Project four in UXDI (User experience design immersive) in General Assembly is called the “Passion project.” As a team, we can choose what ever topic we are interested in. We chose an app helps people to take care of plant.
Team members: Mendy, Joyce, Nicole, Barbara
1. What is the Problem?
According to the New York Times, millennials, especially the ones living in the urban environment, love houseplants. Living in the concrete jungle, people are happy to see a sense of nature in the house both for decoration and emotions.
However, when taking care of them, the situation may look like this…
Why can’t people take care of plants? First of all, people have other things in their lives that seem to be more important, jobs, families, friends, and more. After a long day, it is hard to remember to water the succulents living on the window deck.
Besides that, some people don’t have enough experience and knowledge to take care of plants. Some people underwater plants, some overwater them, some don’t know how to deal with pests. Without the knowledge, it makes the process even harder.
However, more importantly, for many, taking care of plants can be a hassle, a task to be finished. And they don’t receive joy out of the process.
2. What is the Solution?
Here is our solution, Plantr. It is an app helps users to take care of plants by fostering a relationship with their houseplants. When the bond is created, taking care of the plants becomes a moment of breath in people’s busy life. It motivates people to learn more about the knowledge required as well.
Let’s meet Laura. Laura is a fictional person made up of all the information we gather from our interviewees. We call this type of people “personas.” They help us to focus on the targeted users of our app during the process of design. They have the needs and goals of our users.
Laura is an ordinary city girl. She is 27 years old and has a regular job. She appreciates the beauty and freshness plants bringing to her apartment. However, because she always forgets to take care of them, it is hard to keep them alive. She would like to have reminders to tend to her plants and care instructions easy to follow.
In order to address Laura’s needs, here are the features we offer in the app.
She can identify plants using camera, filter or search function. When adding plants to her garden, she can name her plants.
Laura bought a cute plant in her local store. However, when she gets home there is no name tag on the pot. She needs to add this plant to her garden.
A timeline to let her record growth milestones of her plants, the achievements she gains, the failure she overcomes.
Laura got notification that she has kept Bobby alive for a month. Record this moment!
Along the way, there are care and inspirational tips to help her grow with her plants.
After Laura checked off “water Francene today,” she received a fun fact. Wow, plants like Rock & Roll!
There is also a quick access to common plant problem to help her identify the issues for her plants.
While watering Francene, Laura found there are some issues with Francene. She needed some help!
3. Where do we fit in the market?
National Gardening Survey and IBISWorld Forecast both have data validates the our hypothesis that people love houseplants.
We also looked at some of the competitors that offer similar services as ours. Here are the two major competitors that we studied. Here are the goods and bads we learned from them to improve our product.
4. How did we get here?
To make sure we interviewed the right people, we first conducted a screener survey. We asked people if they had experience with plants and if they have the intention of caring. We have also asked them to self-identify their level in plant caring. From the 28 responses we received, we picked seven interviewees with different level of plant care skills. During the interviews, we dig further into their needs and thoughts about plant care.
After analyzing the insights we received from the interviews, we conducted design brainstorming and tested 11 users total for three rounds of iterations. The first two iterations are on mid-fidelity with no color and images. It is because we were testing the functionality of the task flows. The last iterations, we adds colors and more visual elements to make the product more polished.
Here are the examples of iterating:
From bottom tab bar to the plus button, the design choices and changes we made were all based on the results from our testers.
5. What do users say?
During the process of testing, we received some great quotes from people.
The quotes and thoughts from users validated our idea of people feeling an attachment to their plants and owners depressing when they were not able to take care of their plants. Also just by sending notifications to users’ phone can’t solve the problem. As long as we can establish the bond, users will be motivated to take care of their plants.
5. What else can be involved?
In order to bring the product to the next level, we have considered partner with the Sill, a plant store that operates online and out of their brick and mortar store in NYC. Plants from the Sill come with simple care instructions and direct access to their team of plant experts to answer any and all questions.We chose The Sill as a key partner because their mission and target demographic aligns with with ours.
The partnership will be a win-win. Their content about plant caring will strengthen our plant database and our app can bring costumers to their business.
We would also like to incorporate some next steps including a printed “Plantstagram” photo book that records the timeline of your plants. The book can ship to users’ house and they can place it next to the plant an enjoy.
In order to make the diagnose process easier, we would like to develop the technology of photo identifying so that problems can be diagnosed by just taking a picture.
Thank you for your time!
Please take a look at my previous project in General Assembly: