SXD | CoGarden

May 2022


Duration - 2 months

Team - Jamie Choi, Nina Gao, Ruoming Xin, Shelley Tao

Tools - Figma, Adobe Photoshop, Procreate, Adobe Premiere Pro

Skills - App Prototyping, Research and Synthesis, Service Maps, Presentation

This project is to design a service to enhance people's relationship with nature. Our service is called CoGarden, which provides 1:1 consultation, tools for setting up an office garden, and an integrated communication platform for collaborative gardening to corporate offices. Below is our demo video and this is the link to our presentation deck.


After receiving the prompt - connecting people with nature, we started to brainstorm ideas through storyboards. Our group sketched out a few series of storyboards and decided to go with this one - a collaborative office garden to motivate working in-person and promote interpersonal connection. As during the pandemic and post-pandemic periods, the remote work mode is adapted by most of the companies, making it difficult for employees to transfer back to in-person work mode after the pandemic has mitigated. We thought office gardening could be a good opportunity to enhance the environment of the working space and promote collaborative activities among employees working in-person.

Initial storyboard


Once settled down our concept, we started to search for existing services providing office plants or consisting of collaborative gardening, to take a glance at where the current customer needs lie in and what are our opportunity areas. We found that most of these companies provide services for setting up and maintaining the plants in the office. Some of them offer tips and toolkits for plant growing. Yet, there is a gap in office garden services that employees are not collaboratively participating in building a mutual, healthy, and green office environment.

To understand current office workers' actual needs, we conducted five interviews with office employees working either in-person or remotely, as well as an employee working in COOKFOX, which has a company culture of bee-growing and used to have a beehive on their office rooftop. The main insights we got are summarized as follows:

  • Most people have the desire to work in a green environment.
  • The amount of effort people are willing to devote to plants varies among individuals.
  • If having an office garden is aligned with the company's overall vision and value, the impact on the company culture is greater, and the maintenance of the office garden is seen less as a chore but more as a physical manifestation of the company's culture.


Maps & Diagrams

From secondary research and further ideation around initial storyboard, we came up with the user journey map for our proposed service of a collaborative office garden -- CoGarden. Our target user group is the office management team of a client company.

The journey starts by the discussion among client company employers and employees who have a common goal of sustainability in office. After they aligned their values and came up with a budget, the office management team will compare various office garden services and reach out to our website. Through phone call or video call, the client company management team will set up a budget with us, and prompted to go through the onboarding process on the designated CoGarden mobile app. During onboarding, relevant information of the client company and their preferences are filled out, while our client will receive a measuring kit to collect data for the office environment (e.g. temperature, humidity, sunlight, etc.). After the onboarding process is finished, we will analyze the office environmental data and choose the most suitable plant set for our client. Our delivery team will set up the office garden for our client, as well as a slack channel to provide tutorials, Q&As, and a communication platform for collaborative gardening.

User journey map

To visualize and understand our service in multiple angles, we produced an ecosystem map, a service blueprint, a value flow diagram, and a business model canvas. After making these maps for our service, I am confident with using them in future projects. However, in this case, it is not necessary to make all of these maps in order to proceed with our project, so the purpose is to show the visuals of these map rather than the contents.

Ecosystem map (top left), service blue print (top right), value flow diagram (bottom left), business model canvas (bottom right)

Mobile App Wireframes

With respect to our user journey map, we started to create the wireframes of our mobile app, including the onboarding pages to set up company profile and to select preferences of labor hours, garden style, level of engagement, etc., the instructions to receive and set up measuring kit, and the plant selection and set up scheduling pages.

App wireframes

Mobile App Prototype

Physical Kit Prototype

For demo purpose, we also did a physical prototype for the measuring kit that is used to measure the environmental data in the client's office.


In this class called Designing for Service, we learned a number of tools to help us understand or even establish a service on our own. I felt the difference between service design and UX design, because of the complexity of a service and because of the importance of business knowledge. Meanwhile, the UX aspect is also important since we need to think in the client's point of view and consider every problem they could encounter to make our service as smooth as possible. Service design is definitely an interesting area that I want to learn more about, in order to develop my design thinking skills in large and complex systems.

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