The Vancouver User Experience Awards are glad to present this year's Keynote Sponsor, AGI, a global leader in agriculture product development. We sat down with the AGI team to hear what user experience and innovation mean to their organization and industry.
Can you explain how UX and CX is important to being a leader in agricultural products?
Being a leader in agriculture product development means listening to what customers want and building them smart, connected devices that meet their needs. As more and more agricultural products become smart and connected to the internet, it’s important to design them with both usability and customer needs in mind in order to enable speedy adoption, quick access to insights, and easier automation of processes.
Farming has two peak periods every seasons: planting and harvest. Time and efficiency have large, material impacts on the success of a season. UX and CX that helps farmers improve their accuracy, reduce mistakes, and brings complex data to the forefront means helping one of our core audiences be more successful and ultimately help feed the world.
Has there been a recent transformation in the agricultural business from new technologies? What do you think is driving this transformation?
Yes, new technology enables farmers and producers to collect and analyze more data than ever before, allowing them to evaluate current and past years’ results and to plan for the future. It also enables them to manage their equipment better, understand optimal use and know, right down to a specific field how their operations are performing.
The transformation has been due in part to both a younger generation of farmers demanding more technology and connected technology, as well as the growth/spread of internet accessibility. With the launch of things like 5G in the very near future, the pace of transformation will only quicken.
What are currently the biggest challenges in the agricultural sector?
Some of our biggest challenges include wrangling and reconciling large amounts of data from a huge variety of sources (IoT, weather, smartphones, governments, other manufacturers, etc.) and making it useful to farmers without forcing them to sit at a desk for hours to sort through information or go through a huge learning curve in order to be able to access their information.
How does research with your users play a role in developing or evaluating your products?
User research and feedback is a continuous exercise that helps us plan, build, and improve upon our products. We’ve been steadily building up our practice of customer research, spinning up projects to understand our customers problems in deeper ways, and then evaluating the solutions we’ve put in market with live feedback.
What made you want to support the Vancouver UX Awards this year?
We’ve been working with Apply Digital for the past 2+ years and they brought the opportunity to us. We jumped at the chance to help the practice that’s been a big part of our recent and future work.
Do you have UX professionals working directly for your company? If so, what are the primary attributes you’re looking for when seeking new UX practitioners for your team?
We currently employ a few individuals who have UX as a part of their skill set. Whether they’re more research focused, or they live more in the UI/design world, we actively encourage our team to learn about UX and incorporate it into their work.
What’s the biggest opportunity you’re excited about heading into 2020?
We continue to be excited by the opportunities digital products afford us. Whether it’s IoT devices and software like our AGI SureTrack platform, or bringing in cutting edge tech like voice interfaces or AI to enhance our customer experiences, we want to continue to lower the barrier for our customers to take advantage of their data and make their interactions with AGI frictionless and human centered.