The Farm2People website application features a marketplace and inventory manager system for nonprofits, farmers, and other buyers to use. As Farm2People transitions to an expedited online transaction process, we hoped to create an easy-to-use app that empowers the people using it.

my role + tools

Project management User research Product design

The team

Vivian Nguyen (Design Lead) Alice Chang Chantal Tan Yoshino Goto




Farm2People is a nonprofit organization born from the coronavirus outbreak that aims to connect local farmers to food relief agencies and buyers, providing close to 2 million servings to underserved communities in Los Angeles. They hope to implement a more resilient food network that ensures nutritious food can be sustainably accessed by food banks and and food relief agencies.


However, their transactions currently take place over the phone or by email. Additionally, Farm2People administrators must manually enter order information and updates, which makes the process inefficient.

Farm2People needed a platform to automate their processes. So, the question is raised:

How can we create a platform that streamlines Farm2People’s food distribution model, while interfacing the buying and selling process in an efficient way?

Proposed Solution

Through initial talks with Farm2People, we learned that they wanted a marketplace that allows buyers and food relief agencies to view farmers' inventories.

We keep the following considerations in mind:

  • Prioritizing the user experience of all parties who use our app, including farmers, nonprofits, and buyers. Farm2People's current process is lacking a client-facing interface.
  • Expediting the end-to-end process of transaction and distribution requests between vendors, Farm2People, and buyers/food relief agencies.
  • Consolidating the process into a consistent workflow that reduces variability and streamlines the experience for buyers and sellers.

User Research


What are people's experiences with online grocery shopping?

We conducted an online survey to get more insights on food shopping behavior and how potential users utilize technology to purchase groceries.

From 97 responses from college students, their parents, and family members, we found that:

  • 14.8% face mild or moderate food insecurity
  • With 54.5% of people shopping for food 3-4 times a month, it’s important to make a website that can be easily renavigated for consistent and frequent use.
  • 22.7% have shopped online for groceries before, so most shop in-person at stores instead of using online platforms. We must make the UI simple and clear as a result of this unfamiliarity with online grocery shopping.
  • For those who have shopped for food online, the top websites used were: Instacart, Amazon, and Target. We can refer to the structures and UI elements of these websites when designing our website.


What do buyers expect from an online shopping experience?

We conducted 3 individual, in-depth interviews on students experiencing mild food security to gain insights on how they get food now and how to create a helpful and pleasant online food shopping experience with our website.

We found that:

  • Users prefer shopping in-person because it allows buyers to see the freshness of the food they buy. So, we want to make sure images of produce will be visible.

Buyers expect an online shopping process to be:

  • Easy in terms of signing up and selecting items
  • Fast, but also flexible if they want to go back to decide what they want to buy
  • Reliable
  • Allowing for price comparisons and showing price changes

Competitive Analysis

What are the pain points of Farm2People's competitors, and how can we improve on that?

We conducted heuristics analyses on 4 competitor websites, which included marketplaces that display produce from local farmers or imperfect produce.

Screenshots and notes for each competitor

Literature Reviews

What can previous research tell us about our users?

By reading existing articles and research about online shopping platforms, particularly those that sell produce, we wanted to get a rough idea of what kinds of problems farmers and customers have on online buying & selling platforms.

In online selling platforms, farmers want...

  • Strong personal support
  • Flexibility to accommodate buyers in any situation
  • Integration with systems they already have

On the other hand, in online selling platforms, buyers want...

  • A mobile website
  • Ability to shop as a guest
  • To save time!

User Flows

Based on our research and conversations with Farm2People, we had three types of users the platform will be catered to: buyer, special buyer (non-profit) and seller. With these users in mind, I ideated the user flows for the website as a guide before the designers start working on it.

User Flows


During our ideation process, we had to keep in mind the users we were designing for. After our wireframing and iterations, the users are distinguished by these features:

Low Fidelity Wireframes

After ideating the features, we created low fidelity wireframes. Throughout this process, we made iterations based on Farm2People’s feedback and changes in vision (particularly for the marketplace and inventory manager).

Usability Testing

We conducted usability testing over Zoom and used Google Forms to to test if users can navigate and use the high fidelity application as intended. Out of 7 interviews, interviewees represented these user profiles:

  • 3 regular buyers
  • 3 sellers (1 farmer)
  • 1 nonprofit


Based on the usability testing, we proposed iterations for areas of confusion. Using Notion kanban boards, we ranked the severity of the changes and discussed the level of need for each. We also considered the feasibility of the iterations tangentially to the developers' progress.

Final Designs


After 10 months, we presented our designs and process to a group of 30+ nonprofit stakeholders, LA Blueprint members, and friends. The founders of Farm2People were extremely impressed with all of our research and how much work we had completed.

Because of the large scope of the project, we handed off a few undeveloped features for the Farm2People development team to implement. If we had more time, we would have tested the seller’s dashboard and onboarding as well as conducted usability testing on more farmers and nonprofits. We had little input from actual farmers, so designing for their perspective was rather difficult.

Time restraints aside, it was an amazing experience being a Project Lead for this project. I learned how to keep constant communication with our non-profit and how to lead a team of designers to create a platform that would benefit both the lives of farmers and those in need.