Tamara (CEO) founded the Republic of Green because as a “green” Realtor, I was continually trying to find green builders, green architects, and sustainable landscapers that I could recommend to my clients. I also wanted to grow my green social/professional network, attend local green events, and find green volunteer opportunities. While it was possible to do this by searching across many websites, it was an inefficient process that yielded incomplete results.
In order to provide the best possible experience to the Green Community, it was important that Think Innovations team had a clear understanding of the current user groups and potential target audience the app was going to serve. We began with research; we had multiple sessions with the Green Business Owners, Green Influencers, stakeholders, and the key decision makers to gain a better understanding on Green Economy, application, the vision of the company and goals of the website we were to design. Second, we conducted Ethnographic Research, such as user interviews and observational research techniques with 15+ Green Business Owners, Green Influencers, over a period of 6 months in around the globe.
The research helps us gain insight on the user day to day activities, processes, crop cycles, and the cognitive factors that help him in decision making. We also understood the ecosystem in which user operates, the frustrations that they go through along with the factors that could motivate them; and these helped us craft out various features in our website.
The insights from research directed us in mapping the scope of the project. With our findings, we proposed that it was crucial for the app to be ecosystem-centric product instead of being just a farmer-centric product. Since we were designing for an original audience and for the ones who had experienced internet over their mobiles first; the user orientation, expectation, and usage behavior differed starkly. Also, most of the user’s were not tech savvy and owned feature phones with low-speed internet. These findings made it very clear that our designs had to be extremely simple and should only incorporate those elements that are a must. Hence, the designed layout is, and the content is the king. Also, we couldn’t make the users spend time and effort searching for what they wanted, so, everything was kept up front.
At every point, we have ensured that design does not dictate the content and hence, the visual elements are also scrutinized and thought through at each stage. Every design asset used are clear and concise such as usage of flat colors or arrows instead of dots etc.
Target audience had a greater inclination towards visuals but using pictures was not an option as that would make the website bulky and unusable for the users. Hence, we custom designed the graphic illustrations that resembled water painting for increased familiarity with the user group. This helped us control the size of the assets and make app functional even at the lowest internet speed while maintaining the engagement.
Noto Sans was our go-to font for two reasons; first, it supports multiple languages where the app was to launch and second, being a google font it was light and would load the fastest. For colors, we stuck to the brand color, green and played around with ample white spaces.