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
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.
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.
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.”
Growers are frustrated with unrelated information online
"I have a hard time finding information on the Internet. It's just difficult... Too much information... A lot of the problems have to do with images. I doubt that today's imaging technology delivers reliable matches."
Some growers doubt the credibility of answers provided by other growers
“I don’t think I can always get the right answers from the community feeds.”
The accuracy of the plant identification determines whether the grower will return
“I think the plant identification feature is very convenient but it’s not always accurate.”
The gardening instructions in the app did not set the grower up for success
“I followed the instructions in the app, but my plants still died.”
Information overload or lack of information will not satisfy the grower
"I just want the right amount of information enough for me to grow my plants."
A gardener’s journey encompasses plenty of touch points and that evokes emotional changes from discover to harvest. I decided to map out each element so that helped me to see the forest for the trees.
Gardenio does not meet users' basic gardening needs. Users need Gardenio's mobile app, which can accurately identify plants, integrate adequate and relevant care guides and task reminders, give growers more confidence in decision-making, and provide a communication channel for growers to share and seek answers. The solution proposed will benefit Gardenio's business by reorganizing the information architecture and introducing new functional elements to meet user needs. The solution is in line with Gardenio's goal of creating a self-sustaining community that brings growers and experts together for social networking and resource exchanges.