Kaleidoscope | Fall 2021





mobile iOS


high fidelity prototype
Click images to enlarge them.

Project Overview

A project dedicated to raise awareness for butterfly population decline and to educate people about different butterflies and what they can do to increase populations of species that are at-risk.

Problem Statement

Many butterfly species are at-risk of becoming endangered and some already are. This can be attributed to many factors such as deforestation, climate change, loss of habitat and food sources. This is further exacerbated by people unknowingly planting non-native or invasive plant species in their yards.

The two main issues I will be tackling are:

  • Butterfly population decline caused by loss of habitat and food sources
  • People not planting species native to their local area

Hypothesis Statement

By educating people about different types of butterflies, their impact, and the small things they can do within their local area to reverse declining pollinator populations, our initiative will make a positive impact for at-risk butterflies and the environments they thrive in.

My Role

I was the sole UX researcher and UI designer for this project, while working alongside a 3D artist. Some of my responsibilities included:

  • Initial research (butterflies, plants, client base, mental models)
  • Ideating (sketching, card-sorts, mindmapping)
  • Designing (wireframes, design system, user interface)
  • Testing (usability, language)
  • communicate with 3D artist/animator

Project Goals

  • Develop a sense of community for users who are involved with the campaign and plant native
  • Merge geocaching and gardening into something effective
  • Keep client values in mind when planning
  • Increase awareness of how local plants affect ecosystems


The Dallas arboretum and Texas Discovery Gardens (both located in Dallas, TX) will be merging their efforts to battle butterfly decline.

Both not only encourage people to plant native species, but they also have educational programs led by entomologists on the tremendous effect bug species have in Texas.

Target Audience

  • Teenagers
  • Young families
  • Social media users


  • Sole UX researcher and UI designer
  • Three month window with other projects simultaneously ongoing
  • App limited to Texas

The End Product

I designed an augmented reality app that encourages users to plant native wildflowers to increase butterfly habitats and food sources across Texas in an effort to raise and stabilize butterfly populations.


Mind map

Overall, these mind maps helped me connect my two main ideas: community-adventure with the main goal of restoring the environment. I always start with mind maps because they are a great way to untangle thoughts and ideas as well as discovering other avenues.

Key Insights

  • Inspiration gathered from NY Green Guerillas, TikTok seed dumping trend, geocaching, and national parks
  • Delved into ways of enforcing only native plants to be planted

The campaign's 5 stages:

1. Stage Seed

Campaign kickoff in Spring when clients are getting an influx of visitors wanting to view the spring flowers.

2. Stage Plant

Get communities working together to create more butterfly habitats across Texas.

3. Stage Grow

Clients visit schools to educate children and host family gardening events and activities.

4. Stage Bloom

By now, it will be late Summer or Fall and the flowers everyone planted will be grown and butterfly and other insect activity near them will be heightened. We should use this as an opportunity to teach people about these visiting bugs and share images across social networks to show the fruits of everyone’s labor.

5. Stage "go to seed"

After Monarch butterflies have migrated, the campaign lies dormant until next Spring.

Who could utilize Kaleidoscope?

  • parents
  • teachers
  • geocachers
  • gardeners
  • hikers
  • couples
  • friend groups
  • cyclists + runners
  • scientists (lepidopterists, entymologists, botanists)
  • environmentalists
  • social media users

Exploring mental models

I was curious how different user groups would interact within the campaign, so I used an open card sort to gain insight from participants I collected. I did these card sorts for 4 different user groups: teachers, hikers, gardeners, and parents.

Storyboarding Scenarios of Use

I storyboarded two activities I thought my clients could benefit from. The first is a seed bomb activity where friends get together and make seed bombs (bought from Kaleidoscope) and then throw them (all posted on social media, of course)! The second storyboard shows a mom and her daughter going to their local garden store to buy seed native butterfly seed packets (provided by clients). They then plant them at home and the girl is even able to color on a page that was folded in the seed packet.

Kaleidoscope's goal is to make memories and help the butterflies!


Low Fidelity

I began sketching some of my ideas for page layout and AR screens. I was interested in what would happen when a user “caught” an AR butterfly. I also began carefully considering word choice, so users wouldn’t catch real butterflies.

I used these screens to do A/B testing. I had different ideas on page layouts and I needed feedback to help me decide which one to go with (that’s why you see 1’s and 2’s).

Mid Fidelity

Above is a the user flow for when they want to record that they are going to plant seeds at their current location. Due to time constraints, I wasn't able to research more about how the app should advise users to not plant invasive species. It should be sooner than when users are ready to record this information as they might have already planted the seeds when they get to these steps. If I were to revisit this project, I'd test the effectiveness of putting a notification of what to and not to plant when the app first locates the user via the GPS tracking system.

Test Results

Below are the test results for the whole mid fidelity (not just the above user flow):

  • Testers have difficulty finding the trail's page.
  • Testers expect to see a tutorial when the app first opens.
  • Testers were eager to learn about butterflies and said they'd be interested with seeing their life cycle on the butterfly's page.
  • Testers did not notice the flower icon popping up after they planted seeds.

Kaleidoscope saves butterflies

Kaleidoscope brings a digital activity that encourages people to play and reminds them how precious our local pollinators are. It isn't just another AR collection game, it's an educational resource for our kids, teenagers and really anyone. It's important that we are conscientious of what we plant and Kaleidoscope can help with that. One garden might not seem like it would make much of a difference, but many together would have a significant positive impact on the pollinator population. Kaleidoscope is a campaign that the Dallas Arboretum and Texas Discovery Gardens can operate to get Texas communities involved in the effort.


Thoughts and Plans

If I found myself struggling anytime during this project, I would go do some user testing. I always felt more confident when I knew I was designing based on real user feedback. I would also contact other UX designers in my network advice when I was particularly stuck.

If I were to work on this in the future, I would like to work towards some of the following goals:

  • Create an AR map where users can see their location, have real-time events where a digital butterfly will come near, log locations that pin where they planted native seeds so they can revisit and see the growth.
  • I'd like to do more user testing, specifically with parents of young children since they make up a big slice of my client's visitors. I enjoyed thinking up of activities families and friends could do together.
  • It would be really cool if I were able to make butterflies work in actual AR. I know a Unity has that capability, so I may check that out when time allows.

That’s it! Thank you for reading my case study!