Delta Farmers Inst.

Design evaluation for the Delta Farmer's Institute (DFI)


— To systematically uncover what aspects of the website were valuable to DFI’s current audience, as well as uncover opportunities for improvement within the website to better support the Delta farmers.

— To provide documentation for the Delta Farmers’ Institute so that they can seek funding from the provincial government to improve their services.

My Roles

Project Management
UX Research
Field Interviews
Client Relationships


Jarrod, Jason, Jo, Margaret


4 weeks, Fall 2022


Final slide deck

Conducting field interviews with delta farmers


My role

I played a project management role by planning, organizing, and directing what needed to be completed each week, while ensuring the projects was on time and within scope.

Delta Farmer's Institute (DFI)

The Delta Farmers Institute (DFI) mainly consists of a website for farmers located in Delta, the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia. The website enables farmers to view trends and forecasts for water salinity (salt content), tides, and weather so that they can make crucial decisions regarding their crops.

Existing DFI website

Understanding DFI

I needed to first conduct preliminary research to comprehend the daily life and challenges as a Delta Farmer.

Geography Challenge

A salt wedge exists where the ocean’s salt water meets the Fraser River’s fresh water. This creates unique challenges for Delta farmers because they must adjust their watering and irrigation schedules based on the salt wedge.

Map of delta and farmlands

Water Salinity

High salinity (salt content) can kill crops. Farmers visit the DFI website to see salinity info because different crops have different tolerances to salinity.

Understanding water salinity challenges

Irrigation Periods

Irrigation periods only happen during certain times of the year. During these periods, farmers regularly check the DFI site.



Created a pre-questionnaire survey to gain data on the demographic we were meeting, and gain insights  on the technology.

Heuristic Evaluation

Evaluated the Delta Farmers Institute site using Jakob Nielsen’s 10 general principles for interaction design.

Field Interviews

Our participants consisted of 4 male participants, within the age range of 45-65. All participants were farmers in Delta and they all worked in different agriculture sectors, including cranberries, potatoes, peppers, and other vegetables.

Conducting field interviews


Each interview was recorded, with comments being coded into positive, negative, and neutral recommendations based on the feedback, and then translated into key themes.

Coding with Affinity Diagrams

— Color is used effectively in diagrams making them really helpful to gather info quickly
— Water level diagram is really intuitive

— During the beginning and end of the irrigation season, info on the website could be updated more frequently
— Salinity information could be verified and cross checked with other resources
— Tide is important for people who don’t have a pump

— Too much information
— Slow user interface
— Need more historical data and details
— Difficult to use on safari, would prefer an app

Affinity diagramming

Key themes

Real-time monitoring
— Real-time notifications and alerts when the water is at the right salinity level for crops, or when water levels reach a point of no return

Predictions & Analysis
— See patterns in historical data to compare to present day
— View long term data to anticipate trends

—Customize priority of information based on unique needs (preferred location)
— Change units of measurement (uS/cm, ppm)


Questions were varied to each farmers based on their individual processes and the functions needed for their particular crop growing. The interview process was systematically conducted the same way for each participant, and all data collected was verified with 2 people writing notes, and one person recording.


A mobile app UI was the natural next step for DFI to take with their monitoring service, since farmers primarily use their mobile phones in the field.

A starting place for a Delta Farmer's Institute app

A new UI with a map feature could allow farmers to favourite their locations, as well as easily compare salinity levels across different locations. Additionally, real-time notifications could notify farmers when their pump is within an ideal salinity range without frequent checking.


The study suggests various methods to improve the design and layout of DFI's website to help improve the farmers' user experience.

Design elements such as real-time notification alerts, predictions and historical analysis, as well as user customizations, are functionalities that could improve the ways farmers access these information tools.

Thanks for reading!

←Take me home