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FERTILE GROUND Your best guide for gardening & harvesting.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction...................................................................................... 3 Discovery Phase.............................................................................. 4 Competitive Analysis..................................................................... 5 The Pivot............................................................................................. 6 White Boarding................................................................................ 7 Surveys................................................................................................ 8 Skeletal Phase................................................................................... 10 Personas.............................................................................................. 11 Functional & Content Requirements...................................... 14 Scenario............................................................................................... 15 User Flow............................................................................................ 16 Site Map.............................................................................................. 17 Wireframe Sketches....................................................................... 18 Style Tile.............................................................................................. 21 Usability Script................................................................................. 22 Final Sprint......................................................................................... 23 Minimal Viable Product................................................................ 24 Bibliography...................................................................................... 25

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INTRODUCTION Meet the Crack Team

Communities have been wasting food for years. Residential food bearing plant owners, think that neighbor with olive trees, often leave food to fall and rot. Rather the root cause is a lack of knowledge, time, resources, community support, or simple malaise, these growers need a tool that makes it easy to: Grow beautiful plants Harvest fruit n Learn how to care for and maintain your garden n n

Kseniya Kuzmina

A crack team has been assembled to design the answer to the gardening woes of both hobbyist “gardeners� and perennial green thumbs.

Patrick Willey

Serene Chu

Reynaldo Barrioz

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DISCOVERY PHASE

Team members review the Discovery Summary and participate in card sorting.

Initially, the team identified several areas where we could leverage a competitive advantage toward the goal of creating THE resource for gardening. With the team based in San Francisco, CA, we quickly determined that not only would our solution require a robust plant database with information about climates that individual plants thrive best in, but information on gardening in the various micro-climates (i.e. growing zones) peppered throughout the bay and similarly varied geographic areas. Additionally, it was imperative to include: n Alerts and information on when gardeners should harvest n Weather information and alerts n Video tutorials n Pest control information n Social media integration n Member forums

Monetization at this point was considered to be via strategic partnerships with region-specific garden centers who would advertise sales and benefits for our users. After having established these core assumptions/considerations, the team proceeded to take a detailed look at some current resources on the web‌

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COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS Initial competitive analysis was limited to websites geared toward similar goals of providing information to gardeners. All four websites share some successful elements including reasonably well-organized layout and the standard inclusion of social media, vivid imagery, and an ‘About Us’ page, however there was a dearth

of a modern feel, responsive design, and substantial interactivity. The sites appeared to be mostly about themselves and less about robust and actionable information for the people visiting them. From this review the team found a competitive advantage by choosing to

create a user-centered mobile application that will include access to video content, robust plant and planting information (seasons, growth zones, etc.), and create a community for users to interact and share information and images. As many already know, “the best laid plans…”

http://www.growbettervegg http://www.burpee.com https://www.mastergarden http://www.bayfriendlycoali ies.com/growbetterveggie s/ tion.org/ ers.org/ Content Features Organized Layout

x

x

x

x

Readability

x

x

x

x

Social Media

x

x

x

x

About Us

x

x

x

x

Images

x

x

x

x

Video Tutorial

x

No

No

No

x

No contact link, info is on top left nav & can post comment. Has search.

BayArea/Microclimate Information

x

No but has info about growing in different seasons.

Downloadable Resources

x

x

x

No

x

x

No + Uses deprecated HTML

No

Contact/Search Local Professional

Technical Features Search Box Responsive Design

x No. Has mobile app.

Mega-Menus

x

x

No

No

Comments/Reviews

x

No

No

Yes

Mailing List

x

No

x

No

Shopping Cart

x

No

No

Yes

Donate Contact Form

x

No

No - email addy link only

email link only

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THE PIVOT assistance with harvesting.

Having established our goals and tentative targets, the team briefly perused the Apple iTunes® and Google Play® online stores and found the application we had described had been created. We had been scooped by some upstart garden community (sarcasm) known as The Royal Horti-

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cultural Society. Those unfamiliar with RHS should know that they are essentially THE authority in the gardening and growing community. Defeat did not set in on the team as we still had an ace in the hole: harvesting. None of the apps and sites that were reviewed ALSO offered community

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Inspired by the community gleaning (i.e. harvesting) efforts of the Santa Cruz Fruit Tree Project our team pivoted on the concept of a network of volunteer harvesters connected to residential gardeners to recover food that would otherwise go to waste. Further, our app will ‘close the loop’ by connecting the community to workshops and classes that address harvesting, preserving, and utilizing recovered food. Our users’ incentives are now not just expert information on growing plants and discounts at partnered garden centers, but the incredibly powerful ‘warm and fuzzy’ feeling of contributing to the local foodchain community.


WHITEBOARDING With the pivot decision made we completed a series of whiteboards that illustrated our new direction.

Splash and Home page.

Onboarding page.

