Master Gardener

iOS app concept

Fostering a local gardening community.

Master Gardener is a mobile gardening app that connects the Master Gardener volunteer organization with novice gardeners. We aimed to increase awareness and participation in the program among young adults to create connections between generations of gardeners.



Visual design lead







The problem

The American Horticultural Society wanted to get young adults involved in the Master Gardener programs by raising awareness through a gardening-oriented lifestyle app.

The user: Novice gardener

Research indicated that gardening presents a barrier to entry for people who don't know where to begin.


"I don't know what grows best here. Or what supplies I need. And what if I kill my plants?"

The solution

What to grow + how to grow it = Garden success



Meeting the Master Gardeners

During my research I realized the Masters have five local Demonstration Gardens in the Seattle Area. Naturally we had to move our research on-site where the action was.

Rick and Cheryl, two passionate Master Gardeners, on their way to the local food bank with generous donations.


Developing My Garden flow

We turned our focus back to our user, the novice, by considering how to help her start a garden through a conversational onboarding process.




Ask A Master

We soon realized that direct communication between Masters and novices was critical not only to the novice's planting success but also to fostering connections between new and experienced gardeners. These conversations help to achieve our ultimate goal of creating a gardening community.



All clickable elements are pink in order to comply with iOS interface guidelines and general usability practices, using the log in page to immediately establish pink means click.




Usability testing showed us our home button unnecessarily buried our navigation. We eliminated that as well as a hamburger menu in favor of a bottom global navigation. As a result, our landing page became My Garden.

The impact

During this two week student project my team learned, the hard way, how to manage a project with a pressing deadline.  We spent too much time thinking high-level, leaving us little time to build out an effective prototype (the final visual design was completed after the project).  Should we have used an Agile approach we would have iterated more rapidly to get several prototypes in front of users to test.