Terra NutriTech mobile app


The Problem

Terra NutriTech, an award-winning Irish startup in the Agri-Tech industry have an excellent product. Unfortunately, this was not being communicated in the UI of their mobile app. Their mobile app, which connects to a machine which monitors and controls water and nutrients supply for livestock on farms, was not particularly user-friendly as it was designed without the implementation of accepted design patterns or intuitive navigation. Users could easily get lost or confused within the app, confidence in the product could be lost due to lack of feedback provided, leaving the user unsure of whether functions were actually being performed.  

Terra NutriTech Mobile app


The Problem

Terra NutriTech, an award-winning Irish startup in the Agri-Tech industry have an excellent product. Unfortunately, this was not being communicated in the UI of their mobile app. Their mobile app, which connects to a machine which monitors and controls water and nutrients supply for livestock on farms, was not particularly user-friendly as it was designed without the implementation of accepted design patterns or intuitive navigation. Users could easily get lost or confused within the app, confidence in the product could be lost due to lack of feedback provided, leaving the user unsure of whether functions were actually being performed.  

The Solution

The solution was the creation of a hybrid mobile app that would run effectively on any platform and be built using a reliable framework, incorporating accepted design patterns. My role in this was working with the client stakeholders to design an excellent User Experience that would instil in the user a feeling of confidence in the product.

The Process

The process began with meeting with the client stakeholders and reviewing the existing application. During this stage, pain points in the User Experience were identified, as well as redundant or unnecessary features. Functional requirements and user requirements were then clarified.

Following this, I began to sketch up ideas for the new app. Certain shortcomings, which were the first to be addressed, were immediately apparent in the existing application. This included the lack of a coherent landing page when the user logged in, no clear system of navigation, and no tab bar which would provide a clear division of functionality/sections.

These sketches were made with the Ionic framework in mind and included easy to implement components that were readily available and immediately understandable to the user, such as segmented controls, tab bars, navs, dropdowns, radio lists etc. These sketches were then communicated to the client and, upon being approved by all stakeholders, were then used to create a prototype using Proto.io, a prototyping tool with extensive component and interaction libraries.

The main objective with the design was to create a feeling that the user would always know how to get to a particular section and that there was a clear flow when using the app. For example, while in the Minerals sections of the app the user can easily view results for a particular mineral and choose to boost that mineral, without any confusion.

Upon completion of this prototype, a 2nd meeting with stakeholders was held. At this meeting, it was decided that in order to lower costs for development they wanted to streamline the app and consolidate certain features while removing other ones altogether. With this new requirement, I began to sketch how it would be possible to unify the app. The first decision was to remove the tab bar and allow the user to select a section using the infographic in the centre of the screen. This streamlined the user interface and de-cluttered the UI. The herd screen would consolidate with the livestock figures screen, the water screen would incorporate the charts screen meaning the user would not have to navigate off it, and the minerals screen would have direct access to mineral levels and boost screen.

Challenges and Reflections

The main challenge with this project was not having any direct access to users of the application. With this limitation, I had to trust in the stakeholders of the app as they were also users of the product themselves. There was also a limited amount of research time available as the delivery deadline didn't allow for it. Aside from this, figuring out how to consolidate functionalities to allow for just three primary screens proved to be the greatest challenge.

Upon reflection, I am quite pleased, as of now, with how this project turned out considering the limitations during the research stage. As it is a newly launched app I am very interested in hearing how it performs with users and how the app will be updated in the future.