WHAT IS FARMDROP?
An online Farmers’ Market offering customers high quality, locally sourced produce direct from the people who make it. Farmdrop differs from other grocery e-ccomerce or marketplaces, by promoting sustainable practices and looking out for the UK’s Farmers and Artisans.
Check it out for yourself at: www.farmdrop.co.uk
WHY FARMDROP IS DIFFERENT?
Produce is not stored in a warehouse like traditional online food retail, instead every item a producer delivers to Farmdrop HQ has already been paid for by an actual customer. Producers are then given a minimum of 2 days notice on any order, so those carrots can stay cosy in the ground until they are absolutely needed, offering fresher produce and reducing food waste. Farmdrop then pack each customers order at their HQ and send it out for home delivery or pickup all within the same 12 hour window.
For almost 2 years I have been responsible for leading UX, Interaction design and Research, alongside Visual design with some recent help from freelancers. Following Agile methodologies I have worked closely with Product, Tech and both the business stakeholders and the end users of the platform.
I have learned a huge amount and developed skills in areas such as, e-commerce, logistics, analytics and tech constraints.
During my time at Farmdrop I have used a wide variety of Design practices and techniques, wether it be designing a feature from scratch, improving exiting functionality or communication directly to farmers and customers. I usually start with plain old pen and paper and use whatever tools at my disposal to help build, prototype or communicate my ideas. I’ve expanded on a few below.
MAPS, FLOWS & ARCHITECTURE
Understanding all aspects of a users journey is absolutely vital when adding or improving functionality as one change can have a snowball effect throughout the platform. Using up to date maps, flows and information architecture not only help with design challenges, they are great when accompanying wireframes, visual designs or prototypes.
Designs focusing on functionality such as content hierarchy, interactions and navigation rather than visual design. However as my responsibilities crossed into Visual Design, I would often wireframe to a higher standard after initially sketching out ideas due to deadlines and urgency.
Wireframes and Pixel perfect designs are great but they are static images that don’t necessarily convey the ‘feel’ of a concept. Prototypes allow me to text Interactions and animations first hand without spending expensive tech team on unproven ideas. Tools I’ve used for this include, Invision, Marvel, Origami, Framer and even low-fidelity paper prototypes.
I’ve always appreciated great visual & print design and critique myself to a high standard when working in this area, however I am a UX and interaction designer first and foremost and those skills are stronger. Having said that I have worked a lot on Visual UI design during my time at Farmdrop and have learned a lot about Layout, Typography and the importance of a style guide.
User-Personas have been a constant process and new findings shape our understanding of our users every single day. I’ve tried to keep these up to date to best reflect our user-base and recently I’ve been working on developing posters for the office showcasing our core customers & producers, their values and backgrounds. A method I learned from MailChimp’s design team.
USER RESEARCH & TESTING
At Farmdrop I planned and conducted many one to one user testing sessions, trialing existing flows or future ideas. I usually write scripts and tests took place in our office, or off site at a farmers’ market or customers home. I’ve used tools such as silverback and crazy egg.
From the day Farmdrop launched we have been collecting analytics using tools such as GA and Segment.io. This quantitive data is great for identifying problem areas and parts the platform we need to improve next. This is something I continue to delve deeper into and find it an infinite resource of valuable insight.
We have internal dashboards that showcase various business analytics and I have designed infographics for our users to help communicate the specifics of the Farmdrop platform.
All photos are owned by Farmdrop.