What is Molander?

Molander is an IoTAR project. The Molander plant care assistant feeds information about your plant and its growing environment to your phone. The AR tech displays the plant data, plant status, and plant care guides on your smartphone screen. The combination of IoT and AR presents a functional and exciting project to help users become better plant owners.

Below are the three compositions of the product:

How it works

The Molander Wi-Fi Plant Sensor is a standalone device that users can place in the soil by the plants, where it connects directly to the routers. It helps users take care of their plants by sending data to their smartphones. Users have several approaches to access plant status. First of all, they can check the overall plant information by tapping their plant images on the homepage. Second, users can open the AR camera to diagnose plant status. Also, the schedule and timer features report daily plant information.

Why I design Molander

1.1 Finding the problems
  • 1: Taking care of plants is complicated because of different locations, weather, and environmental conditions.

    "I don't know about taking care of plants in different seasons."

  • 2: Users are unable to find ideas about how to take care of different plant species.

    "I like to explore different plant species, but I have no idea to take care of them in different ways."

  • 3: It's hard to control how much water, sunlight, and fertilizer that the plants need.

    "I had an experience that my plants died because I watered too often."

  • 4: Users are confused about when to take care of their plants.

    "I take care of my plants when I find dry appearance shows up on the leaves."

Design Thinking

2.1 Why AR?

Utilizing AR technology is not only bring interest to the project, but also let the users discover their plant status by diagnosing plant emotions as a tool. The dynamic plants and water measurement features provide useful approaches for solving the problems of planting. In summary, AR tech is one of the factors to motivate users to use the APP consistently and enhance the overall user experience.

2.2 Project Goals

Help users take care of their plants by sending plant status data. Bring successful user experience and motivate users to use the app consistently.

2.3 Solutions

1: Add multiple plants.
2: Check overall planting information.

1: Help plant owners find out plant status by showing them plant emotions, and having simple interactions between users and their plants.
2: Dynamic infographics show users how much water, sunlight, and fertilizer that their plants need.
3: Show users how much water, sunlight, and fertilizer that the plants need.

1: Plant care schedule.
2: Show the current plant status and problems through diagrams. 3: Give advice and allow users to follow the tasks.

1: Show the history of finished and coming tasks. Send notifications when plants need care.

Target Audience & User Case

3.1 Primary target audience–busy and beginning plant owners

City dwellers, age 20–35, with busy schedules.They like to be close to nature and to spice up their lives with pleasurable pastimes, such as planting. They often are sensitive to new technology and enjoy the convenience that technology brings. The interactive and exciting user experience of the product is essential to make them become consistent users.

3.2 Secondary target audience–experienced plant owners who are growing their plants

Suburbanites, age 35–43. They enjoy a healthy lifestyle, grow some vegetables and environmental plants in their gardens. These experienced plant owners need a plant care app to help them check their plants’ growth stages accurately, and notify them when the plants need care.

3.3 User Journey Map

The journey map design base on the target audience and personas. The goals of designing the journey maps are:

  • 1: Understanding needs and motivations.

  • 2: Identify pain points.

  • 3: Looking for gaps and opportunities.

  • 4: Helping collaboration.

  • 5: Building empathy.

Affinity Diagram

The affinity diagram contains various ways of solving planting problems. Also, it includes the initial ideas of App features and functions. It is essential to consider how the current and new users get through the app.


5.1 Information Architecture
5.2 User Flow

Include three user flows-add plants, diagnose plants, and get notifications. Diagnosing plants aim to show how users use the AR camera to find out their plant status, and how the dynamic tool guide users to take care of their plant.

1: Add Plants

2: Diagnose Plants

3: Get Notifications

Wireframes & Feedback

The wireframe design contains three user flows–add plants, diagnose plants, and get notifications.

User Testing

Below is 2nd round testing. At this stage, the app has its primary functions. Rough icons and buttons also were displayed. For getting the most useful testing results, I didn't engage in conversations with the user before they complete the tasks.

7.1 Testing Goals
  • 1: Focus on understanding why and how the user did or tried to do something with the product and what expectations they had after a specific set of actions.

  • 2: Measure task success.

  • 3: Discover user difficulties and roadblocks in using the app.

  • 4: Suggest recommendations for improvement.

  • 5: Rating the user's satisfaction with the product within the context of the task.

7.2 Testing Questions
  • 1: I noticed you tried to search for your plant species. What will you do if you already know the plant species?

  • 2: What are the difficulties of completing the task?

  • 3: How did you find the experience of using the system to complete this task?

  • 4: I notice you tried to explore the second icon on the navigation bar. What do you think of the icon?

  • 5: What do you expect when you tap the icon?

  • 6: Can you tell me, what do you think about those small icons after you open the second function?

  • 7: I noticed you got to a sunlight information page. Did you see other features and ways to get sunlight information?

7.3 Iterations

7.4 Testing Results

Testing Stage: 2nd round testing
Participants: 20

UI Design

The user interface design includes 3 task flows-add plants, diagnose plants, and get notifications. The result of adding plants is creating users profile. Diagnosing plants aim to help users find out the current plant status, and guide them to solve the planting problems. The App sends notifications from the perspective of the plant when it is time to be cared for. It helps users complete the planting tasks.