Aiming for A Better Mushroom Foraging Experience

Contributors: Omar Ibrahim, Thanhnhu Tran, Betty Sun

Problem and Solution Overview

Design Research on Targeted Groups

Their age ranged from 20 to 50, and each of them had different jobs. The way they started mushroom foraging also varied from their environments. Some of them were inspired by families, but others were in some mushroom societies so that they could go with some experts. People’s different experiences formed their unique views of how an ideal mushroom foraging could be, and conducting interviews with them allowed us to have a deeper understanding of the challenges they were facing and what they expected to exist as a tool to make their experience smoother.

Research Results and Themes

Another key part of mushroom foraging, confirmed by our research, is finding macro areas (the exact forest, trail, or mountain) to visit. Often, if a mushroom hunter lives near the woods, they can simply search there. However, there are plenty of areas farther away where mushrooms grow abundantly. Mushroom growth is affected by a variety of factors such as season, temperature, and humidity, and it’s not always easy to find the places where these factors are at their best points.

Proposed Design

  • Able to search for places to forage based on: proximity to user, types of mushrooms
  • Provide users tips on: areas to search within the destination, how to prepare for foraging trips, etc.
  • A Quick Scan feature for when users don’t have access to advanced identification tools, such as those needed for spore prints, but want to see what types the mushroom might possibly be. This feature would warn the user if there is any chance of the mushroom being a deadly type. This feature is intended more for use in the field, while actively foraging.
  • A Full Scan feature for thorough identification. If needed, the feature would walk the user through the steps of processes like spore printing mushrooms. At the end, the feature would scan the result (the cut or spore print) in order to finally come to a conclusion. This feature would be intended more for post-trip uses.

Although our design has not yet been refined, we were able to draw storyboards to illustrate how the product could be used in practice.

As shown above, users can identify mushrooms by using the Quick Scan feature while still in the wild, then using the Full Scan feature once they return. They can also use the Search feature to find a place to go, then use the Tips feature to give them ideas on where to look within the area.


Let’s see.



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CSE 440 Staff

University of Washington Computer Science, Intro to Human Computer Interaction