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A plant assistance app that allows users to take care of their plants and track their collection progress.

My role: UI/UX Designer, UX Researcher, Branding Design

Collaborators: Zalli Garcia, Danial Salleh, Sussie Man

Tools: Figma, Miro

🤔 What is the problem?

In the gardening world, many people who love plants face a common problem. People who want to create beautiful gardens have trouble finding help and the right plants, especially if they're new to gardening. Many begin with enthusiasm because they love plants, but changes in their life can make taking care of plants hard. The main issue is that people often don't know how to care for plants.


🤝 The Solution

Our goal with BloomBuddy is to pave a smoother path into the world of plant care and to keep enthusiasts engaged as they traverse it. BloomBuddy will do the following:

  1. Ensuring Beginner Support: We aim to provide newcomers with user-friendly tools to confidently start their plant care journey.

  2. Creating a Lasting Joyful Bond: We're driven to develop a solution that simplifies gardening for beginners and ensures a lasting and joyful relationship with plants.

Customize your personal plant journey

Register and complete a concise onboarding questionnaire for a personalized experience tailored to your lifestyle.

Expand your collection

Embark on your plant journey by tending to plants that fit your lifestyle and can be a great addition to your collection.

Complete Tasks

The app shows you how to care for the plants you've picked through a task a list. You know exactly what you have to do to make sure your plant thrives.

🏁 Navigating ambiguity with my new team

When I joined a new team, we lacked a clear focus and had to navigate uncertainty together. We also had very different experiences, design skills, levels, and expertise. With confidence in my ideation process, I aimed to extend my approach to the team. My primary goals included:


  1. Establishing a documentation system to track meeting notes, ideas, discussion topics, and feedback.

  2. Defining project parameters and logistics to manage time effectively and ensure accountability.

  3. Identifying a significant problem through various app and website concepts.

  4. Focusing on one impactful idea to address real challenges, moving beyond projects just for a portfolio.

I prioritized creating meaningful value in our work, and avoiding purposeless efforts.

I like using Google Docs for brainstorming, but it’s not fun to look at so I put everything on Miro in cute little stickies.



💻 We don’t need to create an e-commerce application for the plant community.

After our brainstorming session, I remained uncertain about what exactly we were aiming to design but we were interested in creating an e-commerce application. I thought that conducting user research would be crucial in identifying issues with existing plant apps in the market.

Our research objective was to gain insights into the challenges faced by gardeners and individuals seeking plant-related information or struggling with plant care.

We started by interviewing and releasing a survey and received a 22 responses from individuals of all kinds of ages and backgrounds. We asked questions like: Do you feel that something is missing from your method of shopping for plants? How do you prefer to start planting? These are some of my high-level findings:

1. Users want to start buying plants because of varying reasons such as aesthetics or to improve air quality in their home.

WHY NOT buy plants? <3 Green. Fun to look after. Soothing. Aesthetics and vibes.

User 1

The look/aesthetic of the plant; the care instructions; and if they'll be able to thrive in my current living space.

User 2

2. There are things that users don’t enjoy when they start shopping for plants.

I like how I can see if the plant is lacking nutrients but I don't like how the level of care for each plant is different.

User 3

I have a hard time gauging how easy or difficult a plant is to take care of. I also don’t want to buy a plant for a place it won’t thrive in.


User 4

I often have my phone up when I'm at the plant store because I need to research things like "is this safe to have with a cat?" - also I never know what soil or soil mixture to get.

User 5

I like the variety, but I need to go in with prior knowledge on what I can and can't buy in terms of my living situation (i.e. lighting) and current knowledge.

User 6

After discussing this data, it became clear to me that creating an e-commerce platform wouldn’t make sense because the problem is to not necessarily to simplify the shopping process or to address common shopping-related issues for users.

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💻 What is the problem I need to solve?

After completing the initial round of research, I still had uncertainty about pinpointing a single problem to solve due to the absence of a clear pattern. Our initial research goals didn’t help us too much. In order to refine our project further, I proposed a second round of interviews. During this phase, our interviews focused on understanding how individuals engage in plant shopping and care. We also inquired about their familiarity with plant-related apps and their preferences and concerns regarding such applications. If participants lacked awareness of these apps, we provided an explanation of the concept. Our aim was to uncover any challenges they faced.

It became evident that while people aspire to begin caring for plants, initiating and maintaining this practice poses difficulties. Drawing from my experience in handling complex tasks, such as significant projects, I've learned techniques to simplify them by breaking them into manageable components or infusing an element of enjoyment, like gamification. Following this initial research stage, I formulated the following concepts:


  1. Utilizing AI to streamline plant care routines.

  2. Transforming plant care into an engaging game experience (gamification).

  3. Establishing a community for plant enthusiasts.



🔍 How can we simplify plant care?

