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Rainscaping in Southeast Michigan


The Master Rain Gardener program is a program belonging to the County of Washtenaw, aiming to proliferate rain gardens through community training and ambassadorship.

Their objectives include classifying volunteers by experience, mapping gardens, monitoring volunteer activity, and compiling data and narratives for program expansion.


They've developed an ArcGIS form to track and map these gardens, focusing on the key metric of "number of rain gardens built.” In this project, our team will refine this prototype to enhance user-friendliness, data visualization, and mapping, and are inviting feedback, 10-20 user testing, and interviews to implement improvements for a more effective version.




6 weeks

County of Washtenaw, Michigan

1 Project Manager

2 User Researcher

3 UI Designer

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(Home Page of RainScaping in Southeast Michigan)



What is Rainscaping in Southeast Michigan?

The Master Rain Gardener Program is a Washtenaw County program designed to promote rain gardens through community training and outreach. Their goal is primarily for currently trained students they have developed an ArcGIS table to track and map these gardens, focusing on the key metric of "number of rain gardens constructed". This website has two main functions:

1. share(report) a project;

2. view everybody's project.


Who is the user?

Users are community-members who’ve built rain gardens in Washtenaw county. They may or may not be a part of the Master Rain Garden program.

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What was the Goal?

Based on our client's request, our team will evaluate the RainScaping in Southeast Michigan website with a focus on the usability of online form filling and map navigation. And help them to evaluate the website to enhance the user experience.

What were my responsibilities ?

In this project, our team will refine the prototype to improve user-friendliness, data visualization, and mapping capabilities. We will invite 10-20 volunteers for feedback, testing, and interviews to provide the client with suggestions and reports for them to modify.

I did 5 rounds usability testing, anaylze the interview/testing result, presenting the final report to the client.


Client Meeting

  • What our client would like to know:

    • How easily can users find where and how to input data in the system?

    • How clear and understandable are the interfaces for entering data?

    • What specific issues cause confusion or create barriers to efficiently inputting data?

  • Questions for our client

    • Who is eligible to contribute to this project reporting?

    • How do users input their information?

    • How and why would users engage with this? What is the benefit?

    • How do you process and apply the data?

    • What’s working well? And what’s not working well?

    • What are current success metrics?

    • How do users get used to/introduced to the tool?

Divergent Thinking/Scoping

  • The key takeaways from the client meeting.

    • The client would like to know and test the input processing: Form of sharing the project. The data is for our client Susan to track the feedback of her project.

  • What does the client want to know about the website?

    • Mainly about the data input process of the sharing project form.​

  • Did we hear anything from the client meeting that we can’t test on (aka outside of the scope of our project)?

    • Client also mentioned about the improve the motivation​ of the users which is a little outside of the project scope.

03.User Testing Protocol


5minute warm-up questions

Main Tasks and End Goals

Following our client meeting and the insights from our research, we have developed a draft of our user testing protocol. Access to the document is available upon request.

3 main tasks


1 optional task

5 minute follow-up interviews

Submit a project

Ask participants to find the project submission form, and successfully complete all required fields


Find a rain garden in neighborhood

Ask participants to find rain garden metrics from the images provided on the map 


Find a rain garden by image

Click on a rain garden image you like and locate it on the map


Interview Data Analysis

  • After conducting interviews and tests with 16 users, our team compiled the results onto color-coded sticky notes. Each color represented a distinct task, detailing both the successful and challenging aspects encountered by the testers for each task.


04.Final Report

Final Report

Following our client meeting and the insights from our research, we have developed a draft of our user testing protocol.


You could access final report document here:

05. Implement and Project Impact



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