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Sprout Spot

UI/UX, Design Research, Product Design


AIGA Flux 2023 Interactive, Finalist


2 Months | Fall 2022


Sprout Spot is an interface which can be utilized by community gardens to help share resources, build community, organize information, and provide assistance to anything related to your gardening experience.


Our team used Human-centered Design Thinking and Digital Experiential Design to explore a hybrid environment of a physical and digital space.

Team Members

Grace Rai, Lily Shuffler, Jonah Goode,

Arayiah Stephens


Grace Rai:
Design Research, Wireframing, Prototyping, UI/UX Design for both the Mobile App

and Kiosk

Lily Shuffler:
Design Research
, Prototyping, UI/UX Design for the Mobile App

Jonah Goode:

Design Research, Brand Identity, Iconography, Illustrations

Arayiah Stephens:

Design Research, Wireframing

Problem Overview

With the rapid urbanization of communities, food insecurity and non-sustainabile practices become an issue in today’s society.

Gardening also becomes inaccesible to those living in cities with small apartments or homes.

"Urbanization processes are intertwined with nutritional transition because there is easier access to food of low nutritional quality at reduced prices, changing dietary patterns and leading to an increase of non-communicable chronic diseases... Urban food insecurity is an emerging challenge, which is exacerbated by factors such as climate change; low income, which is the main cause of urban food insecurity; precarious living conditions; local environmental risks; and limited access to markets"


National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health

Community Gardens

In order to combat food insecurity and create a better way of life in urban areas, community gardens are implemented in some cities.

These community gardens are public or private spaces for people to jointly grow a variety of plants and vegetation. Some benefits that these gardens provide are natural beautification, promotion of healthy lifestyles, environmental sustainability, diminishiment of food deserts, and educational opportunities.



We created a survey for already existing community garden members to fill out so we could gather intel on their experiences and what could be improved in the garden.


We interviewed Hope Tate, a 26 year old community garden member from San Marcos, Texas. We asked about their experiences in a community garden and what they wish could

be improved.

How much experience in gardening did you have prior to joining the community garden?

"Not a lot. I grew up with a family garden I loved but was super responsible for. So, little experience but super interested in how to help things grow."

How did you hear about the community garden?

"I think I googled community gardens and then emailed the one I was interested in."

How was the overall "community" aspect of the garden?

"Missing. There wasn't one. That's why I ended up leaving."

How and/or when did you communicate with other members of the garden?

"I only communicated with the women in charge over email, or one other gardener whenever I saw her in the garden. Out of 20 plots I only saw three people semi-regularly."

What are some things that worked really well in the garden?

"What worked well was the setup. The tool shed was really nice as well as the watering hose setup."

What things needed the most improvement or would you have liked to see be implemented in the garden?

"I wish there were group classes about gardening and easier ways to communicate with other gardeners other than email."

User Personas
Urban Garden

Hope Yan, Student, 20

“I want to create a dish made only from things I’ve grown myself and serve it to my friends at college.”

Hope is a very talented cook who is nervous about starting to grow her own fresh ingredients because she thinks gardening is difficult. She’s determined to try and is willing to invest a bit of money if it means she’ll be able to save on fresh veggies at the store.

She complains to her roommate how she is eager to learn but doesn’t know where to start and all the online forums she’s had to sift through were frustratingly vague.

Luckily, Her roommate has heard of a new app that might help her with that, Sprout Spot. Hope learns about how Sprout Spot connects her to folks in her community garden, helps her keep track of her crops and contains an advice forum that can be backed up by people she can meet with and learn from.

Sprout Spot Hope.png
Empathy Maps
Community Kitchen Garden

Hope Yan, Student, 20

Hope thinks gardening is difficult and doesn’t have much experience with it. 


Hope feels alone in her journey at the community garden. There is not much communication outside of emails between few others.


Hope says “I don’t want to invest in a new hobby that I may not succeed in.” “I want to meet people who garden.”

Hope has to research unreliable sources on the internet and tries to utilize plant apps that aren’t backed by science or experience.

Sprout Spot Hope.png


Research Takeaways

Lack of community prevents community gardens from being prosperous, welcoming, and resourceful.

The older demographic that currently makes up most community gardens has a technological shortfall used to reach out to other garden members.

There is uncertainty among the younger generation who want to join a community garden but do not know where to start, have no resources, or feel as though they do not belong.

How Might We...?

Better create a sense of community within the garden?

Make it easier for new members to learn how to garden?

Make people more involved in the garden?

Open up the community garden to a larger demographic?

Build an effective and seamless way to convey gardener and garden needs?

We Can...

Create a shared platform for members of the community garden to share their progress and connect.

Reward different gardening milestones and other various achievements within the garden.

Provide a shared calendar of various events and classes happening in the garden to teach all levels of gardeners.

Appeal to a younger audience through having a social-like platform and provide helpful resources for beginner gardeners.

Implement a chat feature that lets people message each other within their own community garden.



A mobile app that gives members the ability to chat with one another, reach their goals, share progress, find helpful gardening resources and control their calendar.

An on-site kiosk that allows people to see available plots, public member profiles, and daily objectives.

Flow Charts


Garden Search

Users are able to search and join a community garden within their area.

Low-Fidelity App Screen 1.JPG


Users can view their feed and any tasks that need to be completed.


Users can find tips and tricks and learn more about gardening.

Low-Fidelity App Screen 3.JPG
Key Mobile App: Low Fidelity Wireframes

Kiosk Start Up

Users will see this screen first. They can sign up or login into their account.

Reserve a Plot

Once logged in, users can see a digital map of the community garden. They will see available plots that can be rented.

Lo-Fidelity Kiosk Screen 3.JPG

Signing In

Users will have the option to scan a QR code to sign into the kiosk.

Lo-Fidelity Kiosk Screen 2.JPG

Tool Rental

Users will able to rent tools from the kiosk to use. It will also keep track of what tools they currently have rented.

Lo-Fidelity Kiosk Screen 4.JPG
Key Kiosk: Low Fidelity Wireframes

Final Outcome

Mobile App

Below are videos of what the user flow could look like (you can click to pause). A figma file will also be embedded which you can click through.

Join and Sign Up​


Users will input their zip code to search for nearby gardens to join. Once a garden is selected, they will insert their information to sign up.

Introduction Screen​


Users are welcomed with an illustrative overview of the mobile app.



The calendar can be used to view community events or keep track of your plot by creating tasks.


In the "Tips" tab, users can browse informative articles that could help improve their gardening experience.

Home Screen


Once logged in, the users will see their home screen.


This consists of their social timeline of posts from other gardeners within the community garden and their personal QR code for tool rental at the kiosk.

My Plot and Journal


In the "My Plot" tab, users can log which plants they're growing on their plot. It will also automatically show the general information of that plant.

Clicking on the pencil icon will open their plant's journal where they can write or log information about that plant.

Direct Messaging

Users can privately message other gardeners within their community garden and converse in their community's group chat.

Mobile App Figma File



The kiosk can be located in front of the community garden’s tool shed.

Mockup by: Lily Shuffler

Log In​


Users will use their unique QR code located in the homescreen of their Sprout Spot app.

Reserve a Plot​


The kiosk will display a map of the garden’s layout, which users can then reserve from the available plots.

Tool Rental​


If users are in need of tools they can rent them from the kiosk. Upon renting, the door to the garden’s tool shed will unlock briefly so the user may grab the rented tools.

Kiosk Figma File


We were lucky enough to have a community garden not too far from us coincidently. We had a lot of fun learning about community gardens and ideating the touchpoints and its features.


We cycled through many different ideas like being to water your plants from your phone and having cameras which can be viewed through the app but we figured that would take away from the commnity aspect if everyone just stayed at home and only came to harvest plants or weed their plot. Perhaps that concept can be used for future projects...

Some issues we faced were actually getting more people to respond to our survey, but luckily we were able to get an interview in. We had sent our survey to subreddits and facebook groups, and even tried to get a QR Code printed to hang up at the community garden near us but we weren’t allowed to so, I think that was very unfortunate for us. Overall, I really enjoyed creating this interface, I love plants and gardening so it felt very natural ideating this concept.

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