Center for Ants

Designing an Architectural Supply Shop, made by architects for architects.



Architectural supply stores in Europe are often old-fashioned, slightly unorganized and full of beautiful products. Their current online shops are too. While those traits make the physical shop feel grand and authentic, it makes their websites hard to use.
In addition, architectural students are notoriously busy and need an easy way to get their supply without wasting precious time.


User Interviews: 6
Open Card Sorting: 4
Closed Card Sorting: 10
Usability Test: 10
Design Iterations: 3

Organized the categories and labeling of the products.  
Develop a contemporary UI to appeal to Design/ Architectural Students
Develop a clear and straightforward navigation to facilitate a quick browsing and check-out.
Created a Discover page to have student help each other making models.

My role

This a theoretical solo project. The concept came from my own experience as an architectural student having to use outdated websites to buy my supply.

I was very attentive during the research phase because I was aware that I could easily fall into designing for myself instead of the user base.

I prepared and conducted all the interviews, card sorting and usability tests. I also created the layout and the UI of this project.


2 weeks design sprint


I created a very straightforward navigation with a contemporary UI to appeal to Design student. I added a discover page to help student make models.


Figma, FigJam, Maze

Center for Ants

Test out the prototype on the desktop website.

Test out the prototype yourself
at the end of this page.

The following three website are from actual shops based in Madrid. The last one is the website of the most recommended architectural supply shop around. The website are messy and out of touch with their young designer client base.
In addition, architectural supplies can be very expensive. If students are going to spend considering amount of money in it, they deserve an online shop that is functional and easy to use.

The competition


In this project, it was very important to have a clear navigation as well as a little bit of creativity. I chose the following references to help guide me through the design process.

Clean aesthetic, clean navigation.

Card Sorting

One of the main thing that came out in interviews was that the current architectural supply online shops have poor labelling and categories. To fix that problem I set up two rounds of cardsorting, the first one open and the second one closed. I used both people from the target group but also people that don’t know much about architecture for the closed round. The reason for using both is that sometimes the parents of the students do their shopping for them so anyone should be able to navigate the website.

Pushing the site further by adding a Discover feature to share "Model Recipes"