Arables: app that grows food (part1)UX Design Story
Arables is a farming App for an average joe like you or me. What is there in farming? All those things you have to know about the seasonal crops, seedling time, and harvesting period are some of the knowledge a good farmer should possess. How can the rest of us hope to attain that level of expertise? Google maybe? This app makes it super easy for a novice farmer like myself to plan out my crops and their yields.
A few months ago, I started an attempt to grow food on my own. I rented out a plot of land (5×2 meters/ 16.5×4.5 feet) at a local community farm in Chiang Mai. In the beginning, I tried growing some vegetables that were easy to grow and had fast harvesting time. Not knowing much, I was given some guidance by the caretakers and the owner of the farm. By the end of the 4th week, I already had enough vegetables to last me for at least a month. I even had to give some away. My first experience was fantastic. I felt proud of growing my own food; it gave me a sense of entitlement, somehow like I deserve the food on my plate.
I regularly went back to the community farm to collect my crops because the yields just kept coming. It wasn’t always easy, though. There were times when some of the crops didn’t bear any results, and I had to go home not having any food. Fast forward to a few months later; my programmer friend has an idea about developing this app that can help novice farmers such as myself plan out different farming stages and layout the timeline for each crop based on its seasonality. I jumped at the chance to be involved in the project. We took a lesson on farming.
Here’s a breakdown on what we learned:
- There’s an optimum season for each crop and it’s better to choose crop based on the season that you’re in.
- Some plants require seedling time to allow the seeds to germinate and develop into young plants in a green-house environment.
- Some plants just need to be sown directly on top of the soil.
- Each plant comes with planting depth and spacing requirements to optimize the growth and its yields.
- Harvesting time can be predicted within a timeframe.
Using what we learned, we came up with four KPIs (key performance indicators) for the app that could help people keep track and grow food in their own gardens effectively.
…..To be continued in part 2 (7/10/21)