John Deere Internship Project
User Experience Researcher
Field Planner was a new digital product I devised during my summer internship at John Deere. My role was to create, design and manage the project from nothing, think it as a product, not only an interface. I did this project following with the design thinking method. Beginning with interviewing, and creating the design with multiple iterations.
This project aims at providing a way enabling farmers digitally plan out their crop plan for the upcoming year.
Questions to ask
At the very beginning of doing this project, I had no any idea of field planting and planning. So I started with interviewing people who had planting experience to help me understand this area.
- What is the user journey of the farm planting? When farmers need to make their plan for the upcoming year?
- What decisions need to be made for planning?
- What information do they use to make those decisions?
Which decisions need to be made for planning?
- What to Plant
Crop; Variety; Population (how many seeds per acre)
- How deep to plant
- How much of each crop to plant
What information do they use to make those decisions?
- Harvest yield data from last year;
- How did varieties planted in previous year perform?
Should I plant same variety or should I switch it up since he previous one didn’t yield very well?
- Overview data of the field
Topography; soil types; seed hybrid
- Activities of the field from last year;
- The weather, field condition on the planting day
After gathering all the info, I made a storyboard + timeline to better understand the whole process, who the farmers need to interact with at different process and the different user scenario. Also, the drawing of the storyboard is also helpful with knowing different device use at different farming phases.
Filed planning runs through the whole year.
It doesn't just ocuur at one particular time.
iterations of design
For this early version, I made the design closely follow the storyboard and the timeline.
- A timeline-based plan panel was on top of the interface, which is for users to make their plan step by step.
“Dashboard - Initial Plan - Final Plan - Notes” are the logic of this timeline.
- Some instructions would shown on the interface when users using it.
- "Filed plan" and "Notes" will be locked only after users finishing the previous steps.
- The idea of making a storyline based function is good, but the logic doesn't make that much sense when putting it as first layer buttons.
i.e. farmers need to take notes all the time. Notes taking not only happens at the end of the process after planting.
But the “Notes” function can only be locked after finishing previous steps.
- It's not convenient for users to jumping back and forth to do their planning for different fields.
- Which interface is shown when users open the application at different phases? The first dashboard panel?
Wireframe - updated version
1. Two main dashboards - planning and scheduling, are the first layer function.
2. Layered down the "step by step planning" process under planning panel.
3. "Notes" function can always be reached no matter what process the users are at.
In this version, timeline-based planning is under the “Planning” dashboard, but not on the first level. In this case, users
can always check their field data from the "Planning" panel. When it comes to the planting day, they can jump to the “Scheduling” Panel to check the weather condition of all the fields and decide which to plant first.