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Case Studies

Improving an Agricultural Data Tool

CASE STUDY

Re-imagining a field technology tool

The client is a leading international marketer and distributor of agricultural products, animal feed, specialty chemicals and ingredients.
Improving an agricultural data tool to better meet user needs

 

Over the last decade, multiple advancements have been made in the area of Precision Agriculture, where growers and their advisors now have enhanced views of crop yield information, soil conditions and other factors. The fact that they still have to navigate a complex and non-intuitive technology experience, however, often hinders overall user satisfaction. This is exactly the problem the client wanted to address with an improved version of their existing field technology tool.

This tool is a web platform that gives growers extensive access to data, analysis and decision making tools, while also helping them connect with their advisors in local retail outlets belonging to the client.

 

They decided they wanted to re-design this existing technology tool so that it could:

  • Integrate with third party systems
  • Promote high usability in the field
  • Automate internal processes
  • Enable easy record keeping and inventory management
  • Engage in richer service relationships with growers
  • Make farm management more efficient for growers and advisors
  • Improve overall decision-making.
 

User research leads from the front

The client partnered with Litehouse to completely redesign and develop a new version of the field technology tool. The entire processes was guided by Litehouse’s focus on design-led engineering. This translated into a user-centered design process being employed to steer subsequent phases.

Work started with discovery and user research, which defined key personas, workflows, needs and overarching themes that drove the design and interaction of the new product. This In-depth research also ensured that design decisions were backed by relevant user insights. Through continuous prototype testing, the Litehouse team ensured that designs were validated throughout the entire design process.

A key aspect of the end solution was that the user experience maintained consistency across all devices of operation: mobile, tablet and desktop.

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A phased roll-out results in success

The redesigned product is currently in use across multiple branches of the client in three states. Litehouse’s user-centered approach and design-led engineering helped the client establish itself as a strong player in the field technology domain. Today, the organization is able to:

Increase overall customer engagement: Growers and their advisors now have extensive access to data, analysis and decision-making tools that meet their day-to-day requirements. These tools integrate data from multiple sources, translating them into usable information. This helps growers make smarter and quicker decisions on how to enhance production practices, increase returns and capitalize on revenue opportunities.

Provide business continuity across devices: The new version of the field technology tool delivers a consistent experience across three key platforms as well as storing all information in the cloud. This ensures that users have access to their data at any time and from anywhere. The tool also offers an offline mode, which is key to productivity in areas where there is limited or no connectivity.

Increase efficiency with a digital map experience: Field advisors can now use the tool and its GPS capabilities to trace a field’s contours in real-time. These maps have become a core source of reference and decision making.

Reduce training and support costs: The redesigned field technology tool’s intuitive interface and streamlined features make it very easy to use, even for growers and advisors who are not highly tech-savvy. The client advisors are confident when it comes to holding demo and training sessions for fellow advisors, highlighting the short-learning curve required to begin using the field technology tool.