Patch's mission is to connect people with the right plants for their space and lifestyle, and a support system to care for them properly. They know that many people buy plants to make their houses a home, or to increase productivity in the workplace, but the joy the plants bring is short-lived as they often die. This can happen because of lack of education on how to look after them, or that they were never going to be a good fit for the space people have put them in.
I worked with Patch when they were about 3 months old to refine their original MVP. They had created a questionnaire to understand people's needs and had assigned manually-created collections to people who then were invoiced if they were interested in buying them. Patch had proven there was value in their idea, but now needed to scale it, fast.
These are snapshots from my Sketch files for this period of time. We wanted to create collections based on light levels, amount of space and what people said they wanted in terms of style. We also needed to make the website fully transactional, to take the pressure from team members pushing every sale over the line via phone (a tough task when your start-up is only 3 people!). This meant it needed to conform to some traditional e-commerce patterns to make it feel familiar and safe for customers and be a quick build, but also tackle some fresh problems. For example, teaching users about the language of gardening, assigning plants to particular pots and discovering if they need help with compost and watering were areas of focus.
We also had to make sure that what we built at that point could be re-used in other circumstances, for example when they sold Christmas trees or Valentine's collections. I kept a modular approach that allowed product, collection and information cards to be swapped in and out of the same space. We used Flexbox to create responsive cards.
After spending a lot of time reading through Intercom messages and finding patterns in user's interactions and frustrations, I also advised the founder, Freddie Blackett, on things like consistent shipping messages on all pages, natural human language to set brand tone, easy-to-locate contact information and omni-present terminology cards to help customers get their answers, fast.
I was part of a product team formulated to help Freddie's start-up get off the ground. I worked closely with front- and back-end developers to test assumptions and deliver results at pace. Visual designs are by Seth Matisak and photography is by Ross Brind.