During the research phase, numerous ideas surfaced, yet the challenge lay in crafting an all-encompassing application. To address this, I proposed the creation of a priority matrix. This approach would anchor us to a singular idea or concept while permitting the addition of supplementary features. My foremost objective in this endeavor was to establish a feasible Minimum Viable Product (MVP).

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To determine what to prioritize, I looked at which features were necessary for users to effectively care for their plants, without adding complex functions. The "Must-Haves" quadrant includes the app's essential functions for helping users with plant care. Features like AR integration and chatting with other plant enthusiasts, while useful, are not the main focus for the initial development phase; we can consider them for future updates.

Reaching a consensus on our team's project direction posed challenges due to divergent ideas. During this project phase, my aim was to emphasize the development of the app's core functions: onboarding, plant addition, and task lists. However, did we adhere strictly to designing only these three aspects? Quite the contrary.


📐 Organizing information within the app

This phase of the design process was one many of us were anticipating. We chose to craft individual versions of the screens to gather a wealth of ideas and to embrace a challenge. Each of us shared our concepts and collaboratively discussed the optimal design approach (go teamwork!). Personally, I prefer traditional methods, so these sketches are my contribution. Given the differing design expertise levels, I found myself inquiring about specific design decisions and offering feedback to my team members.

My aim with these sketches was to figure out how to organize information within the application. I was deciding which links were featured in the navigation bar and what features were useful for the user. I found these screens important to figure out:


  1. The plant results screen (after onboarding)

  2. task list screen

  3. plant app locator (and how to get there)

  4. plant tips (and how to get there)

  5. plant diary

BloomBuddy - Low fidelity wireframes.jpg

📱 Building the first prototype

After settling on our design system very quickly, we started prototyping each screen for each task. I created the task list flow and screens. This process took us a little more than a week. Throughout the designing process, there were thoughts I had that could possibly be problems for us down the road:


  1. The UI is not consistent nor is it built out completely.

  2. There are too many screens in our onboarding process or we are building too many screens as a whole right now which is taking too much time.

  3. There are features in the application like the plant identifier and the plant diary that we simply do not need right now.

An overview of our first prototype. Each member was tasked with designing one feature. Designing the task list was particularly challenging because I wanted to try various styles.

🧪 Usability Testing

Coming into user testing, I believed there were many things we could still improve. Because of our strict deadline, getting our prototype tested and receiving feedback will help us move this project forward. We conducted an in-person usability test on four users.

Our objectives were to test the ease of use in navigation, observe the clarity of user flow, gather feedback on the user interface, and observe any area of confusion or hesitation.


Throughout the testing process, we encountered a range of responses and observations. To summarize:

  1. Users found the app's navigation straightforward, yet there were issues with logical flow in some areas.

  2. Consistency in UI design was lacking across the app.

  3. Several instances of confusion emerged as users navigated the prototype.

Upon concluding this test, it became clear that the iteration process, marked by exciting improvements, was about to unfold.

Testing & Iteration

🧪 Iterating for the second prototype

In the process of creating the app, I came up with many ideas. However, after the first round of testing with actual users, I realized there were some aspects of the design that needed rethinking and changes. Here are the main things I planned to improve for the second version of the prototype:

  1. Simplifying the User Experience: I wanted to make the user's journey through the app smoother, paying special attention to the starting process, and reducing the number of screens.

  2. Adjusting Resources: Since they weren't needed at the moment, I wanted to make it static.

  3. Keeping It Simple: For now, I wanted to get rid of extra features like the plant identifier, but I'll think about where they could fit later on.

  4. Refining the Prototype and Flow: I aimed to expand the prototype and make sure the way users move through the app is even better.

  5. Polishing the Look: I wanted to make the app's design more consistent and visually appealing.

  6. Guiding Users: I planned to make sure users are directed more clearly to the actions we want them to take, making the app easier to use overall.

In short, my approach was to blend innovative thinking with feedback from real users to create an app that's intuitive and user-friendly.

Testing & Iteration
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Here are our updated screens after multiple revisions. We managed to reduce the number of screens significantly, and I'll discuss these changes in detail below, beginning with the user interface (UI).

