Island Farm Stands

Web Application

The goal

Island Farm Stands was built to help people find local produce easily. We recognize the value of farm stands on Vancouver Island, the difficulties in locating stands, and the drive in islanders to support local business. Island Farm Stands was built purely as a utility, and so we measure success as new user sessions, farm stand submissions, and users signing up to manage their stands. Ultimately, we’re after adoption, and we recognize the process will be long and iterative.

The experience

I chose WordPress as a platform for this project to improve my understanding of pushing WordPress past its usual purpose and seeing how well it supported all of the farm stand data. I’m impressed with its ability to manage users, and to return the data and plot it onto the map. I used Google Maps as the main interface for the app as I find users are comfortable with the Google Maps tool, and it is relatively simple to work with the API. However, in this case the map alone is an insufficient user experience without being complimented by a “Show Current Location” button and a search tool, which I’ve added in.

The outcome

Island Farm Stands has been well received in the farming community and has received some local publicity. We’ve had some very heart-warming first hand feedback from speaking with locals, as well as some positive comments through various social channels. We’ve also grown into a popular instagram account among the local farming and healthy living communities. People are using the app as intended, and we do have farmers signing up to claim their stands. We’re getting some crowd-sourced farm stand submissions, although not as many as we’d like to see. We’ve also noticed seasonal dips and gains in usage.