Local Food App is a mobile app that helps you search nearby farms & farmers markets for quality local food.
As someone who frequents farmers markets and subscribes to a food share program, I noticed some areas in the process that could be improved. I wanted to make it easier for consumers to get real, fresh, local food from nearby farms and also create a hub for a big community that doesn't have much of an online presence.
I gathered information from my findings through user research and testing. This allowed me to make informed design decisions. I crafted an interactive prototype and then a final design based on the feedback I received from the users who went through the app.
I found that there were frustrations with the current system for taking food orders and frustrations with getting local food to consumers. I developed user personas and mapped out different ways a user would move through the app. Concentrating on the most crucial parts allowed me to focus my attention on the experience for farmers & consumers.
I interviewed two male & two female consumers between the ages of 30 - 35 and three male farmers between the ages of 30 - 45. I asked them questions to determine if local food was something they cared about, how they currently got local food and what was preventing them from getting local food.
After the interviews I surveyed 29 consumers and 16 farmers to figure out the strengths and weaknesses of their current order taking process and food purchasing system.
All farmers I interviewed said they were on the look out for a solution to help speed up & streamline their current order taking process.
29 consumers participated in a 22 question survey.
16 farmers participated in a 19 question Typekit survey
Survey Results: https://jawzlean.typeform.com/report/gkilNR/zKqC
After learning about who my users are and what they need and want, I focused in on each user and developed personas. These personas would guide me through the rest of the design process by letting me think like the target audience.
"Everyone cares about where their food comes from. But cost & convenience almost always wins."
Once I identified who would use the app, I had to figure out why they would use it.
Using Nielsen Norman Heuristics I chose apps and websites that are not necessarily a direct competitor in the industry but have a feature that I would like to see in my app design. I chose to study the following:
Once I identified the users I mapped out the experience they would have by navigating through the app. I focused on both target audiences (farmers & consumers) and mapped out three main paths:
Once I understood more about the experience I was designing and who I was designing it for, I could start sketching out how the app would look and how it would function. After a a few iterations, my idea started coming together.
Up until this point I was open to the idea of this being a website but I decided this was going to be developed as a mobile app because of the following:
Login / Sign up process
This is where the experience begins! Here I identify if the user is a farmer or a consumer. Try to keep important buttons in reach of thumb. Made the map the focal point.
With wireframes and feedback gathered, I took to Adobe Experience Design (Beta) & began hooking everything up to make it something that people could click through to get a feel for how the app would work. Rapid prototyping at this stage is a lot of fun because you can easily identify problems and confusion with your interface, make an adjustment and test it again and again until it works.
As a consumer please complete tasks in this order:
Log in or sign up
Search for a CSA
Subscribe to the CSA (add to cart and buy it)
Search for a Market
Get directions to the Market
Return to search/map page
Go to your shopping List
Make a new shopping list
Refresh the page to start the next section
As a farmer please complete tasks in this order:
Open your shop
Process the new order for carrots.
How did it go?
Send me some feedback! I want to know if there was anything missing or confusing for you.
This project was a really exciting and interesting experience for me. I learned a lot about working with two target audiences and the challenges that come with it. Different target audiences need very different things and it's definitely challenging trying to cram it all into one app.
After testing and iterating a few times, I was able to establish a familiar menu system. I concentrated on keeping the most important and most used menu items within thumbs reach to make navigating through the app comfortable and easy.
"It's a really good idea! I always want to check out farmers markets but I never know when they are on and where they are."
I had the opportunity to meet some fellow farmers market lovers and I learned a lot from farmers about their challenges with technology and sales. I found this very interesting.
"I manually scrape a google doc and individually email all those people. That is super time consuming!"
I plan on continuing to work on the app to improve it. I'd like to go through a few more iterations and user testing sessions with the prototype and then spend some time on the visual design to polish it up.
Here is what I plan to change based on the above prototype and user testing feedback I received: