Dirty Roots Berlin: a better shopping experience for plant lovers

Muge Hizal Dogaroglu
6 min readJun 19, 2021

[Ironhack UX/UI Design Bootcamp Project]


We worked with Dirty Roots Berlin, a company that crafts high-quality planters and vases, to improve the e-commerce experience of their website during a week-long sprint.

My role

UX/UI Designer. I was involved in every aspect of the process, from research to analysis and design.


Henriette Humprecht — UX/UI Designer

Marie Ballivet — UX/UI Designer

Methods and tools

Qualitative Interview, Competitive Analysis, SWOT analysis, Market positioning, Jobs to Be Done Framework, Site Map, Card Sorting, Site Map, User Flow, Wireframing, Prototyping, User Testing

Figma, Maze, Trello

01.The Challenge

From handcrafted concrete spheres to reclaimed wooden propagation stations, Dirty Roots Berlin is an artisan company that offers premium planters to bring a piece of nature indoors.

Since the emergence of the pandemic, Dirty Roots Berlin’s global customer base has grown. Therefore, delivering a smooth web experience and showcasing the product’s uniqueness is essential for Dirty Roots Berlin. That has been our main objective in our week-long sprint: simplifying and improving the shopping experience for the customers while maintaining the artisan aspect of the brand.

Accomplishing our objective was both challenging and rewarding, resulting in a smooth but not-formulaic shopping experience, much like Dirty Roots itself.

02. The Process

We began by stepping into the user’s shoes and browsed through Dirty Roots Berlin’s website, intending to buy a planter. It’s hard not to be drawn into the beautiful objects displayed on the website, but as we progressed in our customer journey, we started to notice the frictions and took note of the issues we encountered.

To better understand the company and its customers, we conducted an in-depth interview with the founder, Adam Cotorceanu. As Adam explained the story of his company and vision, it became apparent that Dirty Roots Berlin stands for more than commercial success. It aims to introduce sustainable planting practices and bring joy through handmade, unique, and beautiful objects.

Insights from the Stakeholder Interview

  • Dirty Roots Berlin offers high-quality, hand-crafted, and unique planters and vases.
  • Sustainable planting practices and artistic excellence are at the heart of the company.
  • Online customer experience is a priority.
  • Global customer base, the majority of customers are millennial women.

Mapping Market Position

Learning these was crucial for understanding the landscape where Dirty Roots Berlin existed as a company and identifying competitors as well as opportunities through competitor analysis.

Dirty Roots Berlin positions itself in the market as a premium company with one-of-a-kind goods.

The market positioning of Dirty Roots Berlin showed that it sits between the premium and niche ends of the marketplace. Its strengths included its unique, high-quality design and its emphasis on sustainable practices, while its weakness was the high prices.

Understanding the use cases

Next, we strived to understand the potential customers of Dirty Roots Berlin. To do that, we used the Jobs to be Done Framework by which we identified use cases that customers preferred to buy from Dirts Roots Berlin rather than big chains.

With Jobs to be done Framework, we understood when customers preferred to buy from Dirty Roots Berlin instead of big home decor companies such as Ikea.

Card Sorting Exercise

As we started to gain insights on user preferences, we conducted an online card sorting exercise with a group of users to learn how they navigate the website and categorize the products.

The card sorting exercise has helped figure out how customers categorized the products of Dirty Roots Berlin.

At this stage, we needed to find the best way to conduct the card sorting exercise. Not only we had to find an easy way to do it online, but also we realized that it’s hard to describe the products on the website in a simple and distinguishable way.

So, we decided to add the images of the products with basic definitions such as “empty concrete sphere, in black with gold details” on a Trello board. We aimed to give enough information without influencing the user’s decisions. The results we got from the card sorting exercise were enlightening.

The majority of the users sorted contents by their materials and whether they came with a plant or not. However, the way they named the categories varied greatly; some took a pragmatic approach by coming up with the most straightforward names like concrete pots and vases, while others called them after mythological characters or elements, adopting a much creative approach.

The Insights from Card Sorting Exercise:

  1. The user found the mid-fidelity prototype was very easy to use and navigate.
  2. They named the products differently but sorted them in a similar way.
  3. They liked that shop was the first option on the main menu.
  4. Some indicated that filters could be more visible on the product page.

The Sitemap and User Flow

After analyzing the card sorting exercise outcomes, we mapped out the differences we wanted to make in the website and created a new sitemap to guide our new design.

In the new sitemap, we changed the labels of some of the menu items according to the way the users defined them.

Next, we created a user flow that focuses on finding a product that the customer likes and adding it to the shopping cart.

The user flow we decided to design follows a user who wants to add a product to the shopping cart.

We decided to focus on this aspect of the shopping experience rather than completing the transaction since the majority of the improvements that can be implemented on the website revolved around the main menu and the product page. Also, having only a week to complete the project led us to be much more selective about our priorities.

The Mid-fidelity Prototype

Following the user flow, we created the mid-fidelity prototype and tested it with the users.

We tested the mid-fidelity prototype with users to overcome any issues before building the high-fidelity prototype.

The user feedback has shown that our design was intuitive and easy to use, but it also indicated a few areas to improve it further.

That included adding a search button and changing the placement of the filter button to make it more visible.

03. The solution

For our final prototype, we have taken into account our users’ feedback, adding the search bar along with improving the filters.

We also added relevant content to the product page such as upselling opportunities as well as showing a selection of relevant content for the user.

04. Takeaways

I really enjoyed working on this project since it involved working with an actual client in the e-commerce space.

I also believe using methods such as card sorting and Jobs to be Done Framework in a remote environment was a great experience considering how remote working has become the norm.

Also, the positive feedback we got from Adam was very encouraging, and for me, it solidified the importance of understanding both the business and the user side to create a great experience.

Thank you for reading and I appreciate any feedback you might have :)