UW Botanical Gardens
A Citizen Science Case Study
As a part of CSS 478: Usability And User-Centered Design, our team conducted a user research study in order to test the usability of the UW Botanical Gardens interactive map and find ways of encouraging users to participate in citizen science research projects. Our goal is to use this research to design a new mobile app for the gardens.
The following three personas capture the target demographics we are designing for. Each user has a different reason for visiting the garden and each has a different level of experience with gardening but we wanted to design an app that would allow anyone to participate in citizen science projects regardless of expertise.
Nylah, our primary persona is a veteran garden volunteer. She is familiar with the gardens but she would love to have an easier way of submitting her observations.
Kai is a graphic designer looking to find inspiration while walking through the gardens. He hopes the beauty of the gardens will spark his creativity .
Jennifer is a mother of two looking for outdoor activities for her children. She would like to teach them more about nature and plant life.
How would users prefer to submit their citizen science data? (i.e. check boxes, text entry, photos)
How can we improve the functionality of UWBG’s current interactive map?
What is the main purpose of visiting the UW Botanical Gardens?
The purpose of this research study is to better understand our target audience and the existing interactive map of the gardens.
Our survey was sent out to friends, family, and peers. We received a total of 13 responses.
Research in a Pandemic
We decided to use a survey because it would allow us to collect data from a variety of users remotely.
We initially wanted to send our survey to an email list of UWBG volunteers but we were unable to make it onto their newsletter in time for our assignment.
Adapting to Changes
Since we were unable to reach UWBG volunteers, we edited our survey to be sent out to regular garden visitors.
After sending out the survey we received 13 responses. The ages of our participants ranged from 18-34.
42.9% of our participants had visited the UW Botanical Gardens.
The majority of our participants have visited or would visit the UW Botanical gardens for entertainment purposes.
Most of our participants had never used the interactive garden map before.
The majority of our volunteers showed interest in participating in a citizen science research project.
For our qualitative data, we decided to use affinity diagrams to organize similar responses and find trends in our participants' answers.
Based on our research, we will be designing a low fidelity prototype of an app for the UW Botanical Gardens.
This prototype will be used for further user testing before creating a high fidelity prototype of the app.