Taking the fear out of plant care
Blossom is an app and product to help new plant-parents who are unsure about their ability to care for a plant, well, care for a plant. It is a smart sensing device that allows the user to monitor their plant’s status in real-time. By using ambient notifications and its accompanying app, Blossom notifies the user when their plant needs any kind of care - watering reminders, soil change etc.
August 2018 - Dec 2018
UX Designer, Visual Designer
How might we help inexperienced plant owners buy and maintain plants?
Who are our users?
• Lack experience in gardening or with plants
• Need assistance with plant maintenance
• Not knowing which houseplant to buy & from where
• Not knowing what factors to consider before buying a plant
• Not knowing what kind of care a plant requires
Problem space analysis & affinity mapping
Through qualitative analysis and the resultant design implications, we identified the prominent issues and themes:
Reasons for getting a plant
Emotional value of owning a plant
I have specific criteria that the plant I buy needs to fit into
The factors I need to know while buying a plant are not accessible to me in one place
Not knowing what plant you have and having to wing it
Caring for plants while away
Plant care is not obvious and easy to understand
Through the Affinity mapping, we unearthed a lot of themes like emotional attachment to plants, not having access to information on certain kinds of plants, plants being gifted, and caring for plants while being away from home. We then grouped the insights into two main categories according to the stage of the plant caring process,
Plant purchase : Make informed plant buying decisions with ease
Plant maintenance : Assist users with various aspects of plant care
We came up with the following 3 concepts around the two themes:
Immersive experiences to visualize plant selection and placement in-situ to help make buying decisions
Immersive in-store experiences to help with buying decisions by providing a way to visualize plant maintenance
Physical device and mobile app for plant maintenance
Deciding the design direction
Relative strengths and weaknesses of designs
Our strategy was to address all the major themes that emerged from our research across the three design concepts.
One approach could have been to combine all of our ideas into one single massive solution, but we consciously avoided feature creep. Instead, we chunked ideas into logical clusters of practical products that our users might use. Each idea was scoped to ease specific user pain points with complementary features within them.
We chose to prototype Concept 3.
Our Design Objectives
Minimal Plant Care
Users should be able to easily understand what their plant needs and how to provide it. The system should deliver only relevant information necessary to care for their plant.
Accessible Visual Cues
Visual cues through the device and the application should be easy to understand. Ambient light notifications have to be the right color and intensity, striking the right balance between being useful, yet unobtrusive.
The device should fit the aesthetic of the plant environment and not stand out or look too “techy”. The system should avoid irrelevant information, and present information as needed and when relevant.
The device should foster a connection between the user and the plant by letting people name their plant, writing the copy of the app in first person to simulate an interface for the plant to talk directly with the user.
Ease of Learning & Use
Device setup should be intuitive and users should easily be able to interpret the notifications. Users should be able to complete key flows successfully with minimal error.
App and Product Design
Blossom is a billy ball that can be inserted in any plant pot to monitor variables like soil moisture, temperature, nutrients and sunlight. It syncs seamlessly with the accompanying app for the users to remotely monitor the health and wellbeing of their new plant.
Product Features and Flows
Flow 1 : First-time use
Linking device to plant