The food that typically arrives on a supermarket shelf or in the warehouse of a large online grocer is not only old (and therefore less delicious), but it also propagates a food system that is bad for everyone – farmers, consumers, and the community. It can take weeks for your food–sometimes traveling across the country – to get from the farm to a store.
If there was a digital one stop shop for consumers to buy fresh farm products then they could eat food that is much fresher and more delicious. Concurrently the farmers would keep more of the profit and have direct access to consumers.
I explored a set of “How Might We” questions to narrow down the path I was going to take with my research, help me guide myself and set a course for the project.
The HMW question I chose to pursue was:
The objectives are to get consumers to buy products straight from the farmers, to get farmers to sell products straight to consumers and for the app to market itself as the best option for my target audience. The target audience for this project are the people that don’t want to go out of their way to reach a farm, as well as, people that want freshly harvested organic produce to arrive at their doorstep.
After conducting interviews with 5 people that met the criteria and gathering answers from an online survey I created a Primary and a Secondary user persona. Here is Shawn Butler, the Primary User Persona.
After conducting interviews and creating a Persona, I made a user journey map that helped me identify pain points in Shawn’s current experience buying farm produce online.
In order to help Shawn I came up with a number of user stories and then separated them into epics.
Once I established the core epic to be “Finding Items”, I created a Task Flow of what Shawns experience buying carrots could look like.
Here is a low fidelity wireframe of what that task flow would look like for Shawn.
After the lo-fi wireframes I started making a middle fidelity prototype of my paper design and testing it on users.
The features I was testing in this mid-fi design were “adding a product to cart and completing the purchase” and “searching for a specific farm”. They were tested by asking the users to navigate to a certain page in a particular scenario.
As part of my mobile app design process, I conducted usability tests with five users in order to obtain practical, real time feedback that I could incorporate to improve my design in order to provide the most favourable user experience. I then used this feedback and reiterated my designs and tested five more users and recorded their feedback.
The usability tests took place online over a Zoom video meeting. Each participant had an unlimited amount of time to test out the prototype and provide feedback.
The purpose of the tests was to find out if a user can navigate themselves to purchase two pounds of carrots and to find a specific farm information screen. I interviewed five people in the first round of testing and five different people in the second round.
Now that I have completed my mid fidelity prototype, it was time to begin developing the brand.
When I set out to build my brand I came up with a list of adjectives I wanted my brand to be represented by. I also created a set of sentences that give a better feel for what I am trying to portray with my brand. My app lets users buy farm produce directly from the farmers and gives full transparency of farm operations to the user, I wanted the brand to represent that too.
Some of the early names for my brand that didn’t make the cut were: Farmington, Farmintown and Farmtown.
As you can see, I tried to make it shorter and have less syllables so that it would be easier to pronounce. Brands like Facebook, Twitter and Uber are short and roll off the tongue quite easily which gave me an idea to shorten the name of the brand to Farmin. It’s a play on words because the user will be “farming” while staying “in” at home, hence - Farmin.
I selected Spectral typeface for headers and Source Sans Pro for body because I saw how well they pair together. I think Spectral has a very “Natural” and “Organic” feel to it while SSP is “Clean” and “Modern”. Spectral is a serif typeface while SSP is a sans serif and together they have great chemistry which greatly resembles the feel I was trying to portray with my app.
The wordmark is made with Spectral typeface which is the primary typeface I use for headers in the app. I chose the green “i” with a yellow dot because it represents a sunflower reaching up to the sun. Sunflowers can be found on many farms throughout Ontario so I thought it was a very fitting way to connect the wordmark.
The logo isn’t polluting the eyes with unnecessary imagery yet simple and elegant - I think it is easily remembered.
The bottom green represents the damp, fresh fields of harvest, while the yellow represents the sun that gives the nutrients to make those harvests come to life.
Here you can see how I combine the logo and wordmark to create my brand image.
Here you can see some of the User Interface elements that went into final design.
You can see most of the screens from the final product here.
Product Selection Screen - replaced the Floating Action Button from my mid-fi prototype with a more traditional button experience, because the FAB is reserved for a single primary action in Material Design
Order Summary Screen
Order Confirmation Screen
Search - I redesigned the search experience to make it simpler for the user
Along with the Farmin mobile app, I also created a web app. It acts as a platform for users to shop for products on their desktop computer or laptop.
Additionally, I created a a dektop and mobile marketing page in support of the app.
Over the course of this project I learned many lessons on time management and the importance of doing extensive user research. I learned how to apply a human-centred approach to design and how valuable design thinking is to developing a product for users to enjoy.
Creating an entire brand from scratch was definitely a big learning curve for me but with the knowledge and tools I gained from BrainStation’s UX Design program I was able to overcome those hurdles. Due to time constraints, I was only able to build a Minimum Viable Product which allowed the user to browse for products, complete a purchase and search for specific farms. There are a few additional features I would like to add such as developing the slide out menu, a way to see more information about the farms and some way of communicating with the Farmin staff about the items the user has purchased or any other reasons.
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