🎨 Creating the UI Design

We reached a consensus on the UI very quickly and because of that, our early prototypes were not as consistent. I wanted to discuss these two things with my team:

  1. What kind of design style do we want this app to have?

  2. How can we make this app interesting to use and also accessible?

In the end, we settled with a Neubrutalism style and I wanted a typography combination that was a good balance of simple and playful so I suggested IBM Plex Mono as the primary and Inter as the secondary. Our UI Kit was a working document throughout our prototyping.

UI Design
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I created a condensed style guide to showcase our concepts and colors.

📱 Onboarding

I aimed to help users through an onboarding process so the app could provide personalized resources and plant recommendations based on their preferences and lifestyles. This way, the app would handle the research work for users, creating a customized experience.

In the first prototype, we had too many screens and asked too many questions, which frustrated users. In the second prototype after usability testing, we streamlined the onboarding process and removed unnecessary questions.

UI Design
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In the initial version, we included these questions because we believed they were essential for helping users discover the most suitable plants for their care.

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In the second iteration, we shifted the focus of the questions towards understanding user motivation and their level of plant expertise. We decided to remove questions about commitment level and maintenance, as we found that these aspects weren't as relevant for users in the long run.

📱 Task list

The most significant challenge I faced was in designing the task list. I began by creating wireframes that outlined how the list would look visually. In each task, I included buttons that would lead users to more detailed information about how to complete that specific task. My reasoning behind this approach was to ensure that users would continuously learn about plant care as they engaged with the tasks.

For the first prototype, I also designed a screen that displays all the plants the user has. I considered what the experience would be like if the user had multiple plants and numerous tasks to take care of.

After conducting usability testing, I realized that I needed to enhance the user flow to make it more intuitive and guide users more effectively to the actions I wanted them to take. This involved creating a dropdown task list for each plant, implementing a calendar and notification system to track completed and upcoming tasks, adding headers to indicate today's tasks and completed tasks, and using animations to automatically move completed tasks to the bottom of the list while placing incomplete tasks at the top.

UI Design
bb task list wireframe to prototype 2.png

A simple to-do list for all tasks with secondary buttons leading the user to more information.

A new screen was added so the user can view task lists per plant.

To provide users with clearer guidance, I introduced a calendar, a notification system, headers, and animations to the design.

📱 Adding a plant

Originally, the process of adding a plant was part of the task list. However, in the interest of streamlining the user experience, I chose to create a distinct flow for this task. To achieve this, I began by crafting a button within the collection section, enabling users to add plants. Upon selecting this button, users are directed to a screen featuring a search bar and a list of suggested plants tailored to their onboarding responses. The subsequent step involves users naming the plant, which then seamlessly incorporates it into their collection.

UI Design
bb adding a plant wireframe to prototype 2.png

In this initial wireframe, the user would add a plant starting in their task list.

In the final version of the prototype, users can add a plant straight from the collection screen. Here, they can search for plants and gather more information about them. Once they choose a plant, they can give it a name, and it's then added to their collection.

After iterating, this is what we came up with👇🏻

In the end, I have a prototype that is visually clean, with a flow that is more logical and straightforward, more simple to navigate, and overall more intuitive. I am grateful for a team who is open to try new things and to learn with each other. Try it for yourself!

🛬 Conclusion 

In conclusion, I'm content with the outcome of our journey in creating BloomBuddy with my team because it was a significant learning experience. We developed an app that not only demonstrated our design abilities but also pushed us to challenge our personal processes.

📐 Measuring Success

Reflecting on my project goals, my aspiration for the app is to make a positive difference for plant enthusiasts by achieving the following:

  • Encourage both beginners and experienced plant parents to use the app more frequently.

  • Stimulate an increase in plant purchases.

  • Enhance plant care proficiency by reducing plant fatalities.

  • Gather feedback from plant caregivers indicating improvements in their plant collection journey.

👩🏻‍🏫 What did I learn from BloomBuddy?

1. The design process isn't a one-size-fits-all model. It's dynamic, and there will be phases that don't follow a perfect, linear path. Our research phase, for example, was initially filled with uncertainty, but that's a normal part of the process.

2. When facing challenges or if the project starts to feel overwhelming, having a structured process to fall back on or a clear focus on the core problem is crucial. It's easy to get sidetracked when there are numerous possibilities to explore.

3. Not every app needs to be a jack-of-all-trades. Sometimes, trying to solve too many problems at once can lead to an unfocused and less effective product. It's often more impactful to hone in on a single, well-defined problem.

4. In collaborative projects, it's essential to respect and trust each team member's approach. Working with individuals of varying skill levels can lead to disagreements and corrections, but these interactions can be highly educational and enrich the design process.

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