Aloe from Green Our Planet
Aloe - a mobile app made for corporate giving programs, by using hydroponic growers with the goal of creating a tribal effect with community participation.
GREEN OUR PLANET
We started the project by conducting a few rounds of meetings with the clients to understand their expectations of the project. They were not sure about what they wanted to do at first but they did come out with a list of things they wished to gain from this project.
Green Our Planet is a non-profit organization that runs one of the most comprehensive STEM school garden and hydroponics programs throughout the United States. Here is the list of programs GoP provided:
School Garden Programs
Curriculum & Teacher Training
Remote Learning from GoP
Community giving is becoming common in places like the US, with many opportunities for people and companies to donate their time and money. GoP, like many other organizations, are finding challenges in reaching its funding goals for school programs. Although hydroponic growers are gaining popularity, they have not reached viral status.
My Role and Contributions
This is a master's thesis project with a total of 4 team members, I was in-charged of:
Design user personas & journey maps
Performed site schematic & site audit
User research such as interviews
Determine minimum viable products based on the project goals
Highly involved in wireframing & prototyping
Determined success rate with the HEART framework
HOW DID WE START THE PROJECT? ...
1. Track the current website's underlying issues
Since the clients aren't sure about the goal of the project, we offered to do a site schematic & audit to help them identify the underlying issues at the current website, we believed this is the best way to portray a clearer picture of what they are lacking, and what they need to improve.
Site schematic & site audit summary
Unorganized content hierarchy
Unreasonable amount of CTA
The contents are not up to date
Confusing user interface
Too many expired links
The navigation is not user-friendly
FOUND THE UNDERLYING ISSUES... AND?
2. Present site schematic & audit outcomes for the client
The team presented the outcomes to the clients not only to tell them what are the underlying issues but also to study their reactions. As the conversation continues, we found out that the co-founder wishes to incorporate the leaderboard gamification concept into the new product.
Interview sessions with the clients!
Co-founder of Green Our Planet
It would be interesting if we could come out with something like Peloton (high-energy indoor cycling workouts). I always feel competitive as if my adrenaline is boiling every time when I see my ranking drop. I believe that's the kind of energy we need to improve users' engagement.
Based on the conversations, we concluded that:
With GoP Stakeholders
GoP wish to increase their brand virality via social media promotion
GoP wish to obtain more sponsorship to support their school programs
GoP wants to improve user engagement via gamification features
GoP wants to create a new branding strategy to enhance their brand identity
TO FIGURE OUT THE DESIGN SOLUTIONS ...
3. Conduct a brainstorm session
A good conversation always leads to more questions, the team decided to write down all possible questions and make categories accordingly.
Internal Q-burst brainstorm session
ONCE DIRECTIONS ARE DETERMINED ...
4. Conduct interview sessions to better understand the potential users
Conducting user interviews helped us study the hydroponics enthusiast's points of view, including their concerns, emotions, goals, expectations, etc. Here is what we found:
Interviewed 2 candidates who are experienced with hydroponics
A full-time teacher
I have 3 years of experience in hydroponics
I can grab the herbs I need from my garden whenever I want to
I sometimes forgot about changing the water
I have a couple of small aeroponic system
A mechanical engineer
I am confused with the lighting and nutrients for my herbs
I do love the concept but it is not easy to maintain.
I was introduced to hydroponics by my mom
It's hard to study the pH levels needed for hydroponic plants.
TO BETTER UNDERSTAND THE INDUSTRY ...
5. Perform secondary research to understand the market opportunities
Due to time restrictions, we decided to perform secondary research based on a few topics to better justify the design opportunities.
Essential corporate giving program statistics
Hydroponics market research
Approximately $ 5 Billion
is raised through workplace giving each year.
75% of employees who engaged in corporate giving program
tend to have a longer tenure with the company.
20% - 25% ⬆️ in yield
Compared to traditional agriculture, making it possible to ease world hunger issues.
The revenue in hydroponics is foresee to hit approximately $9.8 Billion by the year of 2028
71% of surveyed employees
say it's important to work at a company that supports giving and colunteering.
55% of surveyed employees
would choose to work for a socially responsible company even with earning a lower salary.
70% of the water usage on earth goes towards traditional agriculture production
38% of earth's non-frozen land is used for growing food
Green Our Planet
NY Sun Works
Hydroponic Society of America
Design Solution - Aloe mobile app made for hydroponics
A mobile app made for corporate giving programs, by using hydroponic growers with the goal of creating a tribal effect with community participation.
According to data.ai, "Smartphone users spend 7x more time in native apps than in browsers." (n.d.).
Corporate Giving Program
SOLUTION DETERMINED, WHAT'S NEXT? ...
1. Create user persona based on research findings
Based on the research key takeaways, we decided to create a semi-fictional character - Ashton!
Ashton says "As a new team member of Accenture, I want to be able to share my team's progress within and out of the app, so that I can visualize how we are positively impacting the community".
NOW WE UNDERSTAND ASHTON'S EXPECTATIONS ...
By writing down the items we wish to include in the mobile app, it helped a lot in visualizing how realistic the idea is. We then sorted out the items based on categories such as: Must Haves, Nice to Haves, and Wishlists.
2. Determine the minimum viable products
What are the product features to be included?
WE NEED A NEW FACE FOR THE APP ...
We incorporated Green Our Planet's original design elements and colours, adding droplet and aloe shape that signifies hydroponics.
3. New logo design for the Aloe app
How do we come up with the logo idea?
NOW WE HAVE EVERYTHING READY ...
Scenario: Ashton is a web designer at Accenture. He is competitive and health-conscious, and he is also an avid user of social media. Most of all, he loves sharing his experiences with others. Hence, the Aloe app for hydroponics is made for him!
4. Design a user flow for Ashton
Identify a roadmap for Ashton!
LET'S DIVE A LITTLE DEEPER INTO THE IDEATION PROCESS ...
User Story: Ashton receives a notification from the Aloe app that one of his gardens is in need of nutrients. He uses the Aloe app to order what he needs. In the meantime, he also checks the leaderboard and gets inspiration on what to grow next from the plant menu.
5. Design wireframes based on the user flow
How can Aston utilize the Aloe app?
LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT ASHTON'S JOURNEY WITH ALOE APP
Here's a prototype based on Ashton's hydroponics journey with Accenture's corporate giving program.
A high-fidelity prototype on Figma
Achieved business goals
Achieved users' goals
The dashboard showed Ashton's current rank compared to his co-workers.
The scoring overview reminds Ashton of how the points are being accumulated.
Ashton gets to see his ranking for today or of all times.
Ashton study for the plant manual and decided to add two different plants to the same pod to check if both are compatible to grow together.
He can then add the plants to the cart and purchase them.
Push notification as a reminder to check the garden's health including nutrients status.
CTA: Sponsor a School!
Live view to check the plant's current situation.
Option to edit your garden.
The search button on the right-hand side allows Ashton to search for a keyword, for eg: names or plants type.
Ashton can also check on the badges he collected over time.
WHAT DO THE STAKEHOLDER THINK? ...
1. Usability testing with Green Our Planet's stakeholders
A usability testing session was conducted with a total number of 9 internal stakeholders from different departments. Some students from other classes were also invited by the professor and were asked to give critical feedback from a professional UX perspectives.
Since this is not a launched product, we decided to create a presentation slide and walk through the ideation process with the stakeholders, and do an open discussion afterwards. Here are the feedbacks we collected:
Final presentation with stakeholders
Co-Founder - Ciara
Founder - Kim
Professor - Alexandre
"I really like the gamification idea, and I think it's really cool, I think that can really take people engage to hydroponics, and I think we can even take that idea and put it into school programs, for example competing around the farm race market."
"So if you start to drip down to the bottom 10 in the ranking chart, would you be getting any sort of warning notification?", "What is the purpose of having a gallery icon under the navigation bar?"
"I will pass this to the Northeastern engineering school and see if they can continue this project by making this happen in real life."
After the presentation, we asked them to rate the project based on their overall experience with the product and presentation.
9 out of 9 stakeholders rated
SO... WHAT CAN WE DO IN THE FUTURE?
2. How do we measure success?
The HEART framework helps us evaluate how users respond to the product features and how it brings impact the organization. I figured this would be a good metric to continue the design iteration once the product is launched.
For users to interact with each other via the hydroponic gamification features
Amount of active time in session
Amount of hydroponics plants
Searching for competitor's name
% of active time spent in the app
Frequencies in growing new plants
Moving frequencies in ranking
Obtained immediate feedback in regards of the hydroponic plants status
Attend to push notifications
Check out live view features
Add plants into comparison pod
% of clicking the push notifications
No. of times checking on plants
No. of times studying plants compatibility
Increase hydroponics virality via corporate giving program
Number of sales
Accumulated school sponsors
Enhance brand identity
Sales % in hydroponic equipment
No. of sponsor receives
No. of users in total
Green Our Planet