Grow

Plant app for Millennials

The Sill, a modern plant shop, has helped many millennials grow their indoor jungle. Grow is a mobile app by The Sill that'll continue to allow millennials to take care of their plants they've purchased.

TEAM

kelly wang – designer

ROLE

Research, Strategy, Concept Ideation, UX/UI/IXD

TOOLS USED

Paper+pen, Sketch, Principle, Adobe CC

RECOGNITION

merit – the one club Young Ones ADC: UX/UI

Introduction

Grow started when I kept killing all of my houseplants and ended up with a fear of murdering any more of them. I thought, I couldn't be the only one with this problem, and began researching to see if there's an opportunity for this.

jump to visual design
Process
Initial Observations
Target Audience

Since I related as a millennial and wanted this to be helpful to people experiencing similar problems, I decided to narrow down the target audience to:

• Millennials
• Plant owners
• Non-plant owners that were interested in houseplants

Questions to Consider

I also had some initial thoughts and curiosity about the subject, and if it's worth pursuing:

1. Are millennials interested in plants?
2. Do they need additional support in plant care?
3. What were the target audience's pain points in plant care?

Research

31% of houseplant sales were accountable by millennials last year. Digging deeper, this was because millennials felt solace and sense of nurturing in plants as significant milestones such as kids were happening much later in life.

At this point, I've realized a mobile app would be the best for users as it's easily accessible and can be on-the-go to manage plants, unlike a desktop program. To see if there were any suitable apps already, I went onto the app store for market research:

PLANT PAL

The app begins by asking what a user is looking for from a plant, and the user's knowledge in plant care to suggest a perfect plant.

Provides thorough plant care informationColors indicate the health status of a plant, which seems a bit arbitrary.

Users were not able to take pictures of the plants they owned.

HAPPY PLANT

A water reminder app that provides remainder days to water for each plant. 

User can name your plants and has a water streak function that gamifies the process.

Has plant time-lapse options. There were no sorting options.

WATER BUG

Teaches users how to prune, fertilize, and pest by a game.

There are notifications when a plant needs watering, and users can also name your plants.

There's a lack of plant database, and there were image distorting and animation errors that made users feel uncomfortable.

User Research

Next step was to see if millennials that were plant owners and non-plant owners were still struggling with plant care practices.

Some of the questions asked:
• Do you have any plants? If so, how many and what type of plants do you own?
• What type of plants do you like?
• Do you know how to take care of plants?
• Do you think you need any help in taking care of your plants?
• What's keeping you from buying plants?

Main Takeaways

• Forgetfulness is an issue. People forget to water their plants. It's also even more complicated when they travel.

• Not many people have enough knowledge to take care of the plants properly.

• Many people's biggest fear when it comes to owning a plant is killing them.

The locations users live in were not suitable for some of the plants they've owned.

• Even if people are taking care of the plants, some things can go wrong. 

• Currently, Google is the resource people use for more information on plants, but often they're not finding the answers they need.

Brainstorming

I began to gather all the data and organize the features the app could have specifically for millennials. I also started to search for any brands that could benefit from this app, rather than creating a new brand app from scratch.

Decision

I narrowed the features even further to see what worked best after multiple rounds and removed any extra features that didn't seem necessary. After researching, what I wanted to develop was perfect for The Sill: A modern plant destination for the modern plant lover.

The Sill provides guides on plant care when your order arrives home. However, these were printed cards and didn't translate digitally. This is where Grow comes– a plant care app for millennials by The Sill.

User Flow
Wireframes – Initial Round
Wireframes – Final
Visual Design & Prototypes
Key Features

The main feature of Grow is to keep track and maintain each plant's health. My plants page allows a user to easily access all their plants while keeping individual plant page in one gesture by swiping up.

Simple UI and Gestures

Grow has organic shapes to bring life to the plant by default. The UI is also kept simple to highlight the plants and not bring too much attention to the design.

Remind a Friend

If a user is having a friend looking after a plant, user can send the proper plant care and notifications via SMS or Facebook Messenger.

Plant Database

Discover section includes information on variety of house plants for users to explore, along with any plant guide articles to read.

Detailed Guides & Easy Buy

Each page is organized by categories, and plant articles includes species history, suitable locations, and extensive information on how to care for them.

If the user likes a plant they're seeing, buy plant button is easily accessible at the end of the page that can redirect them to The Sill to purchase.

Extra Feature – Scan to Add Plant

Grow will have a scan technology by using The Sill's API for users to easily add a plant. Users also have the option to search by typing the plant name or manually add a plant.

Design Assets
What I Learned

To understand what users needed in plant care when I didn't know much in the beginning was a challenge. The people I've interviewed and tested the iterations with were mostly colleagues and friends around my age, and that was also something to take notice in even if they were the right target audience.

It was also my first time mixing Principle and After Effects together to create more complex interactions on a prototype. Overall, while it wasn't the most straightforward project from start to finish, I learned a lot and had pleasure in discovering new things along the way.