Harvesting Calendar.

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SURVEYS With the survey form complete we interviewed several people at the Santa Cruz Farmers Market and other locations. 1. Do you have a favorite gardening website and/or app that you use? If yes please specify. ✔ Yes ¨ No ¨ 2. Would you consider downloading an app which offers gardening advice? ✔ Yes ¨ No ¨ 3. What kind of gardening advice would you want this app to give? Please specify Plants that grow well together, nutritional needs, pest control

4. Do you think it would be good if there was a feature in the app allowing you to upload photos of your garden and view photos of other gardens? ✔ Yes ¨ No ¨ 5. Do you think it would be good if there was a feature in the app which allowed you to watch gardening advice videos? ✔ Yes ¨ No ¨ 6. Would you find it useful if there was a feature giving you regular weather updates for your local area with advice depending on the current conditions? ✔ Yes ¨ No ¨ 7. Would you find it useful if there was a feature that gave you growing zone information? ✔ Yes ¨ No ¨ 8. What other information would you like this app to offer? Please specify Advisory weather warnings Basic demographics Age: 27 Occupation: Farmer

Education: AA Preferred OS: Windows

Internet skill: 9 3 tasks user wants to accomplish: Search, Easy navigation, no ads

Self-motivated: 7 Social media: 4 Comfortable with Tech: 9 Motivation: Relaxing, rewarding, sense of well-being Goals: Learn more about plants Pain points: Frivolous features, push notifications that cannot be turned off

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SURVEYS Key Takeaways: n

P  eople would consider downloading a gardening app

n

N  o existing ‘trendy’ app

n

M  icro-climate info. would be well received

n

A  ccess to video tutorials/tips a good idea

n

A  ds = bad user experience

n

A  lerts that cannot be managed = bad

n

G  arden center discounts = saved $$ = good!

Locals and visitors shopping for organic produce at the Santa Cruz Farmers Market.

Prospective app. users were surveyed at a local Santa Cruz, CA farmers market who provided some interesting insights into the ‘gardeners’. The majority of responders confirmed they would download an app. with gardening advice and had no existing favorite app already. Responders overwhelmingly agreed that access to videos and information about growth-zones would be important. The inclusion of a feature to upload photos and related weather up-

dates and alerts were also well supported by the survey results. While informative updates was on the list of requests one of the resounding pain points beyond, “ADs!” were alerts that could not be disabled. Lastly, it was both intuitive to the team and supported by survey respondents that app users would not only still expect robust gardening and plant information, but find an incentive if the app. included links to local gardening centers with coupons for supplies.

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SKELETAL PHASE Putting it together From this we established a use-case scenario and the app’s basic requirements to define the app’s scope,…

Serene starts sketching out how the information architecture will flow.

Based on the respondents to our surveys, the team assembled several personae to establish a target user group for our app: 1. Dyami Kaplan

n

27yrs old

n

H  igh garden/farming knowledge

n

Comfortable using technology

n

May request harvesters, but wants to participate

2. Mandy Spitzer

n

Early 60s

n

Competent gardener

n

Not strong with technology

n

Wants expert plant advice, may request harvesters

3. Julia Reynolds

n

Mid 30s

n

Plant/food enthusiast

n

Extremely tech savvy

n

May volunteer, may request harvesters, interested in workshops

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n

Functional

n

L  ogin/Logout w/ Profiles

n

Search

n

Contact

n

Weather

n

Settings

n

Help/FAQ

n

Notifications

n

Content

n

Gardening Help

n

Harvesting Help

n

Pest Control

n

Video Tutorials

n

Member Forum

n

E  vents/Workshops

n

About Us


PERSONAS Dyami Kaplan Dyami is a 27-year old interested in learning how to be a farmer. He works at a farm in the Santa Cruz mountains where his chores consist of soil preparation, weeding, watering, sowing, and harvesting. He enjoys going to the local Farmers Market in downtown Santa Cruz where he visits with friends and meets new people. He would be interested in an app that can give him useful information about plants, pest control, local weather with notifications of weather alerts, video tutorials and disease prevention. Dyami would also like to share photos of his garden and view photos from other gardeners and be able to post discussions through a forum. Dyami has volunteered as a “Gleaner� (harvester) recently and would be very interested if this app could also notify him about harvesting opportunities, fruit processing, pruning and tree care workshops and food festivals.

Motivations n

n

W  ants to become knowledgeable about pest control, nutritional feeding and disease control.

Behaviors Self-Motivated

I nterested in community building around providing good healthy food.

Goals n

Buy property and build a sustainable garden.

n

Learn about growing fruit and nut trees.

Social Media User

Pain Points n

F  rivolous features, push notifications that you can’t turn off and pop up ads.

