EMIL ALEX 2018

Physical retail experience offer a level of richness that online stores have not been able to emulate. The aim of this project was to bring the best of both the physical and digital world together to create a wholesome retail experience for urban plant nursery goers. 

Amongst the urban, millennial population of the bay area, there already exists a desire to purchase plants for homes and offices. However, we identified a desire for motivation and purpose regarding the care and maintenance of these plants.

Dirtbag is a pop-up venture we launched that provided an immersive experience at the the accessible retail level. It provided an engaging in-store experience as well as guidance via the Dirtbag app once the purchase was made. 

Dirtbag was launched as a pop-up in the Design District of San Francisco and drew immense interest from the millennial crowd of the neighborhood. 

TEAM

Allison Cooper

Alex Rosandick

Emil Alex

Lucy Sweeney

MY ROLE

UX Researcher

Experience Designer

Pop-up Build Lead

TOOLS AND METHODOLOGIES

Stakeholder Interviews / User Surveys / Field Research / Contextual Inquiry / Affinity Diagrams / Journey Mapping / Pilot Runs / Rapid Prototyping / Physical Build / User Testing  

  • IS MAINTENANCE A BARRIER TO ENTRY?

  • ARE PEOPLE INTIMIDATED BY REQUIRED EXPERTISE?

  • REQUIRES TOO MUCH SUPPLIES + SPACE FOR MANY?

  • CUSTOMERS ARE OVERWHELMED BY CHOICE / SEEK CURATION?

  • DO CUSTOMERS GO FOR EXPERIENCES MORE THAN BUYING PLANTS?

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OPPORTUNITY FRAMEWORK MATRIX

OVERVIEW OF KEY FINDINGS

  • PEOPLE CAN BE PICKY ABOUT FOOD — PROVIDE OPTIONS

  • BEAUTIFUL ARTIFACTS ARE APPEALING; FLIGHTS OF SEEDLINGS = MEMORABLE

  • DETAILS MAKE/BREAK IT: NEED TO BE MORE CLEAR IN STORYBOARD

  • MAKE WORK FEEL WORTHWHILE: COMMUNICATE VALUE OF PLANTING

  • FINE LINE OF BEING ENIGMATIC BUT NOT TOO MYSTERIOUS; NEED SOME DETAILS TO BE WILLING TO PAY FOR A RESERVATION

  • RETHINK COMMITMENT LEVEL + CONSUMER BENEFIT OF POST-EXPERIENCE APP

  • OPPORTUNITY TO RETHINK POST-DIRTBAG MOBILE EXPERIENCE

  • OVERALL, LOTS OF EXCITEMENT!

IDEATION

VALUE PROPOSITION: MAD LIBS

Our first pass at developing a value proposition involved filling in the mad libs template provided.

We explored one for each of the prototypes we developed during the ideation phase:

  • “Taste your plant” (original idea)   

  • “Please touch” prompt

  • “Her” prompt

PROTOTYPING EXPERIENCES

Scaled down cardboard models were created of the pop-up experience in order to simulate the final experience quickly.

FULL SCALE TESTING

We had over 10 visitors go through our experience, and all either inquired about purchasing a kit or responded with at least some interest to our ask about purchasing a kit. This validated our key assumption about whether people would make this connection.

We learned many other unexpected lessons from the experience as well, including how to best prep and serve the drinks, identifying a need to more directly connect the flavor of the drinks to the herb, and that we could charge a lot for the kits if they included with nice branding and supplies.

Our final pop-up was covered with the look and smell of herbs around raw wood and black accents; visitors are treated to a free smell and tasting experience of three herbs guided by a dirtbag brand associate and the countertop informative interface. Visitors then rate their favorite tastings on the countertop (which we imagine would be interactive with more advanced technology), and then another brand associate introduces them to the connected kits and its features, and prompts them to purchase. 

THE TEAM