Have you ever tasted freshly laid eggs or pork sausages from a free roaming and happy pig? Well we wanted to give people the chance to try.
We were tasked with creating an e-commerce site for a company who needed help displaying their products in clear and understandable categories. We began by talking to the client whom we were creating the site for. Eilidh who oversaw operations at Arngask Home Farm, a 10 acre small holding in Perthshire, Scotland.
The farm is home to over 50 rare-bread chickens alongside some Oxford sandy and black pigs. They have many loyal local buyers of the produce but want to take their produce to the people with an app.
We spoke to Eilidh to get an idea of the farm and to learn about her dreams for an e-commerce app. She wanted to communicate to customers that her farm was the ethical choice, you know where your food comes from and there’s a sense of community on the farm.
We spent time talking to user’s about their online shopping habits and understanding what was important to them when buying farm produce. We wanted to understand the challenges and opportunities that we could capitalise on.
“I used to go to markets when I lived closer to one but I don’t go because I’m not close”
“I’m not aware of any online farmers”
“Personal connection is important for me”
“Learning the backstory of a farmer is important to buy food there”
From our survey results and interview results we understood the need that people had to know where there food came from and learn a little about the farmer so you can justify the higher price. Also the need for the farmer to be easy to access so you can buy quickly and clearly know what you’re getting.
Eilidh shared with us a number of local farms that she is competition with and we spent time looking at each of these in order to understand her competitors. None of them had an app, but only a mobile website version. And none of them had any sort of interaction feature, like a chatbot so that you could ask questions or learn something from the website.
From our research, we created our persona for a flexitarian who loves a mixture of high quality meat and vegetables in her diet. She wants to know where things come from and how easy it is to find places to purchase good quality food.
We began mapping a potential user journey of wanting to purchase farm produce for a dinner party. She love’s farmers’ markets but is often frustrated at the lack of the accessibility to them as they are not regular enough for her. So she gives up the idea of buying good quality food and just gets some meat from the supermarket because it’s the easiest to access.
Conscious Consumer needs to have a trustworthy feeling during their online farm product purchase because they want to justify the price of organic products.
How Might We
How might we transfer the farmer’s market shopping experience to an online platform?
We did an initial site map of how the app could flow. Eilidh didn’t have any previous website or app and did her selling through facebook. She also had a large number of pork products with interesting names, and weren’t sure whether people knew what these products were and therefore where we could categorise them. We asked users to categorise Eilidh’s products in order to understand what made sense to them, so that if they were on the app, they would know where to look for what product.
We got a pool of responses but were able to combine Eilidh’s categorisations with user categorisations to create multiple categories that were clear and simple.
We pulled together all of our research and learning and from our how might we statement, we began to ideate. Ideas like giving the users a subscription box for weekly/monthly deliveries, or showing an animal (like a pig) and giving the user to option to select different parts of the pig to show which meat comes from which part of the pig.
Ultimately we decided on a farmer chat bot, since this would solve the problem of the user wanting a personal connection to the farmer. The user could then interact with the farmer, asking questions about the meat, or the farmer would suggest recipes with the meat.
Interactive Farmer’s Avatar is a nice idea to connect user to farmer
Worried it will be like the Microsoft paperclip helper
Not sure if people will engage with it
Is it AI powered? Can people ask it questions?
Mid-fi prototype & iteration
We started using our lo-fi prototype in written form to get feedback on the concept. But we weren’t sure how best to implement it with the space on the screen. We decided on a circle in the bottom right corner of the screen for easy thumb clicking, and that this is the typical place for a chatbot to be positioned.
The rest of the app was structured thinking about information hierarchy. We wanted users to be able to access popular products followed by categories with products inside. The following pages showed buttons for more specific categories for people to easily find their desired products.
Finally, we put together our hi-fi prototype with the colours and styling that matched the farm brand. We built on the mid-fi iterations to create an inviting and interesting app that would engage the user and remind them of being at a farmers market. Interact with the hi-fi here to see what you think of our solution.
- Interactive Farmer’s Avatar is taking too much space.
- Farmer feature looks like a cookie bar.
- Not intuitive how to close this feature.
- Got to cart and add to cart button is confusing.
- The avatar button shouldn’t be transparent
- Improve the functionality of the avatar chat bot
- Reduce the size of it so that users don’t accidentally click on it
- Do more research to find out exactly what people would like to know and install them as features.
- Generally bring more consistency to the screens in terms of uniform spacing and styles.