In the “Under the Hood” Series, we look at how popular apps have grown loyal usage through behavioral design. Seeing the techniques in action should give you practical ideas for ways to use behavioral design in your own products.
Keeping plants alive is not always as easy as it sounds. For the average houseplant owner, making sense of a plant’s wilting leaves or brown spots and deciding when and how much to water can feel like a bit of a guessing game. The Blossom app aims to solve the plant care conundrum once and for all. From an AI tool to identify plants and custom plant care schedules to a conversational chatbot for plant diagnoses and tons of expert content, Blossom gives plant owners everything they need to help their plants thrive.
An App to Help You Keep Your Plants Alive and Healthy
A product of Conceptiv Apps, Blossom combines smart digital features with expert gardening advice from the folks over at The Spruce. If you’ve ever Googled a problem related to your home, you’ve probably encountered The Spruce. It’s a trusted source of how-tos and tips for your home, yard, and space.
By bringing together tons of helpful information and timely, customized plant care advice, Blossom equips plant owners to care for their plants with ease and clarity. No more guessing which window sill your succulent will like best or whether your porch plants can survive freezing temperatures!
The app has garnered lots of attention and many loyal users since it launched. According to her LinkedIn page, Susanne Sandler, an executive involved in the app, reports that Blossom grew its user base by more than 500% year-over-year in 2021. In the same year, Blossom also won a “Google Play’s Best of 2021” award. Then in 2022, the app won a “Webby People’s Voice” award. Let’s take a look under the hood now to see how behavioral design played a part in this success.
Personalized Reminders to Help Users Care for Plants
From the moment users sign up for the app and open it, Blossom begins to curate their experience. For each plant that users add to their “Garden,” Blossom will identify the plant using the user’s native phone camera. Then, the app asks users a series of questions to develop what Blossom calls “Smart Care” tailored to the plant.
Users can then rely on Blossom to let them know exactly when to attend to their plant with water, fertilizer, a new container, or something else. This is just one of the many ways Blossom uses behavioral design to help plant owners keep their plants healthy without any stress or mystery.
Custom Weather Alerts
In addition to reminders for specific plants, Blossom also gives users the option to receive notifications about weather changes that might affect the health of their plants. This comes in especially handy for outdoor plants but can even prove useful for indoor flora and fauna.
Location-specific alerts trigger plant owners to attend to their plants before things like heavy rain or strong UV rays cause any damage. Plant owners can breathe easy knowing they don’t need to watch the weather closely to keep their plants happy and healthy. Blossom does the hard work for them.
Many designers like to say that “good design is invisible.” In other words, when something is designed well, it feels so seamless, you barely notice it. That’s definitely the case with Blossom’s tooltips—those instructive little messages that guide users through the app experience.
Learning how to take advantage of all the app’s features, like the plant illness diagnosis tool, feels simple and intuitive thanks to Blossom’s well-designed tooltips. Small touches like these taken together make a big impact and allow the user to gain confidence, both using the app and caring for their plants.
Conversational Bot for Plant Care Troubleshooting
Behavioral design is all about nudging users to take certain actions, and Blossom does that well. The app supports users in numerous ways throughout the app and encourages them to engage with the app to find the plant answers they need. In addition to the camera-based diagnosis tool, the app also offers the “Blossom assistant,” a conversational bot for one-on-one plant care support.
Upbeat, human-sounding bot messages combined with tap-friendly prepopulated user responses make it easy to forget that the Blossom assistant is a robot, not a person. Importantly, Blossom offers yet another support option within the chat window. If they don’t find what they need, users can tap the “Ask botanist” button to fill out a form addressed to a real human plant expert. This ensures users never feel trapped or stuck without the help they need within the app.
Expert Plant Content to Dive Deeper
For those users who fall even more in love with gardening as a result of using Blossom, the app offers seemingly limitless plant content to explore.
Expert editorials from The Spruce are easy to peruse with a single tap from the Blossom homescreen. Users can choose from a broad range of topics, from which houseplants are safe for cats and dogs to how to dry and store flowers. A convenient save feature even allows users to “heart” their favorite articles and revisit them later. This beautiful and functional library is sure to keep users coming back again and again for helpful tips and ideas.
The Blossom app is a great example of how to use behavioral design in an app. One glance through the raving reviews on the Apple and Google Play stores suggests their approach is working!
Interested in learning more about how to incorporate behavioral design into your app? We’d love to hear more about your project idea. Get in touch to get started.
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