Comfortable with technology

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PERSONAS Mandy Sptizer Mandy a retired social worker devotes her time between creating metal sculpture art and gardening. Her backyard is a garden of vegetable delight. Every season she has an abundance of tomatoes, zucchinis, lettuce, beans, cilantro, chilies, eggplants, etc. She also has fig, persimmon and apple trees that are bountiful producers. She would be interested in learning how to use an app that would connect her to volunteers willing to harvest her high-yielding fruit trees so her fruit doesn’t just fall and rot on the ground. With the help of gleaners she could spend more time canning her fruit for the season. Mandy would also like to volunteer as a gleaner and learn more about how to cure olives and drying fruit. She also sees the value in an app that can help her diagnose problems with her vegetables, give advice about nutritional feeding, and pest control.

Motivations n

S tay connected to community.

n

M  entor young people about art and the art of growing vegetables.

Behaviors Self-Motivated

Goals n

B  ecome more efficient at growing vegetables and fruits.

n

L  earn more about canning, drying and preserving her food.

Social Media User

Pain Points n

A  ds.

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Comfortable with technology


PERSONAS Julia Reynolds Julia works as a criminal justice reporter at The Monterey County Herald. She has reported for Medianews newspapers, PBS, NPR, 60 Minutes, The Nation and many other media outlets. Her work focuses on gangs, crime and prisons. When she isn’t dodging gang hits she enjoys spending time outdoors foraging. Julia is quite adept at recognizing wild edible plants. This naturally evolved to wanting to grow healthy food for herself and friends. She would be interested in downloading an app that would give her advice about: • Native and heirloom plants • Video tutorials that show her how to maintain her garden • A forum where she can discuss issues and interests with others As a long-time forager Julia is very interested in helping growers harvest their fruit and attend workshops that can teach her about drying and canning fruit, curing olives, and other food preparation classes. What she dislikes the most is when an app advertises features that either do not do what was promised or are not robust enough to be helpful. Julia hates when poorly designed ads scroll across the portion of her window and she cannot remove them and she abhors pop-up ads especially, those that can’t be turned off.

Motivations

Behaviors

•C  ontinue to learn new things about people and events.

Self-Motivated

•H  elp people understand the value of knowing how to forage. Goals

Social Media User

• Learn more about heirloom and native plants. • Learn more about canning, drying and preserving food. Pain Points

Comfortable with technology

•P  op up ads, banner ads that won’t go away, promised features that are don’t do what they promise.

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FUNCTIONAL & CONTENT REQUIREMENTS FUNCTIONAL REQUIREMENTS

CONTENT REQUIREMENTS

High Priority

High Priority

Login/Logout

Member Forum

Search Box

Pest Control

Contact Us

Video Tutorials

Local Weather

Harvesting Seasons

Settings and Privacy

Workshops Drought Information

Low Priority

Imagery

Create User Profile

Garden Help

Help/FAQs Receive Notifications

Low Priority Social Media Who We Are Help

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SCENARIO 1. On a warm Sunday morning, Sara prepares herself to do some gardening work in her backyard. She notices that the fruit on her persimmon tree look ripe and ready to be harvested. Since she just moved into this new house that came with the persimmon tree, Sara is unsure and has no experience harvesting a persimmon tree. 2. Sara takes out her Android phone and looks up information regarding harvesting services. She downloads a mobile app that offers the service for free. 3. Sara opens the app. She taps the harvest icon on the home page. It then requires Sara to sign up in order to use the harvesting

feature. She logs in with one tap of a button through her Google account. 4. Since this is her first time logging in, the app takes her directly to the “My Garden� page, where Sara enters all the information that pertains to her garden. 5. Once she is done, Sara then taps on the harvest icon to request for a date. A list of available dates and times show up. She scrolls through and selects next Sunday with a time frame between 10am-12pm. Sara pushes the confirm button and moments later an email confirmation is sent to her. Now Sara can go back to attending to her flowers and herbs.

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USER FLOW User Opens App

Fertile Ground

Log In Harvest

or

Register

Enter ID & Password or Register

Verify Information

Request Service Key Page List of Availability

System action User action

Select & Confirm

User Input System Decision

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SITE MAP Header Search

HOME

Plants

Database

Log In

Harvesting Service

My Profile

Garden Advice

Requests

My Garden

Planting

My Album

Growing Zones

Contact Us

My Workshops

When to Harvest

FAQs

Discounts

Pest Control

Forum

Videos

Calendar

About Us

Workshops

Our Mission

Weather

Footer Contact Us

FAQ

Settings

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WIREFRAME SKETCHES With the majority of our research complete we completed several wireframe sketches.

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WIREFRAME SKETCHES

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WIREFRAME SKETCHES

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STYLE TILE With sketches complete we created a style tile that displayed color a palette, fonts, imagery and texture.

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USABILITY SCRIPT

Melanie Yeche provides feedback about Grow Buddy.

