By using a design thinking process I was able to divide the work into manageable chunks. It was very important to me to consider the product as a whole while working on individual sections. The foundation of the process was solid while the pieces on top moved around. The process is never linear and usually feels like this :
DEFINING THE PRODUCT AND VISION STRATEGY
Define specific success criteria. - The value proposition.
Why am I doing this? - It is important to me to work on something for the greater good.
How am I doing this? - I'll work with a design thinking process to solve the problem.
What is it? - A program to benefit communities in need.
Who is it for? - Marginalized communities.
Where will it be used? - Community centers or any place able to host the program.
The first things I did was research, read and watch information about green spaces.
I'd link you to the gDoc, but you really don't wanna go there ;)
Market Research - I found many examples of mini indoor gardens but no programs with scaffolding.
User Research - I researched the demographic to ensure this would be feasible.
User Interviews - I interviewed children and teachers to insure there would be interest.
Contextual Inquiry - I observed community members and asked questions about their habits.
Personas - By combining the information I gathered via research I was able to create three personas.
Empathy Map - An empathy map allowed me to understand the needs of the community members.
Brainstorm - Mind mapping and word vomits.
Strong Narrative - Creating a narrative gives context.
User Stories - As a user I want to ____ so that I can ____.
User Flow - What does the user do from start to finish?
Sketch - Crappy sketches in my notebook.
Wireflow - How does the site function?
Wireframe - What does the interface look like?
Prototyping - Consider the needs of the user and how it would be used with little to no assistance.
Iteration - Change the design to accommodate all situations.
Brand Identity - The brand guidelines were used to begin the branding design look and feel.
TESTING AND VALIDATION
User testing - Children were shown the website, guides and kit.
Rated by criteria - The interest level was judged by a survey of questions.
Extensions - There are tons of creative extensions to use for this program. Some are listed on the site.