My contributions were to concept strategy and interaction design.
Project length was 3 months.
Teammates were Brandon Caruso and Eugene Meng.
What is the Problem?
Behavior and habit change — particularly in regards to environmental behavior — can be challenging for many people. Could we help people change their behavior through a mobile game?
How Mystery Plant Enables Behavior Change

The first step is to pick a themed garden.

Once players receive their mystery plant, they start journaling the plant's progress. They also receive hints and tips along the way to help them guess.

Once a player guess the plant's identity, they are able to move on to gardening more difficult plants. Over time, they develop gardening skills, and pro-environmental behavior.

Community Gardening as Behavior to Encourage
From our secondary research, we found that one of the key things about encouraging pro-environmental behavior was getting people out in to nature. Secondly, we wanted to focus on activities that had a lot of positive environmental impact on an individual level. This resulted in us focusing on community gardening as the behavior we wanted to encourage.
Selecting the Mystery Plant Concept
Of the many ideas we had generated, we moved forward with Mystery Plant for several reasons that stem from our secondary research.
Young people in urban environments would be the primary users.
Mobile phones and community gardens would be the game platform.
Players can download the app to their phone and guess the identity of plants around them. Once they had gathered enough points, they could get a mystery plant delivered to them in the mail. Over time, they will build gardening skills and connect with their local community.
Note › It was difficult to be confident in our selection without having done primary research. Unfortunately, that part of the design process was not in the part of the class.

We used secondary research to find ways to evaluate our final three concepts.

Storyboarding the Experience
To demonstrate the use case of Mystery Plant, we developed a storyboard. Through doing so, we were able to realize the beginning of the experience where players guessed plants before receiving a mystery plant should be eliminated.

Storyboard demonstrated how a player begins by guessing plant identities, progressing on to taking care of their mystery plant, and finally cooking with their friend using the tomato they grew.

Constructing an Interaction Flow
At this point, we had a clear idea of how people would experience Mystery Plant. But before we dived into developing wireframes or a higher fidelity prototype, we needed to create an interaction flow to help us stay organized.

Complete diagram of the different states that a player could progress through by using Mystery Plant.

Developing Wireframes
At this point, we were able to start developing the visual style of Mystery Plant. We started by developing wireframes and prototyping the layout and assets.
Through critique from our peers and instructors, we were able to make changes to our wireframes and move forward with developing a higher fidelity prototype.
Note › Conducting a paper prototype here was a missed opportunity, but this project was meant to help us master the ideation and design portions of the design process.

Wireframe flow for selecting a mystery plant.

After receiving a plant, players would link the plant to their game.

Players would then journal the growth of their plant, eventually guessing its identity.

Final Thoughts
This was not a perfect UX design project, but it was an excellent exploration of what it means to ideate and develop a concept well. If we were to take this project further, we would do some things differently to make Mystery Plant more robust.
First, we definitely should have performed primary research into people's needs in the beginning. This would have made our design process much easier.
Second, conducting usability testing with paper-prototypes would have been extremely valuable. We likely did not need as many screens as we did have.
Lastly, iterating on the final design after some usability testing would make Mystery Plant a stronger concept.

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