This project, undertaken as part of an Immersive UX Design course at General Assembly, was a 1 week sprint focussing solely on developing UI skills rather than user research. It was a struggle to make design decisions based on assumptions, but it was interesting to have a stretch of time to focus purely on UI elements like colour and typography.
The brief asked for a mobile application that would allow budding gardeners to start a garden or a greenhouse. It would include a plant shop, an index of common plants and crowdsourced instructions for how to take care of them.
As budding gardeners the users would likely be young. Gardening is beneficial for both mental and physical health, and combats stress and depression. The app would be aimed at young users picking up a soothing, therapeutic new hobby following a difficult year in the Covid Pandemic. As such, I wanted the app to have a comforting, nostalgic aesthetic that might remind users of their families and their homes.
Gardening tends, however, to be viewed as a hobby for the older generation, and possibly as too difficult, too time-consuming, or to require too much space for the 18–35 bracket. The app needed to make gardening feel accessible, so I wanted the design to feel young, positive and hopeful.
The challenge, therefore, would be to balance a warm nostalgia with a fun, young look.
Competitor analysis, researching other gardening apps and websites as well as other brands with the same target audience, highlighted that gardening stores aimed at millennials tended to have a slick, minimalist aesthetic. Although I enjoyed this style, I wanted ‘The Seed’ to feel more approachable and less intimidating.
I wanted to emulate the joyful ‘millennial’ colours of Glossier and Birchbox. The Knitter website encapsulated the balance of nostalgia and modernity that I wanted to convey.
The Pinterest moodboard I created included 70s style fonts as well as more modern ones. The green colours evoke calm and comfort, and are suited for a gardening app. I felt they were complemented nicely by the pink colours, which created a vibrant, youthful tone.
Based on this, I considered my colour palette and typography. I sketched various logo designs on Figma before landing on the most simple choice.
I created a low fidelity prototype to ensure it functioned well, before developing it in high fidelity. By screenshotting each iteration of my design I was able to compare them directly to judge the best choice of layouts, colours and fonts.
A key factor in my final choice of colours, fonts and layouts was accessibility. In order for the prototype to be easily legible and understandable to all users, I checked each font against a contrast checker, and ensured no text was overlaying an image in the final version.
Below is the final iteration of the week, however I plan to continue to edit and develop it. I intend to complete some user tests which would allow me to further investigate the accessibility, and to gage how users feel about the design.
This project taught me a lot about the importance of colours and fonts to the final effect of a design. It also brought into focus the need to prioritise accessibility throughout the process.