My main focus with this project is the subscription box – it’s part and parcel of the mental health improvement and I need to keep this in mind as I’m designing it. Of course, looking at the moodboards I’ll be combining the natural, sustainable elements in the box to ensure it’s on trend with Gen Z. alongside this, I’d like to include something in each box that’s different each month – maybe a tea bag to say “have a cuppa on us” or a note to say something or pass on something nice – the whole “pass it on” movement is known for improving positivity. When I was researching other subscription boxes, I realised they would advertise a little surprise in each box and it ended up beign a Naked Wines voucher, or a discount for a friend etc, I don’t think this is personal enough or would improve someones wellbeing. It’s about making people smile.
Callum gave me some good feedback about this box and to look into the logistics of sending seeds out each month. Of course, it’s absolutely do-able with a couple of successful companies already on this but I do need to consider the impact of sending out types of compost or seeds each month and how can I transform the seedling pots so they can be in a postable size?
It was realy useful to do this crazy looking map – I was starting to doubt the project after the feedback from the group but upon careful consideration of all aspects of what I’m offering, I’ve made myself feel much better. As the lectures have taught us over the past few weeks, don’t be afraid of failure – if you can back up what you’re creating or producing, DO IT!!!! If it fails, it’s failed for a reason and it’s something to assess. But after writing all this down, it made me realise this project is a lovely little bubble of happiness and I need to really tap into that!! Encouraging tranquility and a break from digital can improve general wellbeing, sharing the plant is definitely going to be a feature, connecting like minded people together is a huge part of it and it gives a sense of purpose to the user of the app.
Subscription Box – Design / Layout / Progression
I started by playing around with simple line drawings – for me, this simplicity reflects calm and relaxation, the black line lends itself nicely to the green, natural colours I’m intending on the app. I also really like the simplistic hand writing, but perhaps it’s too hard to read? I will play about with the ideal font but I would like a handwritten sense to the wording on the app and the box.
As I’d be intending on using Kraft cardboard for the box, I think having no colour is the way to go and keeps the box in line with the sustainable factor – not using inks that cause issues to the environment. I know there are soy based inks but on such a large scale this could be an expensive option and the colouring would be different on brown cardboard.
I would encourage the user to utilise the box as the base for the seedling pots, to line it with the compostable bags that the compost comes in and set up the seedling pots in the tray. This makes the product zero waste, it’s all compostable and the user doesn’t have to buy anything else to use it.
The above seedling bags can be flat packed and then, when the plant is ready for repotting, just plant the bag straight into the new pot and new compost (the bags can be torn slightly to encourage root growth). This, again, represents the no waste, sustainable feature of the box. It’s also really useful and a really non-fussy way of potting on which could be off putting to this generation if they have not had to do this before.
There are multiple ways of sending seeds by post – I was initially considering seed paper which would be a much easier way of sending the seeds. However, it would be difficult to say my box helped teach young adults to plant and nuture if they just put some seed paper in the compost. Also, it’s the same weight and size to send some seeds in a paper bag…
With regards to the box, I’ve been working on using my drawings and writing as the main logo – the simplistic line drawing of the plant can be used throughout the app and the box for continuity. I used Amatic SC and Shorelines as the font – I really like the handwritten element of Shorelines and it’s such a happy font, the soft lines and imperfections make it ideal for encouraging trust in the product. I found I needed a slimline, sans serif font to counteract the slightly flowery nature of Shorelines, and Amatic was the closest to the wording I’d written in my initial draft. I will be continuing to work on the logo and the exterior of the box – this is the first thing the user sees.
App – Design / Layout / Initial UX/UI design
Following my feedback from the ghost hunting app, I realised I really need to work on my UI/UX skills and so have been working with a number of different wireframe software to work out which one works best for me.
But firstly I needed to do some simple drawings and examples of how I see this layout working – I needed a welcome page with a happy message that changes daily to make the user smile, it needs to be clear and the journey through the app needs to be clear and concise. They are here to research their seedling or understand more about their plant, or they’re there to helo themselves with the mental health section.
For the time being I’ve called the mental health section “I need a water too”, I don’t think I’m going to stick with it because it’s not clear enough, but I wanted an accessible and friendly looking space for the user to seek out if they need help. The link would have a simple mental health questionairre to assess their current feelings, then they could be directed to different mental health sites or be given a small set of things to do with their plants to get them to take their mind off things. (This is going to be the trickiest part of the app but the most necessary, it’s why the audience are using the app).
My initial work was on MockFlow site which was really easy to use and had ready made icons and top bars which was great for my first time trying this. However when I showed it to my friend who is 20 years old (so target audience), she said she found the colours a bit too muted and it’s a bit basic, I don’t think it needs to be more complex as it could take away from the calming nature of the app. But I agree the colours are just too similar and muted. I will look into colour theory and colours that work together. I want to keep a forest green as the main colour but perhaps it’s too dark. Another member of the target audience also said if they wouldn’t have seedlings in different parts of the house so didn’t understand the last picture – I absolutely agree and didn’t really think this through when designing it. They both like the simplicity of the icons and info about the plant – to have immediate feedback about watering or feeding is great. I’ll bare this in mind when I continue designing the app.
Publish feedback from audience and research group
I’ve had a very interesting couple of weeks with approaching potential investors and industry professionals – having met a few professionals at York Design Week I took the opportunity to ask for some advice. So far I’ve had 2 Industry professionals contact me and one fill in my Google Form – I will add more responses as they arrive.
I also decided to approach a York flower stall seller, who runs a local nursery – I initially just chatted to him about my idea and he asked me to send through the details as it progresses. He gets a large number of seeds and this year has not sold as many as he usually would so he’s decided to plant a large amount himself to eventually sell the plants. However, I don’t know if he would be a serious potential investor but it’s nice to know I’ve got someone inside the industry to help me with any “plant based” issues I might face as I’m not a professional!
I’ve also had discussions with a family member about this project and they have confirmed if I want to make this project a reality they’ll happily help me out. As someone who might want to invest some money into the project I’ve asked them to provide some feedback along the way – they’re definitely more corporate so will help me understand the cost implications. All the feedback is below in a scrolling gallery:
As mentioned previously, approaching others for feedback is way out of my comfort zone, however I really feel I’m starting to become more comfortable with this and I recognise how vital it is to the progresion of a project. It’s also really going to help me analyse the results from the work I do and how successful it is in line with the target audience.