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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.