Guide Creation Flow

RA Rory Aronson Public Seen by 76

After gaining a lot of in-person feedback about the Guide Creation Flow and going through several iterations, this is the latest design we have. I presented it to the development team last and we all agree it looks pretty good for something to launch with, with of course some minor details and changes we may want to make.

I wanted to present it here as well to gain feedback from all of you. Please share your thoughts about it!

UPDATE: The mockups are best viewed (and commented on) here: http://invis.io/UD1ON71XT


Rory Aronson Wed 12 Nov 2014 1:29AM

The ideas here (mockups down below) are to hold the user's hand as much as possible through the creation process, and ensure that the data is structured but still fun to create and with wiggle room for creativity. The overall flow is broken up into 3 sections:

1) The Basics where the user enters in just a few things to get started quickly

2) Life Stages where the user first chooses which they want to include, and then they fill in the details of each.

The Life Stage details include: a 'Basics' section, and an 'Actions' section. We'll launch with a lot of possible Actions for users to add, but most (90%) of the Actions will have no structured data fields at first, simply a text box. We'll learn from what people write about each Action and then incrementally build in the data fields that describe the Action in a precise, structured way. We will keep the text box field for every Action for the data that can never fit into a drop down ;)

Some Actions will need to be followed in chronological order while some may be completed at anytime. Some will be done once during the Life Stage while others are done more frequently.

3) Final touches where we autogenerate the Title and Overview based on the data entered, but the user can change them to whatever they want.

Last, the user will review the complete Guide and then publish it or go back to edit more.

Note that there is no longer a section that asks for 'overall prerequisites'. Instead, these will be derived from the details entered in for each Life Stage.

Sorry, looks like the mockups uploaded in reverse order and I cannot change which order they show in.


Carsten Goldbæk Nielsen Wed 12 Nov 2014 7:40AM

I don't know if this is a part of life-stages, but....
what about
'I have this plant xxyxyxyyx, how do I make new ones?' is it seedlings, seeds, grafting branches on other trees ( and which trees) and so on......


Christian Meyer Wed 12 Nov 2014 8:47AM

It could certainly be added at a later stage, but should there be a section on environment? Meaning "do this stage when it's no longer freezing, above X temp, etc"


Markus Osmers (mo22) Wed 12 Nov 2014 10:01AM

This is not Online yet, right? One would need to test it live to realy got an opinion on that.

I think there should be a more optional way for some Data, like
is a special soil needed?
[ ] -No [ ] -Yes this kind of soil types: [Selectable Items]

Is the sun and light level important?
[ ] -No [ ] -Yes it's best in: [Selectable Items]

This will avoid to think there is no Data when it is just not needed.

An what about a quick Tipp field, like
Do avoid to plant it near X
Do it a favour and plant it near Y
Plant it after Z to recover the soil


Meg Gannaway Wed 12 Nov 2014 3:40PM

Like Christian I think there should be an area that talks about what the outdoor temps should be. How US Centric will the site be? We have USDA and Sunset growing zones that indicate what time of year is good to plant in which area. Are there similar systems globally? Knowing a plant's "zone", temp tolerance, and days to germination are all important.


cyril Wed 12 Nov 2014 9:17PM

I't's not clear from the images if it is possible, but 'i'll make the choices non exclusive, for example for the soil you could pick: loam AND sandy loam.

Overall it looks very good !


Rory Aronson Thu 13 Nov 2014 1:52AM

@carstengoldbaeknie, I'm not sure if this flow allows for that feature at the moment, but thanks for bringing it to our attention - we'll put it in the roadmap of implementation! I think @christianmeyer1 hit it right, it could be a Life Stage called 'Propogation' and there could be certain Actions possible during that stage!

@christianmeyer1, each Action has a 'when' associated with it, so perhaps that can solve the specific case of 'Do this after the last Spring Frost' type of situation.

@mo22, no it is not online yet in this form. There is some parts of it online, but it is very early stage still. Your other suggestions are fantastic, I'll see how I can work them into a next round of mockups!

@marina15, thanks for adding another voice to Markus' points. I think the "Not Sure" and "Not Important" buttons are a good method of implementation because the normal inputs will first persuade the author to try to answer the question and these buttons will be sort of a secondary last resort for use only when needed.

@meggannaway, the site may have a US/English language focus at first, but really just because our team is mostly US and speaks English. We want to be globally relevant eventually. We will likely not be asking temperature information for Guides, but rather we will pull it from Crop pages because those types of values don't really change much from method to method, they are more 'universally accepted'. That being said, we definitely want to share that data because it is very important!

@cyril good point. The actual implementation will allow for that. Perhaps some extra help text 'Select all that apply' would make it more clear.

Thanks everyone for the input, keep it coming! I uploaded the mockups to a site where you can add comments and see them in order. Check it out: http://invis.io/UD1ON71XT


[deactivated account] Fri 14 Nov 2014 3:20PM

I think with regards to measurements and metrics, it would be good to maybe have a general switch whilst creating the guide that converts between metric and imperial for things like weight of soil, volumes, temperatures, and heights


Rory Aronson Tue 18 Nov 2014 2:00AM

@jonathanfranklin right now every user has a preference set in their profile for metric/imperial units. I was think that whoever is writing the Guide, their unit preference would be used. Then whoever is reading the Guide, we would convert any mismatched units to their preferred ones.

Thanks for the input!


Will Knight Tue 9 Dec 2014 12:27PM

Apologies to join in the comment party quite so late.

I like the overall look of this and it feels like it wouldn't scare new growers (of which i include myself in) away as it is nicely split into different understandable sections.

I wondered if there will be a space for comment / discussion on growing guides? This would allow for people to query about methods they have previously used / heard about.

The other thing I wondered about was whether growing guides could create .ics or other calendar reminders based on a guide that users could upload onto their calendar software of choice? I would definitely find this incredibly useful as I would have a reminder on my phone to tell me when things need to be done.

Thanks for all your hard work on this, looking great.

All best,


Rory Aronson Tue 9 Dec 2014 5:23PM

@willknight, its never too late to chime in, thanks for the input!

There will definitely be places on the Guides for comment/discussion for the community to ask questions, share photos, build relationships, etc. This will likely not be implemented until after we launch in January though.

I'm not sure we have shared this too much here on Loomio, but we're also working on a 'My Gardens' feature that will allow a user to grow a plant virtually for tracking purposes. Based on the guide being used and how old the plant is, the My Gardens page will say what things the user should do in real life. Exporting to .ics is a fantastic idea that we had not talked about before. Being able to take OpenFarm's data outside of OpenFarm into for example calendar apps of people's choice is exactly what we are striving for. I'll share this feature request with the rest of the team, thanks!