Beta test event (and photograph I took) featured in Edible East Bay.

Beta test event (and photograph I took) featured in Edible East Bay.

Sharing food stories at the inaugural Farmcation event. We found through our interviews that people were eager to share their stories of food and community, so we decided to build this story-sharing into the event itself to help build community and personalize the experience.

Sharing food stories at the inaugural Farmcation event. We found through our interviews that people were eager to share their stories of food and community, so we decided to build this story-sharing into the event itself to help build community and personalize the experience.

Paper Prototyping and Design-thinking exercise with potential millennial consumers

Paper Prototyping and Design-thinking exercise with potential millennial consumers

Infographic created for Farmcation in INFO 247 - Information Visualization

Infographic created for Farmcation in INFO 247 - Information Visualization

The Team! Photo from Eat.Think.Design Class Instagram Account.

The Team! Photo from Eat.Think.Design Class Instagram Account.

Farmcation

http://www.farmcation.us/ 

Insights    |   We confirmed that there is interest among farmers for growing their businesses through experience-oriented events like Farmcations. We also learned about some of the challenges farmers face to hosting such events. Regulatory hurdles, infrastructure requirements, story-framing techniques, and marketing were all areas where farmers expressed interested in having assistance. We believe that as Farmcation moves forward, these areas each represent a potential value-add that we could provide. 

We also confirmed that there is demand from consumers for these food and farming based experiences. People we spoke with lamented that there isn’t a convenient, obvious way for them to connect to these experiences. A platform like Farmcation would be a great way for them to find the farm experiences they are looking for. 

Most importantly, people on both sides want to use Farmcation experiences to connect with each other around food. 

Role    |    Experience Research & Service Design Lead, Marketing Strategist

Problem    |    How might we help make small-scale farming more economically viable by connecting farmers and food curious consumers? What do we need to know about those farmers and consumers in order to do so?

Process    |    We conducted market overview and trend analysis, then dove into interviewing potential farmer partners and consumers. Our early exploratory informal interviews identified two groups of consumers who seemed particularly interested: parents of young children and millennials. 

We focused our formal interviews on those groups, conducting hour long semi-structured interviews with 12 individuals or sets of parents. We analyzed our interview data through affinity diagramming and created four proto-personas for our potential consumers:

  • The Family-oriented Farmcationer, who wants his kids to do some work, have fun, and learn
  • The Skill-building Farmcationer, who wants to learn to do something new
  • The Leisurely Farmcationer, who wants to spend time leisurely enjoying a rustic, beautiful place
  • The Foodie Farmcationer, who wants to get closer to the source of her food

We also used our interview data to identify barriers that keep these consumers from actually going out and having the Farmcations they imagine, and developed a business strategy aimed at addressing those barriers, such as the time/energy cost of searching for and booking highly personalized experiences. 

Based on our interview analysis, each team member also developed user journey maps based on the data, which we then compared and synthesized to develop a paper prototype to use in a design exercise with our classmates, who all fit the model of food-curious millennials. During this exercise, we had participants build an agenda for their ideal farmcation. Based on feedback from this exercise, and in collaboration with a farmer we met during our interviews, we designed and carried out our beta-test event. 

During the event, we observed and interacted with our customers in order to iterate for future events, offerings, and on our digital tools. 

Methods    |    Interviewing, Journey Mapping, Competitive Analysis, Proto-Persona Development, Beta Testing and Survey, Experience/Interaction design and modeling

Impact    |    Successfully carried out a sold-out beta test, which was featured in Fast Company.

Journey Map based on customer interviews

Journey Map based on customer interviews

During the beta-event, we conducted participant observation to understand how people experience the event. 

During the beta-event, we conducted participant observation to understand how people experience the event. 

We collected participant highlights from the beta test event.

We collected participant highlights from the beta test event.

Interview Data Analysis

Interview Data Analysis