E-commerce mobile app design for a local startup to sell plants

Problem Space

Gardenio is a start-up based out of Austin which aims to connect novice gardeners to the people, information, and supplies they need to ethical and sustainable life-long gardeners.

Currently, there is no organized, specialized place for novice gardeners to seek resources and help each other out.

Design Process


Sep - Dec 2019


Individual Project

Client Kickoff


The kickoff meeting with Gardenio's founder Roman Gonzalez helped me get a broad understanding of their goals, background, business drivers and concerns. 

These are the findings from the meeting:


Target User

Value Prop


Capture market share through customer acquisition


Young adults

(21-35 years)


Organic food plants and gardening supplies, Effective growth results, Convenience



To uncover user requirements, I conducted 6 interviews with people belonging to the target age group. My focus was to understand their gardening habits, drivers and obstacles.

After analyzing data, I came up with the following persona which helped me design better for the end user.


User Research



Age: 25 years

Occupation: Freelance designer

Location: Austin

Key Needs


• Growing plants herself

• Sustainable gardening practice

• Plants fit her lifestyle well

• Low maintenance plants

Pain Points


• Lack of knowledge

• Physical constraints      such as cost and space

• Hectic lifestyle

" I like having plants at my home as it gives me a sense of satisfaction.  But gardening could be harder than it seems, given I am not an expert and have a busy lifestyle."

Replace expert forum with a community forum as it is cheaper.

This was a concern from a business standpoint as sustaining an expert help centre could be costly.

Some users gave confused reactions at these bars. The meaning and significance of these bars were unclear. So, I replaced the bars with tags displaying the effort required to to maintain that plant.


Problem Space

How might we encourage and educate novice urban gardeners to grow a garden by providing a delightful blended experience?



A blended experience involved a digital (a mobile app) as well as physical aspect (delivery of the  product). I began ideating based on the user story and started thinking of features which can solve the pain points of the user and also fulfill the business objectives.

1. Story Mapping

Group 4 Copy.png

I focused on shaded steps for this project

2. Scenarios

Designing for Emily ( the persona for end-user) became easier for me when I started adding context to her user journey. Coming up with scenarios helped me uncover requirements and design solutions for them.


Early sketches



To design the online shopping flows I did some secondary research to understand what are the barriers in the entire process. I referred to a survey by Eco consultancy which provided me with the quantitative data for people's online shipping behavior.

1.  Search

Having an effective search is key to any eCommerce platform.


2.  Hierarchy

I decided the hierarchy of content based on the customer requirements uncovered in the interview. 

Delivery Timescales and charges

Information and Return Policies

Reviews from other shoppers

Detailed product information





3. Minimizing the steps

To keep the user engaged in the app and enhance the sense of satisfaction that comes from gardening, I introduced this feature.


I conducted one round of usability testing with 4 participants to verify the impact of features and test the overall usability of the app. Based on the findings from these tests, I iterated on my designs.


For eCommerce, the biggest obstacle is too many forms. The UX can be enhanced by reducing as many manual entries as possible. I designed the checkout flow keeping this in mind.

Key features:

- Zipcode to predict state and city

- Scan the credit card

- Guest checkout (Another key barrier to purchase is mandatory registration, something which would make 26% of respondents abandon the shopping basket.)

Missing multiple images of the product. Users wanted to see more images of the plants before they could decide if it is fit for them.

Hi Fi Comps

Addressing information overload

Browsing Experience

Relationship with plants


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