DESIGN / PRODUCT / UX — August 2017
Farmcrowdy is Nigeria’s leading agtech platform focused on connecting small-scale farmers with retail investors (called sponsors) to finance farm processes, boost food production, impact farmers positively while also educating users on farming practices and providing a healthy return for sponsors.
There are over 66 million small-scale farmers involved in the agriculture value chain in Nigeria, many of them operate only at a small scale do not have the funds and skills to maximize revenue from their farming
businesses, even though most of these farmers have extra farmlands but do not have the finances to expand their farm operations.
They are mostly unbanked and find it difficult to securing access to loans that they need to expand their farming activities. Even when they do get loans, many of them don’t know the right market to sell their farm
produce to earn a decent income from farming as a business.
On the flip side are a large majority of middle-class Nigerians who have the resources and interest in agriculture, but unfortunately, they do not have the time, experience and skill to get involved in the sector.
Sponsors who are excited about impacting the lives of the farmers, want to play a part in the agricultural value chain and are also looking to earn decent returns at sale when the planting to harvest cycle is completed.
Roles and Responsibilities
Product Design, Visual Design and Brand Strategy, User Experience Design, User Research and Product Development.
Users and Audience
The Farmcrowdy platform was designed for the following categories of users;
Scope and Constraints
The platform needed to allow users to do the following:
This was a huge challenge because I was designing with no precedent. I could not find any other web or mobile app that allowed users to invest virtually in agriculture and farming in Nigeria or Africa.
We carried out several interviews with potential users - farmers, retail investors, institutional investors, and various stakeholders in different points of the agricultural value chain, to understand their critical pain
points and refine our feature set to solve them.
Here are some screens from the final product.
Web app screens.
Mobile app screens.
I created high-fidelity prototypes of the original UX using Figma.
Web app prototype
Mobile app prototype
What have I learned?
Designing an effective UX for the Farmcrowdy platform and mobile app was the biggest challenge I had ever faced in my design career back in 2017. I learnt the importance of iteration in design, especially the need to open yourself to continuous iteration, away from your initial assumptions and closer to understand the users and their needs; with a realization that these needs still will evolve and change over time, and the product needs to evolve along with them.
Asking questions from every possible category of user, not trying to re-invent the wheel when it came to features that already existed in other products that I could easily adapt and most importantly, understanding that sometimes, it was okay to just Google something I didn't understand and learn were other key learnings I took from this project.
It’s worthy to note that even though the platform has undergone many changes since then and now has a completely different business focus, the UX I worked on resulted in Farmcrowdy generating over $25 million in sponsorship revenue, $2.5 million in equity investments, and the business spawning an entire industry of copycat agriculture investment firms who are still using the underlying UX I developed years ago.