Approaching the Project: Microfarm for Everybody

with aim to make anyone a self-sufficient market gardener with given some space.

When you need to start the project, even before writing a single line of code, what you need to do is imagine and visualizing it in your brain; you must have at least the vision of how your product will look like in 5 years. Big things aren't built overnight. You must have a list of the ideas, needs, and problems that your product will fulfill and a lot of patience. Let me share my experience with the approaches towards the project and thank you again, Finn Peters, for teaching me such valuable things and feel free to correct me, I am still learning!!

NOTE: This blog has references to my previous blog. You can check out that here!

To understand the basics of project requirements and their market aspects, we made a Business Model Canvas, and to design the database and develop the project we made the wireframe of the mobile application which we are planning as our final product.

Topics I will be covering:

  1. Business Model Canvas of our project
  2. Wireframing of our Mobile Application

Business Model Canvas

It is a one-page document holding all your project plan, describing various aspects of it. What will the product achieve? Who are the target customers? How to deliver the product? What values will be imparted to the user? The answer to all of these questions is given by this single document. You can learn more about that here. It has nine key elements as shown in the image below:

Microfarm For Everybody: Business Model Canvas

NOTE: Wherever ‘Later’ is mentioned in the canvas, it means it will be implemented or worked upon after the GSoC period.

Let’s discuss them and gain more understanding of the project:

  1. Key Partners:
    Primarily our key partners are coala e.V. which is helping us to build this project and providing all the technical support and WeField e.V. under which this project is hatching. It will provide all the knowledge base required to build up the database to automate the tasks and financial support. Later on, we will also be having sponsors, companies, and NGOs having the same motive as ours i.e., “Protecting the environment and creating sustainable ecosystems.”
  2. Key Activities:
    Our main activities are to automatize the farming tasks with minimum human intervention and to make optimum use of free space. We will also be providing knowledge to people regarding different types of farming, what are the best conditions for growing different plants, etc. in order to make oneself a self-sufficient farmer or a market gardener.
  3. Key Resources:
    As we are making this product to impart knowledge, so we will also need knowledgeable people. We aim to reach people throughout the world and benefit them all, so we will need very good public relations to achieve this and promote our project. Last but not the least, our final project will be a mobile application so will be having technical resources too such as servers, cloud services, etc.
  4. Value Propositions:
    This term might not be giving a clear idea about what it means…right? It basically means the values a company promises to deliver to customers and why should they choose to buy their product. The values we are promising are:
    # Become a self-sufficient farmer or a market gardener: This project automizes makes farming tasks and making them easy to do.
    # Open-Source Learning: It is an open-source project anyone can learn and also contribute to.
    # Living a Healthy Lifestyle: Grow and eat your organic and healthy veggies and live a healthy life.
    # Passive Income: Even user can send his crops and veggies to the local market.
    AND NOW THE MOST IMPORTANT AND SIGNIFICANT ONE!!
    # Regenerating soil and carbon sequestration:
    As mentioned in this great article on Carbon Gardening here:
    These days, as we search for ways to pull excess carbon out of the atmosphere in order to mitigate global warming, new attention has focused on “natural climate solutions,” or managing land for carbon sequestration by conserving and restoring ecosystems and changing agricultural and gardening practices.”
    This is what we are aiming to achieve by our farming methods and objective.
  5. Customer Segments: Initially, we will be targeting experienced market gardeners and farmers in order to get proper feedbacks and scuplture our database and make our product more realistically working with real data. Then, we can start with market-gardening beginners, agricultural college students (they too can contribute to knowledge base or get benefitted with automated farming), farmers and startups who can be benefitted by our product.
  6. Channels: It means through what platforms the company will be delivering the product. In our case, for the initial version (GSoC period), we are aiming to send notifications via Email about the tasks and use a website for contact and registration, where user can learn about the project. Later, we will be having Mobile Application as our final product.
  7. Customer Relationships: We will be collecting feedback forms on every tasks if any changes required or for any reviews. Thus, maintaining constant support with our users.
  8. Cost Structure: It is designed to make it available for everyone thus, it is free but we need to know who are our users and how they are benefitted so registration required.
  9. Revenue Streams: It will be always free. You can also support our NGO, by becoming a member at WeField.

How Business Model Canvas helped me?

It gave me complete idea what are the objectives, aspects, vision of the project. It helped me to get connected with the project more deeper. I can now visualize and analyze to use case of the project as a developer as well as a user. Most importantly boosted by excitement and interest working on this project.

Woah!! That was a lot to take in one go reading!!
Now time to visualize the application(my first wireframe)!!

Wireframing

It is similar to architectural blueprint. It is a two-dimensional blueprint or skeletal of the application or webpage. Wireframes provide a clear overview of the page structure, layout, information architecture, user flow, functionality, and intended behaviors. Learn more here.

Had’nt implemented the designing part, please ignore that!

WELCOME TO WEFIELD!!!

Welcome page

Let’s setup your profile

Profile Section

Here’s a basic overview of the Profile Page, second one is the Project Page showing the CropMap, where you will be able to see how your field will be looking having different sections. Third one is depicting the Crop Map details: bed length and how much Compost is required, etc.

Ready for the Tasks!!

Dashboard

First page is the User’s Dashboard having list of today’s tasks, different categories of tasks and tasks which are overdue. Second is the Task page, with a short description, how to do it?, resources to learn more and feedback form. Third page is a status page, where we can see our ongoing tasks, upcoming tasks, etc. and last one is the calender where we can see all our tasks too.

How wireframing helped me?

It cleared about how to design the database, which type fields to add in the models. When we have some interface, it becomes a lot more easier to achieve what we are actually planning. It even clarifies how we want to design our project. Without it, we don’t have a right direction, our thought gets spreaded in all direction and as a result we get confused!! So, its better to have a wireframe and imagine your project in your brain!! Even before writing a single line of code!!

Thank you for reading the blog till here!! Subscribe and stay tuned for more details, project features and updates!!

Student Developer @WeField @coala | Cloud Enthusiast | Open-Source Contributor | NIT Surat