LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) is the leading organisation promoting sustainable agriculture, food and farming. Open Farm Sunday is their annual initiative encouraging farmers throughout the country to throw their gates open to the general public for one Sunday in June. It is incredibly popular, with around a quarter of a million people visiting each year.
We were tasked with designing and developing a brand new website for the event - complete with various sections of content, farmer and event registration, and the ability for the general public to search for events close to their location.
The key challenge with the Open Farm Sunday website was to streamline the registration process for farmers while improving the search experience for potential farm visitors.
The main function of the public facing website is to allow people to search and find farms that are open to visitors. To make this functionality more effective and user friendly, we created a set of filters based on the data farms are required to submit with their farm application to allow potential visitors to check what facilities are available. By helping to inform visitors beforehand, the overall Open Farm Sunday experience is improved.
One of the key challenges with redeveloping the Open Farm Sunday website was integrating the new product in with their existing system. Even with the restrictions of the MyLeaf system, we were able to create a robust account system to manage farm submissions, alongside e-commerce functionality to allow farmers to order LEAF branded merchandise for their events.
From our user research and analytics review, we knew that a large percentage of traffic was from mobile devices. With this insight we knew it would be crucial to create a design that would work across multiple devices and browsers.
This functionality meant we needed to make the input and management of this data as easy as possible. We created an easy to use event manager for host farmers to create and manage events. The manager allowed them to add events in a procedural and logical way, making sure every piece of information required for the map was added before validating the submission. This made the process much smoother for both farmers and the Open Farm Sunday team.
We worked through multiple UX workshops and prototyping with the LEAF team to create a form that balances usability with comprehensively collecting the required information, eventually landing on a segmented form that would allow farmers to save progress while completing each section in manageable chunks.
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