Reimagining the Future of Agriculture// project verticals ?>
- Audience Definition
- Experience Audit
- User Research + Insights
- UX + Content Strategy
- UX Design
- Visual Design
Wilbur Ellis is a leading international marketer and distributor of agricultural products, animal feed, and specialty chemicals and ingredients. Its software product, AgVerdict, is widely used by company employees, customers, and contract vendors, and has become an important driver of sales and value-added products and services. Over six months, a team of Hero Digital experts took AgVerdict through a robust research and strategy phase, all the way to a fully redesigned product.
Technology is rapidly changing agriculture, and Wilbur Ellis recognized early that it needed to embrace the digitization of the industry in order to stay ahead of its competitors. New methods of applying products to crops, more powerful decision-making tools backed by data, and the changing demographics of growers required new ways of thinking about the tools and processes of the ag business. A mix of factors—the size, geographic spread, and diversity of its business; staff turnover; varying degrees of comfort with technology; and processes that hadn’t been optimized before they were digitized—contributed to issues with the company’s software product, AgVerdict. After years of staff grumbling, Wilbur Ellis knew it was time to overhaul the product, and brought Hero Digital in to ensure that meaningful, scalable fixes would be made. We sent our experts across the country to field offices from California to Michigan, North Dakota to Texas. Our teams embedded with Wilbur Ellis staff to watch everything from the order process to sales, in the office and out in the field. Combining this with interviews and industry analysis, we formed a foundation of knowledge that helped Wilbur Ellis understand the challenges it faced and develop a multi-step plan to meet those challenges through a redesigned experience for the product.
Despite vast differences in crops, weather, geography, and internal processes, our research distilled a common workflow across Wilbur Ellis field offices. This workflow informed the personas of the product’s users and provided the basis for a reimagined product specifically designed to support that workflow. Aligning the product around this common set of practices makes it more effective for day-to-day employees, increasing satisfaction and efficiency.
The agronomists who primarily use AgVerdict think of their customers’ farms in terms of geography, but the system was organized around tables and names. Eliminating this disconnect between their view of the world and the software required us to re-imagine the interface from a map-based perspective. Rich, location-based interactions more closely align with how agronomists think and organize their workday, making the product easier to use and more intuitive. And, because the agronomists’ offices are their trucks, we knew the product needed to work in the same highly mobile way its users do. We also spent some time updating the look of the product, creating a modern UI with an earth tone base and high contrast to make it readable in all environments.
Finally, we structured the product to effectively solve the challenges of today, while leaving room for the great ideas of tomorrow.