Making of “Seed Exchange Lab”

10-11-2020

I have developed an idea for designing a virtual space for promoting agro-biodiversity on fields and to cater the issues around seed cultures of wheat. This space is what I imagine as a web based mobile application. But, How to design a mobile application? What are the steps to be followed? I was totally unaware about it. So I decided to do a quick research surfing through various websites and understanding a step-by-step procedure for approaching the design.
Going through the list of website sources given below in the list, I was able to decide upon the steps that I will be following for designing my own application:

  1. What You Should Know About The App Design Process-
    https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/11/what-everyone-should-know-about-the-process-behind-app-design/
  2. How to design an app: the ultimate guide-
    https://99designs.com/blog/web-digital/how-to-design-an-app/
  3. 10 steps: How to Create a Successful Mobile Application-
    https://www.newgenapps.com/blog/10-steps-to-create-a-successful-mobile-application/
  4. A Step-by-Step Guide To Building Your First Mobile App-
    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/231145

I list these steps here, till the point of prototyping an app, as that is the final goal for this project.

Step 1: Start with an idea or identify a problem.

The problem that is identified by me lies in the seed cultures of wheat, where maintaining agro-biodiversity on the field is important for sustainable future. It is identified that different stakeholders are looking at this issue in different ways and are acting individually. There is a need for more collaborative and inclusive approach towards this issue which will be the primary motto of this application.

Also, I looked into Google Play Store for any of such existing applications but there were none specific to the issue (Fig. 1.1). This reinforced my idea more for a need of designing it.

Step 2: Need to identify or be clear about application target users.

The app I am proposing here will be used by multiple users who are involved with the seed culture issues. To list them grain consumers, farmers, seed conservationist, policymakers, scientists(plant breeders) and grain traders.

Step 3: Lay out the features of the app.

The key features that I have decided for the application are:

(a) Usability & Simplicity: The app should be innovative, informative, easy to navigate. It should focus on interaction and simplicity

(b) Multi Lingual: It should have an option for choosing the relevant language that the user is comfortable navigating in.

(c) Social Integration: Integrating with social channels simplifies the signing up process by retrieving information from the channel, it allows sharing posts about various events for users to remain engaged with the app.

(d) Social Interaction: As the primary motto of the app is collaboration between various users, providing a chat window for their internal virtual interaction would be helpful.

(e) Speed & Good Image Resolutions: Fast loading screens are vital. Keep it simple and keep it quick. While balancing app speed against functionality and resolution, it has to be ensured that what is on screen is sufficiently detailed to make the user experience worthwhile.

(f) Search options: The ability to search either the app or the internet is important, it’s essential for the social variety.

(g) Push notifications: Push notifications can be text, graphic, or a combination of both to send the users updates and content that they may be interested in.

(h) User feedback: Feedback is a perfect way to get users to tell you what they want and to filter that feedback into what’s a must-have addition or deletion, what’s possible to do with a bit of work, and what to ignore. By putting a feedback button on the app, you enable the user to tell you what they think would make it better.


Step 4: Create a flow of wireframes.

Wireframes, or low fidelity mock-ups are to be built from the decided features. Wire framing is a schematic blueprint; a visual guide that represents the app layout, the flow between the screens and its functional representation informed by the project objectives. I will draw upon my experience of using various platforms and apply that knowledge for designing it.

To understand and design the flow between screens, I case studied the flow in two existing applications, first is the Instagram that most of us use every day and the second known as Agriapp that is connecting the agriculture ecosystem with the digital world, while enabling and equipping the farmers with the next generation farming techniques.

Wireframe flow of the designed App

Step 5: Make an app prototype.

It is the process of taking the idea and turning it into an application with some basic functionality. It is done using the wireframe and features identified above. A bad experience with a prototype might cause uncovering issues with the wireframes, the features, or even the very core of the idea.

Link to the app prototype: https://xd.adobe.com/view/70cfe209-463e-4e81-8642-6b72e177baab-259c/

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