WITH BLIA THOR
UX/UI DESIGN + MOBILE APP DESIGN
Flora is an app where users can find other locals to temporarily take care of their plants for when they are not available just for a small fee. Anyone can offer to plant sit with the help of Flora and earn additional income!
business model canvas
With the pandemic, many people have taken up new hobbies. Whether it’s sitting down to finally read that book, or rediscovering their love for knitting. And more specifically along those lines, purchasing new plants. As individuals who are fortunate enough to go home for a couple weeks or for holiday breaks, we found that keeping plant alive during that time is difficult. We could ask our roommates to do it, but who’s to say they know what they’re doing? Thus, we came up with an app that helps individuals find a plant sitter.
Our target customers include young adults who are temporarily unavailable to tend to their plants and individuals who love plants and are looking to earn a little bit of income. This app features near-by plants that are in need of a sitter; plant sitters are able to set their own schedule and make a small profit in return. Our mission is to help build connections between plant enthusiasts while also encouraging zero-waste practices.
To get the app off the ground, we’ll have to complete some key activities. These include creating a prototype, pitching the idea to developers, and finding investors. Revenue will be generated through in-app advertising, listing fees, and referral incentives. Because our main target market is very active on social media, we feel that the advertising the app on platforms, such as Instagram, will be very effective and cost efficient. We can also advertise our app on businesses such as The Sill, a plant delivery business. Some of our key partners will include app developers, payment services such as Paypal, and other businesses who are interested in advertising on our app. Key resources will include customer analytics, data analysis, and financial team to support the app and business in the long run. As for cost structure, we will have to pay staff, developers, and marketing on different platforms.
After completing the business model canvas, we were able to refine the concept of our app furthermore while creating the user flows. First beginning with the storefront screen, the app prompts the users to create an account, as the app involves transactions and postings. Once they either create an account or log in, they are greeted with the browsing page that consists of a gallery of posts made by those who are looking for plant sitters. Each of the posts will display an overview of the details, such as the name of the plant owner, how many plants need to be taken care of, and the distance from the user’s current location to the location of the plant owner. If the user is interested in plant sitting, they would click on one of these posts and then send a request to the plant owner. On the other hand, if the user is looking for a plant sitter, they would create a post and wait for requests from potential plant sitters. Once a request is accepted, the plant sitter is paid by the plant owner, and the two parties coordinate meeting up through the in-app messaging feature. Once the payment is made, the app provides some tips and guidelines to facilitate plant sitting.
low fidelity wireframes
For this deliverable, we decided to focus on four main actions: browse, create a post, view a sitter’s profile, and review a sitter. With each screen, we wanted to focus on one goal and eliminate anything that was nonessential to streamline actions and make it more user-friendly.
We began by creating low fidelity wireframes. By doing so, we were able to focus on user experience without being distracted by color choices and such. For the navigation bar, we knew that our users would download this app for two reasons; to find a sitter for their plant and/or to find a plant that needs a sitter. That’s why we decided to place the “explore” and “create post” option in the bottom navigation menu.
high fidelity wireframes
For the browse page, we put a large search bar for easy access and filter options below it. Each listing below it is presented with its distance, owner’s name, and the number of plants needing a sitter. We decided on these three things because sitters immediately want to know how far away the plants are (no one wants to drive 5 hours to pick up plants to watch), the individual they are speaking with, and how many plants they are going to watch. Once the individual post is selected, more in depth details are shown. We wanted to ensure that the majority of the information was presented so the user was not left with any questions.
When creating a posting, we divided it up into two parts to make it less overwhelming and created a progress bar at the top to update users. For the plant sitter’s profile, we placed their name and rating at the top so that users could see how they performed in the past, and added a personal bio below it to foster a friendly community. Lastly, we designed the screen to review a sitter similar to Uber’s review screen. Instead of having to think of something to type out, we put stars and qualities that the user can quickly tap to review their sitter. If they have time and want to write something more detailed, they can select “Write a review.”
In order to test the wireframes that we created and the user-friendliness of our prototype, we conducted two user testing with a focus on task completion. The tasks that we decided to see if the users could easily figure out how to complete were: explore posts, be a plant sitter, find a plant sitter, and rate plant sitter.
The users that we conducted the test with explained that they initially had thought that the name of the plant owners was the name of the plants but soon realized that it was the name of the owner. They also noted that the option to filter seems important. One thing they wished to have seen on the explore page was the days that the plant owners needed a sitter for. The users also expressed confusion about adding more than one plant when creating a post, mainly because we didn’t create a wireframe for the last step of creating the post that prompts the users to add another plant. Lastly, the users weren’t sure whether the pay displayed in the individual post screen was per day or per hour, or the full duration and wished that it would clarify.
You can click below to download and view our user testing script!
Overall, the users were satisfied with the aesthetics of the app and the icons made it easy to understand the features. However, we realized that some tweaking in terms of data prioritization had to be made. According to the feedback that we received, we replaced the name of the plant owner on the explore page with the dates that the plants need to be taken care of and created a screen that showcases how another plant could be added when creating a post. To avoid any confusion with the pricing, we added an “i” icon that would open up a pop-up box when clicked on, which would explain that all prices indicated in the posts are for the full plant sitting duration.