Bloom
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January-April 2020 

The Project

For our senior project class, we divided ourselves into groups of four. we decided to go with a plant management app. We wanted to know if our target audience of 18-35 years old, would use this app, whether you are a beginner, or advance. For the beginners, they may want to start taking care of plants and would want to do it the correct way. For the users that have experience with plants, their plants may keep dying, or want to start taking care of multiple types of plants and wants to know the best kind for their lifestyle.

 

To create this project we followed the Goal-Directed Design process. 

Everyone shared the same responsibilities and collaborated, such as research, interviews, prototyping etc.

The Team
  • Wendy Adams

  • Breann Bracewell

  • Katie Flood

  • Brianna McBride

Literature Review and Competitive Audit 

For Literature Review we were all tasked with reviewing two articles pertaining to plant management. I went with reviewing articles for beginners (those that would like to start taking care of plants) and what tips or advice that the experts would give. 

The Competitive Audit was looked at out plant management apps that were out on the market and to determine which ones do well and what we can do to set ourselves apart from them. We looked at download numbers and the different features. Only some had information about the plants, while only a couple of the apps had plant care management. 

First Interviews

For the first round of interviews, we interviewed some that would be considered experts (those with more that 10 years of taking care of planets), intermediates (between 2-10 years of experience), and beginners (0-2 years of experience). Some of the questions we asked were we wanted to know what they would want in an app that would fit their needs. Would it be useful to have reminders? What type of information would want in the app? 

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Some of the challenges that we found out from the interviews:

  • Plant care scheduling for multiple plants to be confusing

  • Confused about how much water some plants receive

  • Found some plant terms confusing

We also discovered what some of the needs of the user:

  • Wants a "coach" to provide information

  • Wants plant care management to be easy and simple

  • Owned plants for the therapeutic quality it provided

Affinity Mapping and Personas

Using the information we gathered from our research and interviews, we began mapping behavioral variables. These included things such as their goals, frustrations, activities, and attitudes. We set three minutes for each subject for us to come up with anything we could on the topic from our interviews. We then put these on a whiteboard and mapped them by their similarities. We then mapped our subjects to the variables to establish patterns between them.

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From our affinity mapping, we created a primary persona, a secondary, and context scenarios for each of them. 

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Defining Elements & Framework

We needed to define which elements the users wanted based on the initial interviews and our personas. We decided to make it for the iPhone some of the features will have:

  • Plant Profile: naming them, date bought, mood

  • Care Schedule: watering, fertilizing, trimming, etc

  • Social media integration

  • Index with plant and care information

  • Settings: turning on/off notifications

We each did our low-fidelity and each team member presented their ideas of how to design the app and how to present the features. We hashed out the first iteration taking some of the ideas from each team member. 

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We also created some keypath scenarios as well as a validation scenario.

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We used Figma to create the prototyping for the app with all the information we had gathered thus far. 

Our Initial Prototyping: 

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We did more user testing with our prototype, we were able to use the same four people that we had for our first interviews. 

The testing results:

  • The basic structure and organizing was quickly understood

  • The profile page should be removed as it was deemed a useless feature

  • Some of the subcategories of the index need to be made clearer

  • The "mood status" of the plant was well received, and did not make the user feel guilty or alarmed if the plant was giving of an alarming status 

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Refinement

With the results from our second round of testing, we did our refinement on the app including 

 

  • Removing the profile page and replacing it with a dedicated badges page

  • Added a badge feature to the home page so users would be encouraged by a “next badge” goal.

  • Changed options on the “plant types” index subcategory to reduce confusion.

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Takeaway

After we did our third checkpoint/presentation to give an update on our progress, due to COVID-19, our class was converted to online for the rest of the semester on March 16, 2020. We used Figma to design/wire-frame our app, so we continued to improve the app, however we could not do more testing to get feedback after we made our changes. 

I really enjoyed working with this team for this project. I learned a lot about the subject of the  project itself and always enjoy collaborating with different people.