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5 weeks. May 2022

Team Members

Jenny Wang
Proud Taranat
Carol Auh
Shih-Hsueh Wang

Skills Utilized

User Research
User Journey
Digital Prototyping
Physical Prototyping
Visual Design


Forage Friend is a service that promotes experiential learning and helps children connect with nature. We work with schools located in different habitats and facilitate creative letter exchanges between students. Through this process, students have the opportunity to learn about other habitats and the natural environment while also building social connections. 

01 Initial Discovery


What is a service that can help improve the relationship between people and nature? 




To achieve this, we have brainstormed a range of strategies, including ways to make nature more accessible to those who may face barriers and using nature as a medium to facilitate connections between individuals.


We believe that by prioritizing and nurturing our relationship with the natural world, we can all benefit from the many physical, mental, and emotional benefits that nature provides.

02 Primary Research

Conduct Interviews

We learned that ...

  • From the children's perspective, they enjoy making new friends through pen-pal activities and the process of foraging/playing with nature artifacts 

  • From an educational standpoint, it's crucial for children to have opportunities to expand their knowledge and understanding of the world around them. By participating in these activities, they can develop their social skills, creativity, and curiosity. 

  • From the parent's perspective, they may have concerns about their children's safety, but they typically trust schools to provide a safe learning environment for their children, with proper supervision and guidance.

As a result ...

We proposed having a pen-pal program for kids living in different habitats in the country to connect to each other through exchanging natural materials. Our service aims to support their academic, communication, and personal development. Our goal is to provide a safe and enriching environment for young learners to connect with each other and make a positive impact on their growth.

06 Designing customer journey

03 Ideation

Lo-fi Storyboards

We generated ...

user personas by visually depicting the experiences and behaviors of potential users in a way that allows for better understanding and empathy with the user's perspective.

As a result ...
We discovered the idea of introducing different living environments to students and providing them with the opportunity to learn about various natural habitats. 

Value Flow Diagram

We discovered...

The complex relationship between each stakeholder, which includes students, parents, teachers, school board, and parcel service.


We decided to focus on the most important relationship:  

1. Students (senders) and students (receivers)

2. Students and teachers

07 Ecosystem map

Ecosystem Map

We identified...

Identify the key relationships and dependencies that exist between students(Foragers) and teachers(Facilitators)


We have designed our digital prototype with a primary focus on engaging both teachers and students. Through the platform, teachers will be able to facilitate the process of onboarding, sending, receiving, and preparing materials.

Customer Journey Map

We identified ...

A potential knowledge gap that may arise during the process of waiting to receive a package from the partner school. Specifically, we anticipate that children may experience heightened anticipation and anxiety while waiting for their pen pals to respond. 

To address this issue ...

1. We have decided to incorporate an Activity Booklet into our service, which will keep children engaged and provide them with additional information about the natural habitats they are learning about.

2. We will implement a system that provides real-time updates on the status of the parcels, which will help to alleviate some of the uncertainty and anxiety associated with waiting.

Business Canvas Model

Main takeaway ...

  • Explored various revenue generation opportunities to ensure the service's sustainability.

  • Identified potential partnerships and evaluated their value to the business.

  • Conducted a cost-benefit analysis to optimize the relationship between costs and benefits.

04 Physical Prototype Testing

Prepping Materials
Participant Profile
Name:  Matthias
Age:  7
Step 1 - Fill out Survey Booklet

Booklet for children to learn, answer questions, and get matched with their pen-pals 

Problems Discovered: Children had difficulty answering the questions.  


Solution: Reiterate the questions and have teachers guide students through this process

Step 2 - Forage

By following the step-by-step instruction from the Foraging Activity Prompt, students will collect objects from outdoors and keep them inside the Collection Box.

Discovery: The participant enjoyed the foraging process but was unsure what to collect and how much to collect. 


Solution: Improve the prompts to be more specific and have parents to participate in this step. 

Step 3 - Document & Collaborate

Students will document the objects in the Collection box. They are prompted to draw and write about their discoveries. The student's pen pals will collaborate on the same drawing and complete a Collection Book together. 

Discovery: The documentation is successful. If we had more time we would find more children to participate in this step of prototype testing and ask them to work collaboratively on this Collection Book. 

05 Digital Prototype


The visual identity of the app is characterized by soft pastel colors and kid-friendly designs, which create a playful and inviting atmosphere that is sure to engage and delight young users.

Sign In Page |  Identity Verification Page

Profile Page & Forage Journey Tracker  for  Students  |  Track Forage Package Page

Survey Download Page for teachers |  Class Management Page |  Library for Collection Books

06 Conclusion

To summarize, Forage Friends is a service that aims to enhance students' understanding of different habitats and their natural environments through social connection and co-creation, promoting awareness of the natural world. We plan to secure funding for our project through partnerships with the school board and after-school programs. In addition, we hope to expand our offering to private users, such as parents, through the development of seasonal boxes and by extending our program to older elementary students and middle schoolers, where the service could be integrated into a science curriculum.

Rejected Idea : Engaging Nature in a Healthcare Setting

From the interviews, We learned that 

From the hospital's perspective, liability will be a difficult challenge for presenting real natural objects. 


Therefore ...

The focus transitioned from healthcare to education, with a focus on providing students with opportunities to learn about other habitats.

One of the biggest challenges we faced was the process of refining our ideas and choosing the one that we felt was the most viable. For example, when we first started the project we had the idea of focusing the service to be around the healthcare industry. It was after serval rounds of interviews that we discovered the limitation. We had a pivot point and found ways to work around it. While this process of trial and error was at times frustrating, it also helped us to better understand our service and how it could be improved. As a guest speaker at one of our lectures noted, "even if only one of the hundred ideas in my notebook ends up working, that's still a great accomplishment." Overall, I believe that design requires a combination of creativity, experience, and perseverance.

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