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Arts in the Greenhouse

Arts in the Greenhouse was designed to enhance the user experience of visitors to the Ball State University Rinard Orchid Greenhouse by leveraging the power of art and technology. Through our website and art competition, we aim to inspire students to explore the greenhouse and create meaningful works of art based on their experiences. With the ability to vote for their favorite works and access information about the greenhouse, our platform enables visitors to engage more deeply with the space and its offerings.

Project Role

Researcher, designer, tester, and writer on the design brief. 

Problem

The Rinard Orchid Greenhouse is supposed to attract a healthy amount of visitors,

specifically from students attending Ball State. However, students are not

visiting the greenhouse due to the unawareness of greenhouse. This could be caused by the greenhouse's social media strategy absence of event based posts within their channels of social

media. There is also no incentives for students to show up on their own time and

there is a general lack of awareness that the greenhouse exists.

Goal

Our objective was to raise awareness of the Ball State University Rinard Orchid Greenhouse through an interactive and engaging experience. To achieve this, we adopted a competition-based approach, inviting students to participate in an art competition focused on creating artwork inspired by a plant of their choice. In order to execute our vision efficiently, our team opted for a mid-fidelity prototype that showcases numerous graphics for the website without the need for extensive coding. We used Figma to create a comprehensive prototype, leveraging wireframes as the best fidelity option to accurately convey our concept.

Empathy Research

The team carried out empathy research by conducting interviews with students of Ball State University and administering a survey to gather insights on their awareness, experiences, and motivations for visiting the greenhouse. Based on our research, here are the key findings our team discovered:

Students only went for class mandated trips

If students did not go, they usually did not know about it

Most students did not know the location of the greenhouse when asked

Ideation

Initially, our team explored a social media campaign as a potential solution. However, during low-fidelity testing, we realized that while a social media campaign could increase awareness of the greenhouse, it may not necessarily motivate students to visit. As a result, we pivoted our approach and decided to create an art competition that would be more impactful. Our group identified three key areas of focus for this project:

  1. Create social awareness surrounding the greenhouse

  2. Incorporate art relating to the greenery

  3. Encourage social gatherings within the greenhouse

Prototype

Following our decision to pursue an art competition, our group aimed to make it easily accessible to students, even if they were not able to physically visit the greenhouse. To achieve this, we created a website to feature the submissions from the art competition. The website offered various features including the ability for students to view the submitted artwork, vote for their favorite pieces, view artist spotlights of the semester, purchase merchandise, and submit their own artwork.

Testing

Once we created the different prototypes, our team conducted user testing with Ball State students. During the test, we asked them various questions about their experience, likelihood of visiting the greenhouse, and more. Based on their feedback, we discovered that students appreciated the competitive aspect of the website but also wanted more frequent updates. Some students suggested making the artist spotlight a weekly feature instead of a semesterly or yearly feature. Students also expressed enjoyment towards purchasing merchandise with different artists' works on them, as it allowed them to support a local business and own a unique item or piece of clothing. Overall, students mentioned that their knowledge of the greenhouse had increased and that they planned to share the competition with their friends.

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