December 16, 2018In the process of making this site more awesome, please pardon my dust.

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Sproutworks UX Design Case Study

Case Study Synopsis

An RFP deck in response to a client calling for UX investigation of the barely-touched digital CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) space. It’s important to note that at the time, services like Imperfect Produce & Hello Fresh were’t available. A typical CSA requires that customers subscribe at the beginning of a season to a weekly or bi-weekly bag of produce. The produce is selected and filled by the farmer and their crop availability that day. Customers usually are required to pick up their back on the weekend at the farm itself within a set time window, or risk having their produce given to someone else.

This investigation was based off the brief prompt provided by the client that outlined:

  • Sproutworks, a fictional private grocery company, was looking to invest in a digital-based CSA subscription model
  • They would source their produce from various local markets.
  • Offer CSA basket delivery services

My first objective was to get a wholistic understanding of the CSA business ecosystem, specifically, what works today and what doesn’t. How can we adopt the traditional business models to minimize customer experience pains, whilst optimizing scale and profitability. With some investigative observation, user research, and user interviews with local farmers and customers, I was able to identify the pain points in the service design and customer journey that needed attention. For the customer, these included the obvious lack of personalization in your produce, the inconvenience of visiting in person, medical risks of allergens, commitment to no refunds regardless of crop quality, and lack of price-model offerings based off a customer’s current financial situation or family size. For the farmer, these included the pressure to yield enough crops in one harvest to meet your quota (at the risk of bug infestation or bad weather), having no back-up plan should they fall ill and are unable to complete the harvest itself, and profitability via the CSA with regards to fulfillment time + effort with trying to keep prices affordable and fair.

After some empathy interviews with customers at both farmers markets and grocery stores, I  defined 2 user personas that I felt justly represented our market and spectrum of potential subscribers. From there I designed a web experience solution to address those pain points in both the user’s FTUX (first time user experience) and BAU (business as usual). After breaking the customer journey down in a service blueprint, I assessed the value of each step using the MoSCoW method of viability for MVP vs. post MVP deliver.  With that finished, I needed to map the entire customer journey to understand what it would take both in front and behind the curtain of customer visibility to make this business model a success; everything from the marketing stage, to on boarding, fulfillment and BAU. I’m a visual learner myself, and though this was primarily a UX RFP, I wanted to include a low fidelity mock-up of what the site might look like to represent the information architecture for my client. To complete the UX investigation, I included a HEART framework grid outlining what success should look like for the clients, as a guide to understand how they might think to measure impact, or anticipate iteration based of low performance.

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