[personal profile] alexbayleaf
(Copied from the mailing list. There are likely to be further comments/discussion in the archives there.)

One of the things Dreamwidth has, that I really like, is a list of "design personas": personifications of different use cases for their website, with some thought about what sort of features those people would want and what they'd definitely *not* want. You can see DW's personas here: http://wiki.dwscoalition.org/wiki/index.php/Design_Personas

I've started thinking a bit about ours, and from conversations I've had with people and comments on various DW posts soliciting your thoughts, I've felt like there is some agreement around these three main uses for Growstuff:

1. Tracking

If you're a tracker, you want to track your garden, your crops, and everything to do with them. Dates, locations, and other records are important to you. You want to remember what you did, and plan for what you want to do next. Data entry doesn't scare you away, as long as it will be there for you afterwards. You might want to be able to import/export your data to other apps or in standard forms. When you're wearing your tracking hat, you don't much care about other people seeing your data -- you may or may not mind, but your primary goal is for it to be there for *you*, not for them.

2. Sharing

Sharers want other people to see what they're growing. If you're a sharer, you want to connect with existing friends (online and offline), make new friends, and show them your garden and what you're doing in it. You post notes and photos with an external audience in mind. You send your updates out via other social networks (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest) as well as sharing on Growstuff itself. You are interested in connecting with people who have similar interests to yours, or who live and garden in your area, and you enjoy seeing what they're doing, too.

3. Learning

You may be an experienced food grower, or you might not even have a single plant yet, but you're interested in learning about food gardening and how best to do it. You browse Growstuff for things you might want to grow, tips, and other useful information, and want to bookmark the best stuff for future reference. You might like to ask questions, too, either publicly or of some limited group (friends, people near you) and get specific advice, or participate in discussions on various topics. You may not enter stuff in the "your garden" area of the site, but you learn a lot from others who do.

I suspect that while some users will fall clearly into one of these camps, others will have a bit of each, since they're not mutually incompatible.

What I'd like to know (especially from people who identify as "customers" or "gardeners") is whether this rings true for you, or have I missed out some common use case that should be included in the list? (I have a suspicion I'm missing something like "Promoting", for people who want to spread the idea of sustainability/self-sufficiency/organics/locavorism/whatever or who want to tell people about the particular group/activity/service/product they have. Is this a use case we want to support?)
[personal profile] alexbayleaf
Just chatting with [personal profile] aquaprofunda on IM and wanted to drop a copy of our discussion here for future reference. It covers a handful of things (monetisation, development/planning process, and graphic design/UI) at least in a very brief way so if you're interested in any of those take a look.

IM log )

So, I've asked [personal profile] aquaprofunda to put together a static HTML page as described, just so we can put something on our domain once it's up and running. If anyone has (or can find) a gorgeous, high-res image of a food garden to use, feel free to link it in comments. I'll work up a 1-paragraph (preferably 1 sentence) description and post it here for her to use, too.

I told [personal profile] aquaprofunda that I'd discourage bikeshedding. For those who don't know "bikeshedding" in this sort of project is when everyone argues about what colour to paint the bikeshed before it's even built yet, holding up the building process. So since we're just slapping up a placeholder page for now, and want to do it fairly fast, I'd rather not get bogged down in the details. OTOH if you have strong feelings about graphic design, UI, user experience, etc, and want to get involved in that side of the project once we really get up and running, now would be a good time to raise your hand.

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The Growstuff Project

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