Weekly Content Critique: Growbottle

UncommonGoods is one of those websites with a few affordable neat things and many really overpriced neat things. Great for gift shopping, but be prepared for a wide price range. This Growbottle is definitely neat, but probably too overpriced for me to ever actually purchase. I do find it appealing, though, since I’m just venturing into the realm of keeping plants alive in my home. So far, I’m only braving succulents. I hear that hydroponic growing is also low maintenance, once you have the setup down. Hence, my interest in this smart little package. Maybe it’s not so overpriced, after all.

The introduction: 5 pings

5-pings (wide)

Catchy and informative. Wordplay often doesn’t succeed, but “Tasty and Tasteful” both captures the essence of the product and fails to annoy me. The next 2+ lines do what a good introduction should do: Tell us the what and how of the product. I enjoy the “product story” tab name, too. Forgive the weird cropping, I wanted to include that.

Informative copy: 3 pings 

3-pings (wide)

Before I start on this, let me mention that the description does say “instructions included” at the end. However, I want more. I pieced together how this thing is set up by Googling for more information. That should not be necessary. What if I came across a similar, less expensive product somewhere else? (I didn’t, but no company should gamble on that possibility.) Griping aside, the product description was very good, though I wish the information was laid out in a more easily scannable form. Measurements are available, as is a list of materials used. Why wine bottles? They let more light in. Where’d they come from? Restaurants in the USA. What are my herb options? No, not indica. Kitchen herbs, specifically basil, chive, mint, oregano, and parsley. Grow anything else at your own risk.

Effective images: 4 pings



Nothing like fresh green leaves to pique the palate. At least, that’s the hope. One of the alternate images shows three fresh green plants (click the basil to see them), and it does indeed make me want to pick leaves to use in kitchen concoctions. I spent some time examining the images to figure out where each various piece of this set went in the bottle, and was eventually satisfied. But what’s that funny sea-anemone-looking thing floating out at the bottom? (Much easier to see on the larger click-through image). It’s just the end of the wool wick, and I might have known that if there was an assembly explanation. I already docked the page for that oversight above, so I won’t do it again here.

What I’m buying: 4 pings

The product description includes a list of items, and a bullet point provides a list of materials. Between these, the page has it covered. I’d like to see the list of things included separately, perhaps in another bullet point, so it’s more easily accessible when I’m reading this again to make a decision.

Design: 4 pings

All the important elements, including plenty of white space, are here. Were it not for some faulty image coding, I’d give it a perfect score. But, there are three excellent images, and as soon as I click on one of them, they all shrink like Alice in the Hall of Many Doors. Only a page refresh solves this problem. Bad form.

Final score: 4 pings

This is probably a great holiday present for wannabe cooks and green thumbs who secretly can’t keep plants alive.

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