The Gardenio mobile app is designed, in conjunction with Growboxes, to support somebody new to growing food across their food growing journey, which is inherently cyclical. It connects people to the information, supplies, and people they need to be successful. There’s no such thing as a black thumb, just lack of access.
Oct 2019 - Dec 2019
My client believes the growth engine is powered by an active, robust, helpful community, with tools that connect people made for the at-home food grower. There is no organized, specialized place for new (and experienced) food growers to talk to each other and help each other out. Currently, there are Facebook groups, Google Groups, some online forums, a subreddit etc. The entire space is tribal, fragmented, and inconsistent.
How might we leverage people and community to improve people’s growing and social experience with Gardenio?
I started the project with secondary research and user research in order to help me understand the real situation and identify what are users’ biggest frustrations before I make any design decisions. By unconvering the users’ needs and pain points, I designed the screens targeted to identified themes. After rounds of usability tests and iterations, I presented the high fidelity prototype to my client.
Business Model Canvas
To identify the opportunities of improving growers’ experience and thus set forth a successful business, I mapped out the elements to communicate details of Gardenio’s business model which includes the value propositions differentiated from other competitors, various channels to deliver values to customers, strategies for key activities and resources to maximize user experience and revenue streams.
Comparative Analysis - Feature Audit
I conducted comparative evaluations on a couple of direct competitors to identify Gardenio’s position in the market and opportunities to grow. By generating a feature audit list, I pinpointed the similarities and differences between each gardening app.
Community Apps for Inspirations
As I was going to build a niche community app for gardener to connect with like-minded people, I also analyzed other apps that leverage community attributes to advocate the resources exchange for inspirations.
Meetup is a social platform allows the users to discover events/organizations that are interested to them or organize an event to get people together and make a difference.
Increase the visibility of the event or community to build trust
Start new conversations by creating new content
Display content in a timely manner
Keep the conversations within the APP
Kitchen Stories is a mobile APP features step-by-step photo instructions and video guides on making various types of dishes and the community for sharing recipes and culinary techniques.
Combining text with photos and video gives better experience
Categorize the Content
Explore and browse content more efficiently
Share the Result
Share in the comment to engage the conversation better
Moderate the Content
Quality content gives visual enjoyment
Findings & Quotes
Followed by the market research, I conducted 6 in-person interviews to better understand potential users’ perspectives to uncover the goals, needs, expectations and frustrations when they come to gardening. In order to learn from different angles, I spoke with 3 self-proclaimed novice growers and 3 experts. We converged the common themes into the following insights:
Growers need community features tailored to the growing experience as most of them are not distinguished from the regular social media
“Sometimes I feel very redundant to go to the community section in a gardening app because it’s like a replica of Facebook forum, or instagram page. It’s not efficient.”