Terra Bella


Mobile Application

Timeline | SCOPE

14 Weeks


Solo project

project CONTEXT

coursework DURING mASTER DEGREE graduate STUDIES




Terra Bella is a mobile application I designed that helps users connect with local research experts to learn how to identify and grow native plants.

Terra Bella honors and celebrates our native landscape and the researchers who provide empirical data to help drive our environment toward a brighter and more fruitful future.


Results would show increased awareness about the value of credible research and how it impacts our environment. During project development, metrics through testing and iteration will show an increase in overall user satisfaction and quality over time.


My project is an innovative solution, system, and strategic approach toward seeking accurate information about our native landscapes. My contribution pushes forward fact-finding and a thriving environment filled with natural beauty.

Problem Space

Educate and Restore

Many people have found credible educational resources challenging to attain

Did you know could save water and the cost of maintenance by planting Native plants

Research shows that the typical lawn consumes about 30 gallons per square foot yearly. Compare this to the 3-5 gallons per square foot needed annually for a native landscape.

A typical monthly summer water bill for a large 1 acre conventionally landscaped yard might run upward of $900 per month, whereas the same size property landscaped in Natives would cost around $125 per month.

Why Native Plants

A native plant is a plant that is a part of the balance of nature that has developed over hundreds or thousands of years in a particular region or ecosystem.

Native plants:

  • Occur naturally.
  • In their ecoregion and habitat where.
  • Over the course of evolutionary time.
  • They have adapted to physical conditions and co-evolved with the other species in the system.

There are many benefits of landscaping and gardening with native plants including conserving water, protecting soil from erosion, and creating habitat and providing food for many different animals including birds, pollinators, and small mammals. Simply by growing native plants gardeners can bring enormous beauty to a community and joy to its residents. In addition, native plants are easy-to-grow and require minimal maintenance.


The business benefit from the software will be the communication and relationship between the customers, users, and those who provide services in research and the gardening/ environment/ landscaping industry.


The product goal is to make finding credible sources about creating a sustainable environment easier. My aim is to leverage technology and make humans more connected to nature.


Qualitative Data

Interviews | Insights and Pain Points

Participant Highlights-

“I just moved into a house with some costly plants and trees, so I’m looking for plant alternatives that can help me spend less on maintenance and cost while still having a beautiful garden." - Participant #2

Water is a big concern here, so I want to be more informed about plants that need less water. Water is scarce here and so costly that I want to look out and understand more about types of plants that reduce the impact on this ongoing issue.” - Participant #3

Expert Interview-

”I have been doing much of my native plant treatment research and development in my ½-acre yard, but I’m looking for more directed and organic approaches.”

”It has proven quite incredibly satisfying to bring native plants like Dendromecon and Lavatera back from the brink of death and to realize how adaptable and resilient these plants can be in the absence of bug infestation.”

Competitive Landscape

Analyzing Features | Opportunity For Solution


How might we create a software application that helps people learn about native plants and how they can restore distressed landscapes

Problem Statement

1. As a user, I need to locate and find credible resources to plant a native garden or landscape.

2. As a user, I want to find someone who can help me gain the knowledge and understanding to plant a sustainable garden.

3. As a user, I need to stay on the same platform when finding information about native plants and ways to make gardening easier.


Project Timeline | Visualization

IA | Flows | Solutions

Beauty and the System

UI Components & Color | Typography

Key Insights/Data

Testing | Feedback | Enhancement


The Final Design

Declaration | Handoff

Moving Forward


Next Steps-

  1. Engineer and manufacture a fully functional mobile application.
  2. Complete the interactive story with full interactivity.
  3. Sync the user's smartphone with Camera features, map location, and virtual systems.
  4. Implementation to enable its users to go out in the field where they discover and are proactive in searching for native plants.
  5. Produce a seamless and streamlined experience.

What I learned-

  1. Testing early and often before making big design decisions will save time and effort.
  2. Coding a minimal viable product is time-consuming and requires a lot of programming expertise. I appreciate engineers and the magicians they are!
email - am.cruzflores@gmail.com
let's work together