakay?” This question helped the users tell us a story of their perception and experience of the product and helped guide the structure of the interview.

Affinity Diagrams

An affinity diagram helped us understand the overarching themes from our data. We started off by writing out yellow sticky notes from our interpretation sessions.  These yellow notes featured data taken directly from the interviews.  After categorizing each of the yellow notes, we then created blue notes to categorize the yellow groupings into “higher level” themes.  After a few iterations, we laid out the blue notes and followed the same procedure for our pink and green notes.

Some of the main observations we made from the data were:

  • Actively promoting the collective success of the Haitian community is central to all the parties involved
  • AHP’s network directly determines the growth capacity of Mango Lakay
  • Successful business relationships depend on familiarity and loyalty
  • In-person events are key to establishing Mango Lakay’s legitimacy

After laying out the individual affinity diagrams, we noticed overlapping themes and compiled them into an “overlap” diagram. This gave us a clearer idea about shared beliefs and points of convergence in the Mango Lakay problem space.

Core Issues

Lack of Connection to Vendors  

Mango Lakay currently identifies as a business directory, with product-centered information highlighted on the website. This current structure, however,  is not conducive to the current browsing behavior of customers.  Currently, many customers come to the website because they want to support Haitian business, not because they have a specific product in mind.  Furthermore, a product-first approach de-personalizes the website and does not foster connection and familiarity between customers and vendors.  

Lack of Bonding

The in-person events organized by Mango Lakay have been extremely beneficial for them as a business to build both personal and professional relationships.  Without in person events, however, there are fewer ways for customers and vendors to interact and connect with each other.  This is detrimental to Mango Lakay’s visions as an interconnected ecosystem and networking hub.  

Missing Space for Larger Vendors

It is important to cater to both large and small businesses, however large and small businesses will have different uses of Mango Lakay.  Currently, Mango Lakay is not accounting for the different needs of large and small businesses. As such, Mango Lakay is not adequately meeting the needs of either, which is harming vendor retention and growth.  

Closed Network

AHP is responsible for both vendor and customer influx, making it a closed network. Mango Lakay needs to expand their vendor and customer base beyond just AHP contacts to grow their business.

Missing Haitian Identity

Haitian identity is central to the vision of Mango Lakay, but the website currently is not representing and celebrating that identity to the fullest capacity.   There is not enough messaging and evocative imagery that conveys the vision of the website to the users.  This is especially challenging for new users who may not be of Haitian descent and are looking for resources to learn more.  

Rebranding Mango Lakay to align with stakeholders vision for the site and customers expectations will help to better facilitate common understanding and trust between the two.

Some Application Redesigns

Proposed Recommendation Giving customers the option to sort vendors by identity-based categories instead of product-based categories

Proposed Recommendation Current vendor overview card on homepage (left). Proposed new card styling with more vendor info (right). The redesigned vendor card shows more pictures of the vendor’s service, has a descriptive hook, and shows appropriate tags.

Fixes for Usability Issues
  • Fix search bar bug. When you click the "Search" button or click the "Enter" key on the keyboard, the search bar does not work. Specifically, by clicking the "Search" button, nothing happens on this page. By hitting the "Enter" key on the keyboard, the page will be refreshed instead of displaying the search result list.
  • Update website icons. Update the website's Icons, making them more meaningful and accessible. For example, the “Question Mark” icon on the upper right corner of the webpage means looking for help in most cases but it instead confuses users by redirecting them to the “About Us” page. It could be improved by replacing it with an “Information” icon. Another suggestion is to omit icons and instead use the webpage titles in the navigation bar.
  • Optimize Categories. As we learned from customers, they were upset with the long categories list on the website and overlapping categories. So simplifying the overlapping categories could help  the users experience.
Hot Fixes
  • Embed Vendors’ Social Media Feeds into Vendor’s Profile Page
  • Incentivize Vendors to Use Promo Codes by Setting Them as
    "Featured Businesses"
  • Fee Waiver in Exchange for Promotion
  • Build Trust with Influencer Marketing
  • Notify customers via email when new vendors are added to the site
  • Provide Location of Restaurants
  • Clarify Mango Lakay’s Purpose as a Directory
  • Inform Customers When They Are Leaving the Mango Lakay Site
  • Provide Customers Account Service
  • Feature to Favorite Vendors