A service solution leverages physical and digital touchpoints to support farmers deliver crops and connect with customers
An Intelligent Conversational Assistant for U-Haul
2023 Spring 2022 ( 4 weeks )
Kathy Yu, Elaine Lu, Tamara Zilovic
Figma, After Effects, Illustrator
User research, service maps, concept development, wireframe, user testing
Design a service that connects people with nature, specifically by connecting people with their food resources, and promoting the purchase of locally sourced produce. Our challenge was to find a way to reconnect customers with local farmers.
LocalRoots is the heart of the service which leverages physical and digital touch points to help farmers transition the methods by which they deliver crops to and connect with customers. We delivered service demo and MVP prototype for the purpose of demonstrating our service concept and ideas.
Increase the digital footprint and online marketing
You list your produce, we will do marketing.
Increasing sales in scale
By providing delivery services to people who can’t make it to farmer’s market.
Track inventory and sales data
Gather valuable customer data while engaging with target customers on Local Roots.
Share farmer legacy
You can share your farmer legacy and teach consumers more about the value of local food and what it takes to grow.
Reserve fresh food for pick up
We’ll make sure the ingredients you want are available at your local Farmer’s Market.
Delivery from farms to home
We can also deliver the ingredients you select directly from farms to your home.
Learn about food sources
Find out where your food comes from, how it’s grown, and what's in season.
Discover farm stores & events
Find out when farm stores are open to get the first pick on the freshest ingredients.
The goal of our project were to design a service that reconnect customers with local farmers. Our team conducted visits to various field sites such as farmers' markets, food co-ops, and community gardens where we talked to farmers and visitors. Our objective was to gain a comprehensive understanding of the farmer's business model, the motivations and behaviors of our target users.
We interviewed three farmers who operate farms and supply local residents in New Jersey and Pittsburgh, and collected in-depth information on their experiences of selling directly to customers. Additionally, we conducted a survey, collecting over 50 valid responses through Qualtric.
What are the existing challenges facing by local farmers?
Dislike social medias; Not tech savvy; Hesitate to change the traditions or challenge family legacy
What are the resources farmers interested to obtaining ?
Farmers are interested in getting feedback from current customers, which can help with planning crops for next year.Attract new customers while serving the needs from current loyal customers.
What are the existing challenges facing by local farmers?
Farmer’s sales decreased under the impact of Covid-19; There was a decrease in foot traffic at farmers' markets and products were selling more slowly than before; Farmers are dependent on multiple channels to sell their produce.
What discouraged people from shopping from farmer’s market?
Farmer’s market is only open during specific time period; The limitation of transportationDon’t know what to expect at the farmer’s market.
What motivated people to shop from farmer’s market?
Better quality food; Interpersonal Connection; Support local business
Where do people shop groceries ( top selections ) ?
Grocery store chains; Supermarket; Farmer’s market; E-commerce stores
By leveraging the What if framework, we have arrived at the key question that guides us towards the final service solution.
Help farmers reach a larger audience and minimize the difficulties around farmers operating an online direct retail business rather than have to dive into multiple outlets or platform. We identified the shared values/needs between the products/services provided by farmers and the requirements of their customers.
When orders come in, the farmers, there should be a streamlined order management process for farmers to complete order fulfillment following steps including receive, view, accept, ship and track upcoming orders.
The produce catalog uploading process should be simplified or available to be integrated with other common inventory management softwares.
The platforms should facilitate communication between farmers and customers, and establish feedback loops.
The primary objective of using service maps is to reveal opportunities, identify assumptions, and assess the feasibility of the proposed service experience. In this context, we uncovered three challenge stages associated with farmers operating online direct retail businesses.
This value flow map allows us identify and analyze the various touchpoints, interactions, and exchanges between different stakeholders involved in the service delivery process. By mapping out the value flow, we get a holistic understanding of how value is created, exchanged, and consumed throughout the service journey.
From a holistic perspective, we identified potential risks, competitive advantages, and areas for differentiation in the service proposal. Moving forward, this is a great tool to be used for self-examination, ensuring that all aspects of the service are being considered. It also facilitates better communication and collaboration among stakeholders.
In a workshop, our primary objective was to gain insights into potential customers' preferences for features they would like to see in the LocalRoots app. To achieve this, we conducted tests involving both digital and physical concepts. Additionally, we specifically focused on evaluating the design of two critical physical service touchpoints - QR code and delivery package.
We recognized the need to incorporate an "order again" feature into the app. Additionally, we introduced a "follow this farmer for updates" button, allowing users to stay informed about their farmer's upcoming events.
In our final design, we implemented a square QR code that directs users to the farmer's homepage when scanned. This design choice was made to collect user feedback on physical objects with QR prompts.
In response to the workshop, we utilized boxes as delivery packages and incorporated updated wireframes that include clear notifications for farmers, delivery persons, and users at various stages of the transaction. Additionally, we included recipes within the orders to enhance the overall shopping experience.
ACCESSIBILITY | During the value-focused onboarding process, users will be guided to register by learning about the key benefits of Local Roots. This step is designed to acquaint users with the platform's main features and establish clear expectations for its usage.The objective is to enhance navigation by offering an overview of the service's values.
EFFICIENCY | Simplified and integrated product catalog management In order to enhance inventory management for farmers leading busy lifestyles, we have introduced bundle options to the inventory management feature. This modification is designed to streamline pick & pack tasks, improve fulfillment accuracy, and boost customer transaction value, ultimately aiming to increase overall efficiency.
Our group has designed a homepage with various modules that provide customers with the ability to browse nearby farmers and review their produce. Once the package is delivered, customers will be prompted to leave a review, which serves as valuable feedback for both farmers and other customers. This system promotes transparency, encourages engagement, and supports the mutual benefit of farmers and customers alike.
The delivery person account will receive notification about the upcoming orders ready for pick up and Starts from receiving orders, confirming orders including date, location and time, tracking order status. Considering that farmers are living far away from target customers, we enable the order to be picked up from farmer’s market.