App UX & Design

HarvestDC

Project

Connecting DC to Local 
Farmers’ Markets

I’m a big fan of farmers’ markets but have struggled to find consistent information about them online, since they’re seasonal and temporary. This was particularly challenging for me when I first moved to DC and didn’t know the area very well. I wondered if other people had the same problem.

My proposed solution was an app that makes it easier to connect to local farmers’ markets on-the-go.

Discovery

Research

I looked at the online presence of local DC markets (the Washington Post lists over 170) and found that the quality of available information varied significantly. Some sites were great, and some were outdated.

I also visited a number of local markets and interviewed customers & vendors about their goals & pain points. I also ate many baked goods.

Since the market managers often weren’t at the markets when I stopped by, I emailed some with questions about business challenges they face and how they get the word out about their markets. I was pleased to get a handful of responses.

Homepages of local farmers' markets

Discovery

Personas & MVP

Based on my research, I identified 4 types of potential users for my app. I decided that tackling the needs of all 4 at once would be too much, so I focused my Minimum Viable Product (MVP) on just 1 user, the Newbie Customer.

Summary of 4 different types of user: Gary the newbie customer (MVP target audience), Peggy the seasoned customer, Dave the vendor, and Sue the market manager

MVP Goal

To increase community access to healthy food by serving as a single point of reference for farmers’ market info and providing DC-relevant attributes as filters.

Concepting

Tasks

For my MVP, I chose 3 main tasks for the app:

  1. Users browse for farmers’ markets with the following filters:


    • within X-mile radius

    • transportation options (metro-accessible, parking)

    • accepts X food stamps

    • currently open

    • open on certain day/time
  2. Users search for specific markets & vendors.
  3. Users favorite markets & vendors.

I also identified several tasks for later exploration, including letting users request notifications on specific criteria/events and allowing business users to create business accounts where they could update their information.

Concept Model Illustration for App

Design

Testing the Idea

I created a straightforward design for the app focused on a sentence-structure search. I tested first with wireframes and later with high-fidelity comps. I got positive feedback on the usability of the app, but more testing is needed to evaluate the usefulness of the specific search criteria.

Previous

The Indivisible Project

Next

American Antitrust Institute