Grand Garden Share

App Design 2023

Too many plants seems like not a real problem, but I know many gardeners who get to a point when their yard becomes overgrown and they have to start tossing perfectly wonderful plants because there is no space. Many plant trading and selling apps focus on specialty plants for sale and shipping them, while lots of the plants that I see getting tossed are extra starters for veggies, overgrown perennials that need to get dug up, or seeds exploding at the end of the season. My goal was to make a place where anyone could build a local community around sharing plants, cuttings, seeds, as well as being able to talk about local things related to gardening (in this case, the weather is exciting discussion!).
Project cover image with examples from the grand garden share app


Competitive Analysis

I did research on relevant apps. There are a few plant trading apps but the focus is on buying/selling marketplaces with shipping and it was my goal to make something about sharing without money exchanging that was local. Aside from plant apps I looked at apps that focused on community and giving items away. I made a board in Mural to tag with notes about what I thought was relevant, ideas that did/didn't support user tasks. I looked for UI patterns that would be familiar to my users to help them have an easier experience.

competitive analysis board with notessecond competitive analysis board with notes

Mood Board

At the same time I worked on my mood board, I wanted something warm, comforting and friendly. I really wanted to make an atmosphere that was conducive to sharing. The name I used was inspired by the Great British Baking show, which is probably the friendliest reality show and I think has a similar feel/purpose that I was going for.

mood board with pretty garden imagesmoodboard with colorful flowers and characters for inspiration

Findings From Research


Before I start the low fidelity designs I do some sketching to work out ideas. There is usually a lot of lists, deciding on what the focus is and basic ideas before I get to digital design work. I also come back to sketching a lot to rework things, its my favorite way to get ideas out.

initial sketches and lists for ideas for the app design

Low Fidelity Wireframes

In Figma I created wireframes based on the sketches. Some ideas looked good as sketches, but had to be refined. I had to define priorities of the user based on what tasks they want to accomplish and make those the most visible. Main tasks are reachable easily from any page (messaging and posts), any other page is only 1-2 clicks away (accessing favorites, seeing other profiles or managing your own).
low fidelity wireframes for the feed page, exchange and community tabslow fidelity wireframes for different ideas for the menu barlow fidelity wireframes for a detailed post, profile page and new post page

High Fidelity Wireframes

I refined type, color scheme, and margins as well as basic testing on my phone and with a couple gardeners. I defined what is needed from each page and how to make any tasks easy to find and use.
high fidelity wireframe of the title screens
high fidelity wireframes of the feed exchange and community tabs and when you go to a detailed community post
high fidelity wireframes of a profile page and the messages pages
high fidelity wireframes of the menu and new post pages

Style Guide

My goal with the colors was to project a sense of warmth. During the process the colors had more greens, but while I was checking my colors with color blindness screen tests, it was important to find colors that worked together while also still looking clearly different and visible with the most common color blindness types and also in Grayscale mode.
color swatches used for the project and their uses
The type used in the app, New York and Aleo
I wanted the type to be modern and bold and grand. I picked the title screen type that went with branding that I liked, then selected a font for the main app that had similar sophistication, but was more legible at a smaller size.

Going Forward

This was a great exercise to me to design something from start to finish independently. In the future I would love to develop it further as I think it is important to share our resources in this way.