The newly christened Grow Buddy team was granted the opportunity to conduct user testing in front of a local college User Experience class (VMD 127, hosted by City College San Francisco). The questions we sought answers to for this initial test were quite simple: I s the application inviting or does it tend to be intimidating to use? nW  hat, so far, is the most unclear and what are the biggest pain points? n I s what we have logically organized or have we broken conventions that we need to revisit? nD  oes the user feel the need to hunt through the entire app to accomplish some of the most simple tasks? nW  hat are the user’s preconceptions about this app? n

Though the team had an outstanding demo created in under 2 weeks, we knew this was merely the first in an iterative process, we nonetheless braced ourselves for the torrent of input we were about to receive… Many effusive thanks go to Melanie Yeche, who volunteered as our test user and generously exceeded the team’s expectations by providing a wealth of meaningful and well thought out feedback. Via a test script Melanie was presented a couple of tasks to accomplish by interact-

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ing with the demo app (hosted in InVision®): n

S  ign-up to access the app’s full feature set.

n

L  og-in to the app and make a request for harvesters.

From Melanie’s input (also supported by the class and instructor, Beth Cataldo) the team was able to understand a great deal about our future users: n

C  olor, imagery, and general style were well received and inviting!

n

H  ome screen and icons were well laid out and clear to understand.

n

S  uggestions were made to reorder the home screen icons to better refine their functional hierarchy.

n

T  he login/out icon needs refinement, perhaps just text?

n

T  he process or state of being logged in/out was confusing.

n

T  he sign-up and onboarding were a bit overwhelming (wordy).

n

S  ome terminology needed clarification.

n

A  pp name ‘Grow Buddy’ from a SF Bay area perspective, may adversely affect conversions due to regional biases surrounding what the particular verbiage could be ‘reefering’ to.

n

A  tag line might be helpful and stylish.


FINAL SPRINT

For the final sprint Kseniya Kuzmina reviews options for creating the final hi-fi screens for the app.

With the project deadline a week away and the valuable constructive input from our user testing, team ‘Grow Buddy’ hit the drawing-board once again. From the ashes of Grow Buddy, Fertile Ground sprouted. Succinctly, we found a name better suiting the elegance and robustness of our app. Fertile Ground tackled concerns regarding onboarding and the login/why login page from our user testing by combining them into one brief animation the first time the app loads. Rather than a flat screen, or a series of text screens to swipe through, our app will feature a splash screen and a short animation. Three uniquely-colored tiles each featuring an icon, a heading central to a function of our app, and a brief tag-line that tells our users about that function

will appear and fade for first-time users. No buttons to press, no swipes to swipe, our users will enjoy a brief, colorful, and informative introduction. Additional modifications, that were well received and pursued: n

Login moved to secondary navigation.

n

L  ogin is not required, but accessing areas requiring it will elicit a ‘login required’ page if one has not already done so.

n

T  his also addresses login/out state concerns and confusion about signing up.

n

S  ome terms/vocabulary have been refined to better reflect what they represent

n

F  ertile Ground now has a clear and confident new tag-line!

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MINIMAL VIABLE PRODUCT Hamburger Menu

After making our second presentation to our class we took the feedback we received and revised our screens to complete our Minimal Viable Product. The Fertile Ground prototype can be viewed online.

Sign Up

Splash Screen

Onboarding

Home

Plants

Harvest Request

Harvesting Dates

Request Confirmation

Volunteer Request

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. App Store Downloads on iTunes. (n.d.). Retrieved December 2015, from https://itunes.apple.com/us/genre/ios/id36?mt=8 2. Burpee Seeds and Plants - Home Garden, Vegetable Seeds, Annual Flowers at Burpee.com. (n.d.). Retrieved December 2015, from http://www.burpee.com/ 3. Enterprise-Grade Prototyping and Mockup Tool | InVision. (n.d.). Retrieved December 2015, from http://www.invisionapp.com/enterprise/ 4. Google Play. (n.d.). Retrieved December 2015, from https://play.google.com/store 5. Love Apple Farms. (n.d.). Retrieved December 2015, from http://www.growbetterveggies.com/growbetterveggies/ 6. RHS Home Page / RHS Gardening. (n.d.). Retrieved December 2015, from https://www.rhs.org.uk/ 7. Santa Cruz Fruit Tree Project. (n.d.). Retrieved December 2015, from http://www.fruitcruz.org/ 8. Style Tiles. (n.d.). Retrieved December 2015, from http://styletil.es/ 9. UC Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County. (n.d.). Retrieved December 2015, from https://www.mastergardeners.org/ 10. Welcome to the Bay-Friendly Coalition. (n.d.). Retrieved December 2015, from http://www.bayfriendlycoalition.org/

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FERTILE GROUND Your best guide for gardening & harvesting.

In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy. — William Blake

Profile for Reynaldo Barrioz

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