seed market ios app

Transform the way farmers sell & buy seed

Product Design, UX Research, Project Manager
January 2021 - December 2021
Adobe XD, Click Up, Pageflows, Timely


A client asked the Start Here Studio team to design and develop a mobile app for commercial seed farmers. The seed/farming industry is currently stuck in the past, selling and buying seed in-person, over the phone, and through local distributors. So the client saw an opportunity to create a digital marketplace that would empower farmers to buy/sell seeds nation wide.
my contribution
I was the “one man army” product designer for this project. I identified the problem, user personas, user research / testing, UI design, UX design, and facilitated the design hand-off to developers.

My Design Process

Introducing Seed Market

Problem statement

What problem are we solving?

The seed/farming industry has remained stagnant due to the outdated forms of conducting business. Farmers are limited to buying/selling seed from their local distributors or their personal network. As a result, they’re limited to small markets with economical inefficiencies.
target user

Who is our target user?

About 64% of farmers in 2017 were male.
Over 55 years old
About 62% of agricultural works were over 55 years old in 2017.
target user

Where do our target users live?

The Midwest rounds out the top five states with the most farmers:

- Missouri (162,345, or 5% of the labor force)
- Iowa (145,432 or 9% of the labor force)
- Ohio (130,439 or 2% of the labor force)
- Oklahoma (130,434 or 7% of the labor force)
competitor analysis

What can we learn from competitors?

Since Seed Market didn't have a clear direct competitor, I  reverse-engineered other popular e-commerce / marketplace apps by using a tool called, "Page Flows” ( and decided to analyze eBay. Why eBay? Well, it was the most popular platform where users can bid and hold auctions. Seed farmers regularly negotiate price and quantity; therefore, I wanted to analyze if adding auction features was feasible for Seed Market.
competitor analysis

How were these insights applied?

I implemented some of eBay's design strategies such as guiding the user through the buying/selling process. I incorporated an informational screen before users create their first listing, instead of showing an empty screen. By adding a promo-like banner on the home screen, it would help address the "chicken/egg" start up problemthat Seed Market would face in the early stages of their app. I also fixed main buttons to the bottom of screen to increase user conversions, especially when creating a listing.
proposed solution

What was the proposed solution?

Build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that serves as a marketplace platform. Sellers can create listings and buyers can place bids on those listings. Seed Market will facilitate and secure transactions between sellers and buyers.

What were the constraints?

Average transactions range above $5,000 dollars. If we use a payment processor like Stripe, the user would see large transaction fees. Therefore, the client made the decision  not to use in-app payments (via Stripe API). Instead, the app will act as an “Escrow Service” and verify/accept payments manually. As a result, Seed Market retains larger profits and provides lower transaction costs to users.
user flow

How would a user complete a transaction?

One of the most consequential user flows of this app is the transaction between a seller and buyer. Before creating this user flow diagram, I interviewed the client to understand how the "real-life" user flow worked today. I asked, how do sellers and buyers find each other today? How does a buyer verify seed quality and quantity? What are the typical payment terms? Are the funds due up front or upon delivery of the seed? These questions helped guide how this user flow should work.

Low Fidelity Designs


Which app icon did the client choose? (option 1)

I presented three distinct app icons for our client to consider. I went the extra mile and animated each app icon's splash screens. This way the client gets a better view on what the app icon will represent for the end user. I also noted that each app icon had a color palette that would affect the high-fidelity designs.
Client Pick
Option 2
Option 3
USER surveys

What did users think of our designs?

I interviewed 15 target users to determine which design style they found most intuitive and easy to use. How did I recruit these target users? The client provided them since he was our target user and had a strong network of other seed farmers and local distributors.

What did I learn from user surveys?

I wanted to minimize the workload of creating a seed listing so I thought it could be helpful if users only needed to choose a seed illustration instead of taking a photo of their seed. However, after this survey, I learned that our target users had a strong preference for interacting with an actual photo of seed. Therefore, I decided to require users to take photos of their seed to create listings, even if it decreased the probability of them completing the user flow.
key lessons

What would I do differently?

Since this was one of my earliest UX research projects, I would do many things differently! First, I would conduct a better A/B test by isolating one variable and keeping all other variables constant. Next, I would test for tasks/user flows, not simply preference in design. For example, I would ask a user to create a listing instead of simply asking him which visual design seemed easier to comprehend. And I could keep going on this topic, but this case study would become too dense... email me for more details!

What did I accomplish with the prototype?

Prototypes enable users, clients, and developers to easily identify how certain features should work. My prototype was especially helpful during the design hand off to developers and during the client approval stage of my process. Static designs sometimes leave out on interactions, component states, and scroll behaviors. But most importantly, prototypes connect high-fidelity designs with user flow diagram and brings the designs closer to the end product. I minimized feature ambiguity with our development team, our client, and our beta users.

How do users create listings?

I needed to balance two priorities, listing quality and workload when creating a listing. Too many steps, users abandon the process. Too little information, buyers may think twice about placing a bid.

How do users sign up?

The onboarding process needed to be simple, fast, and easy. To keep user abandonment low, we limited the sign up to 7 steps.

How do users send payments?

Sending payments was one of the most critical user flows to get right. So we did alot of "hand-holding" by adding video tutorials based on a user's respective bank.

How do users place a bid?

Placing bids had to be easy & simple. We fixed the "place a bid" button to the bottom of the UI and highlighted transaction line items to create an intuitive and transparent user flow.
design hand off

How did I hand-off my designs to developers?

My design hand off process involved meeting with developers, creating documentation, and faciltating check-ins through out development.

Want to learn more about the project? Let's chat.

Email me