Introducing the toolkit

The mAgri Design Toolkit is a collection of instructions, tools, and stories to help develop and scale mobile agriculture products by applying a user-centered design approach.
Many mAgri services that have launched in emerging markets have suffered from low user adoption, despite coming from leading mobile network operators and value-added service (VAS) providers. This toolkit is one of the outcomes of a partnership between the GSMA mAgri Programme and frog, and provides operational guidance on how to bring the user-centred design approach into the product development process to better connect mAgri services with the needs of farmers and other key actors in the ecosystem.

Modules

INTRODUCING USER-CENTERED DESIGN

What is user-centered design and how does it bring value to mAgri? Before getting into the details of tools and methodologies, spend some time learning about the overall process and its impact.
The introductory module explains the value of user-centered design in the mAgri context, describing how the user-centered design process works and how it can be applied at different stages of the product development cycle. This module also contains a collection of learnings and stories from the field, providing tangible examples of how the user-centered design tools have been applied and influenced specific mAgri service concepts and product development processes.

Download this module to talk about user-centered design within your organization.

Plan

To apply a user-centered process, you need to first align on team setup, existing knowledge, and assumptions. Discuss the overall goal for your mAgri service and how to set up user research to ensure that farmers’ voices and their ecosystem are integrated into the mAgri service.
The planning phase starts by setting up the team and preparing the collaboration tools needed to support the user-centered design process. After that, the main activities include aligning all the internal stakeholders on the success criteria for the project, and establishing a common understanding of the user and the ecosystem. That knowledge is used to finally elaborate the recruiting criteria and the research plan needed to start the field research.

Download this module to learn how to plan user research sessions.

Learn

To create meaningful products, you need to be closer to user, market, and context of use. This understanding starts with going out in the field, asking the right questions, and testing hypotheses with farmers to guide you throughout the design process.
During the learning phase, you first deal with the creation of discussion guides and the note-taking templates. Once the preparation materials are ready, you can start conducting the research sessions in the field, interviewing selected farmers and co-designing solutions with them. The outcome of the learning phase is a collection of research insights and refined hypothesis that will become the foundation for generating new ideas or adjusting existing concepts.

Download this module to learn how to conduct effective user research.

Create

To develop a mAgri concept that is deeply rooted in insights captured in the field, you need to analyze the information collected, and identify the right opportunities for your mAgri service, considering all the diverse voices of the farmers and their ecosystem.
The create phase starts by clustering the research insights into user archetypes and life cycle maps that help consolidate the information collected in the field, and turn it into meaningful frameworks to support idea generation. User archetypes and life cycle maps will help elaborate new ideas and envision a differentiated customer journey: the outcome of the create phase is the outline of a new service, defined in terms of value for the user, business scenario and service blueprint.

Download this module to learn how to transform insights into opportunities.

Develop

To shift from concept to realization, you need to prioritize features and plan how to create value, deliver, and capture it over time. While the product starts to take shape, organize additional validation sessions with the user to make sure you are going in the right direction.
The develop phase requires to build a plan to compliment the product development with validation sessions that can generate relevant insights to refine and improve the product itself. There are many different ways in which the validation sessions could take place, according to the specific stage of development of the final product: you can start with low-fidelity prototypes (rough materials created with paper or with voice recording tools), and go up to high-fidelity prototypes (that simulate the service as it will be when delivered). The develop phase produce indications that impact on aspects like the agents’ training, the go-to-market strategy and the content production.

Download this module to learn how to validate the design direction.

Maintain

The launch is only the beginning of the journey, not the goal. When the product launches, you need to continuously gather feedback from farmers and the ecosystem to refine and improve the product, looking at all the aspects that shape the final user experience.
The maintain phase strongly depends on the type of mAgri product that has been launched, but there are basic recommendations that can support across the board. Building a monitoring plan facilitates data collection after launch, and help identify customer journey issues that need to be solved and included in the iterative product refinement.

Download this module to learn how to continue iterating on your mAgri product.