Cuando se abre una flor,
es primavera en todo el mundo.
For our second project in Neoland’s bootcamp, we had to better the User Experience in the flower and plant market.
With COVID-19's pandemia, the flower and plant market is collapsing, news spread worldwide. As such and to address current issues, we were given the task of improving the sector’s user experience.
The brief was presented and the client introduced: a floral designer with three shops, two of which are closed to be able to focus on the remaining opened one. His desire is to invest on digital sales innovation and expansion, demanding a complete online transformation. He’s a sensible man who wants to help the costumer find exactly what he looks for and reach out to younger generations.
My group consists of three elements and we’ll be approaching the issue with the Design Thinking’s Double Diamond Methodology. We used Miro, Mindmeister, Git.book, Google.forms, Invision, Infogram, Trello, Whimsical and Figma for documentation, data processing and building purposes throughout this project.
Research and Insight
We didn’t know much about plants. As a kick-starter, with some Research Questions as guidelines, we ran an exploratory and an evaluative research to get to know the product and the industry, it’s users and their relationship with the vendors.
Through it we found some topics to explore furthermore:
- Flowers and plants have a vast, complex and antique symbology that requires studying to understand;
- Online customers often felt deceived as the plant rarely looked as they saw on the website.
- Most popular flowers and plants;
- Time of the year with the most sales.
This introduced us to the theme.
After that, we worked on two different questionnaires to refine perspective: one for a quantitative insight and the other for a qualitative. We withdrew important information out of both.
From the quantitative that we passed on through the social medias, collecting close to a hundred results, we understood that:
- Some people lack the necessary space to have flowers;
- Most users don’t buy online even though they like the idea and the possibilities of the platform;
- Not having personal advising is a determinant factor limiting the online likability.
- The absence of physical contact with the flower, inhibits the affinity between it and the customer, discouraging the purchase;
- 97% of the questionnaire fillers would be interested in pedagogic plant/flower related family activities.
The qualitative we ran in interviews, reaching four distinct users of the sector: An elder man(71 y/o) with his own garden that he loved and maintained, a florist elder woman(65 y/o) with a 39 year career and two millennials, a man(30 y/o) and a woman(20 y/o).
Even though they were all so different, they had many common points that we found most interesting and enlightening:
- None bought online;
- They all had their reservations about trusting the online sales platform;
- They all required being personally advised before buying;
- Everyone was aware of the entailed symbology;
- They were all interested in group workshops and activities related to the subject.
We highlighted some verbatims that appeared to be the most explanatory:
I love to go see and feel the plants and most of all the personal relationship between customer and employee and their advises. They’re generally experts and I believe that is a vocational profession, they tend to be very kind and sensitive.
The public is disappointed with the online platform because they see pretty flowers with economic prices and receive something different.
I don’t have enough space to buy the plants I really want.
My flowers usually die and I don’t know why.
We feel closer to conclusions and proceed to create four user personas, draw their customer journey, points of view and empathy map, to better connect and understand the issues and possible solutions.
Ideation and Prototype
We’ve had enough information on the subject to start brainstorming solutions, and so we did. We had plenty of good, okay and bad ideas. To organize them they were first separated by categories and then passed through priority filters.
At this point, after all this treatment and a MoSCoW chart, the solution has been decided. We’re reopening one of the spaces and revolutionizing it, as well as redesigning the website, making it intuitive, informative and elegant.
Within this parameters we:
- Create a Plant Hospital, where users could take their plants to be treated;
- Provide a common planting area, within the the domain of the shop;
- Attach a warranty to the plant in case it didn’t meet expectancy or got randomly ill;
- Organize group workshops and activities, topic related;
- Implement an Online live chat, linking customer and employees;
- Make available an Virtual Gardener, with explanatory video tutorials to help the customers maintain their flowers;
- Enable the possibility of personalizing an order online;
- Offer the new floral space to be rented.
As we made a DAFO analysis of our idea and some more benchmarking, we knew it had potential and we’re thrilled to carry it onward.
It’s all set, what we need now is the website running. To start we drew a sitemap, so we could build wireframes and then pass them to a high fidelity prototype.
That being done and after some inspirational research for UI, I proudly present you:
We opted by a minimalist modern website built under bootstrap’s framework, with the colors white, black, grey, yellow and it’s tints, all containing a Hero image, top menu, footer and a sticky icon to access the live bot chat.
The Homepage consists of icons that define our activity and brand, followed by a highlight area of our products. Afterwards, an activity of Our garden (the one we reopened) is introduced in order to catch the visitor’s attention. Below are the comments and ratings of our customers, presenting the community’s opinion.
Next we have the Flowers page where you can search for your desired flower easily with the help of our filters, covering the type of flower, occasion, color, durability, symbology, year station, sun exposition, watering frequency and fragrance, therefore providing a very specific search.
As we know looking for a flower that fits our taste isn’t enough, we made sure you could customize your bouquet entirely. So, with the filters the client’s added, he can now chose how many of each flower he wants, creating a unique piece made to taste, always with the option to keep customizing through the live chat.
The Plants page works the same way as the Flowers page, but with plants instead. The filters still exist and the plant/center/vase can also be customized to taste.
Next we have Our garden page that as the homepage does, contains the icons of the main characteristics to introduce the reader to the concept. A small descriptive general presentation to captivate interest and then sections with the most lucrative and distinctive services: Workshops and activities, Common planting area/Cooperative planting area and Space rental.
The remaining page refers to the Plant Hospital, where we immediately present you the possibilities. To bring your flower or plant to our Hospital, you had to make an appointment online according to availability. Then comes the Virtual Gardener section where you can chose the step you need help with and find a video that suits your need. We lastly present you the Customized Advising section where you can contact us directly with any doubt or question and how you’d like us to reach you back.
To present the business plan to the customer, we prepared a business model and a value proposition, where we described our activity and how it would interfere with the problems of our users.
The project is over and the presentation(done to the bootcamp’s class, using pasteapp)was very positive, the public was engaged and joyful. Throughout this project I learned a lot about flowers, but much more about teamwork, deadlines, investigation techniques, work organization and documentation, data analysis and information treatment.
The Design Thinking Methodology is a success! Working with the Double Diamond standards brought us to amazing results. The team was great and we managed to withdraw the best out of each others, with team spirit, constant support and interest. Now we just have to wait and confirm acceptance by the customers!
The idea as we left it can always be bettered and enlarged. There are always new workshops to implement, as well as the kitchen(cafeteria)could be explored, like having dishes/drinks made entirely out of products grown inside TheYellowGarden’s perimeter.
Thank you very much for reading, hope you enjoyed it.