My Garden

Personal planting suggestions from your online gardening coach

Team discusses UX with post-it notes on a notice board

Background

Client: The RHS (Royal Horticultural Society)

Working together since: 2016

Requirement: Support the Society’s overarching vision to help improve everyone’s life through gardening by developing a personalised area on rhs.org. This will deliver targeted content based on individual user profiles to give the Society a new voice to connect with an audience that may never have considered its relevance before.

Insight

Initial focus groups and one-to-one interviews revealed a common complaint among new and novice gardeners. Despite the wealth of online horticultural content and gardening apps available, users had no clear ‘starting point’. Few visited the existing RHS website, which was described as being too overwhelming to find simple answers. And perception of the RHS as ‘authoritarian’  ‘elitist’ and ‘a bit stuffy’ were barriers to engagement. Users didn’t want to be lectured – they needed to be coached.

A woman puts a post-it note on a wall

Owned media

Applying Lean UX principles, we started our designs with simple sketches and iterated them based on responses from users and stakeholders. Very quickly the ‘My Garden’ MVP (Minimum Viable Product) began to take shape. A key feature proved to be the ability to serve users with curated collections of plants via an ‘ideas generator’ based on their personal preferences and outside spaces. The My Garden prototype is now in the hands of the RHS for integration with rhs.org. We’ve tested our fully functional html prototype with real RHS data, and the responses indicate a sure-fire hit.

“Most agencies pay lip service to joint working practices, but in reality strive to keep clients at arm’s length. It is very rare to find an agency that is brave enough to cultivate such an open, honest team culture – it engendered a great deal of trust, and enabled us to take the work from good to great. More importantly it was lots of fun!”

Laura Patton, RHS digital transformation manager