Northern Heritage was a self-initiated project, born out of the identification of a need to connect farmers and producers with consumers. Using the principles of lean startup, we tested our assumptions, rapidly prototyped and iterated, emerging with a high fidelity prototype in under one month.
The final module at Hyper Island, ‘experience design’, we were given a choice of four client briefs. You can check out the full process of the module here. When one of my peers, Shirley Sarker, decided to pitch her own idea for a project called ‘Northern Heritage’, I decided to embrace the opportunity to work on a self-initiated, start-up style project to expand my entrepreneurial knowledge.
Our challenge was “how might we connect farmers with the local community to increase domestic production?" As we were living and working in Lancashire, we decided to focus on the local growing initiatives and abundance of fertile land on our doorstep.
Northern Heritage is a community group, striving to support and facilitate sustainable local production of fruit and vegetables in the north of England. Under Northern Heritage, we created Sprouter; a farm-to-table digital service provided aiming to connect local farmers with chefs and foodies. The purpose of Sprouter is to allow chefs and foodies to express their interest in unusual produce, illustrating the demand to farmers and eliminating some of the risk currently involved in committing to growing new crops. We want local farmers to thrive, and focus on growing produce that they are proud of whilst also facilitating a passionate communities of foodies to promote the unique and diverse products grown and created locally. These aim are underpinned by a vision of boosting sustainable food production and seasonal eating to ultimately reduce unnecessary importation.
Northern Heritage was a prototype-heavy project. We started by using POP to create simple paper prototypes and quickly test our product flow. View the paper prototype here.
We created two InVision prototypes: one to demonstrate the product from the farmer side, and one to demonstrate the chef side.
Chefs can view seasonal produce, as well as relevant recipes and details of local producers. They can also express their demand for unavailable produce, and this data is collected and distributed to participating farmers. View the chef prototype on InVision here.
Farmers can easily display their product offerings and collect data about what is in demand in their area. Allowing farmers to see local demand reduces money, time and resources spent.
The Digital Experience Design MA class ran our final project showcase ‘Experience This’ on June 23, 2016. We invited friends, family and industry guests to see our work, and the Northern Heritage team decided to present our work in an experiential way, bringing the farm indoors by providing unusual organic vegetables, prototypes for the visitors to interact with and a video about farm-to-table initiatives.
Radina Doneva, Nurul Ibrahim, Mabel Lazzarin, Natalie McCarthy, Laura Morley, Shirley Sarker
Lead user researcher, rapid prototyping, wireframing, agile workflow, assumption mapping, project management.