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Counting Sheep
Designing software for farmers
AgriWebb
Farm management software
app + portal
AgTech
Relatively new space for tech
Lots of legacy players
Geographically dispersed user base
Heavy focus on cropping
Farms
A lot in common with startups
Wide variety of business models
(Growing, breeding, finishing, agistment, intensive or ...
Software
Note keeping
Task management
Financial reporting
Paddock performance
Blood line
Chemical calculations
Treatment r...
UX challenges
Poor internet
Users vary from agricultural scientists to semi-literate labourers
Processes can be heavily de...
Data model
What is the level of the representation?
Complex
measurements
DSE
FCR
Crop yield
Boom setup / nozzle capacity / spray quality
Dip / drench / injection
Condition sc...
These are straightforward
to implement
While there’s a lot of calculation involved, the calculations are linear.
If we hav...
What is the core
object?
For a bank account, the core objects are the accounts and the
transactions, which are owned and a...
For a crop focused
farm…
There’s paddocks, which contain crops, which are acted on by users.
Paddocks have a geographical ...
For a grazier, though…
What is the object?
Single view of sheep
This would be the easiest for us.
Single view of sheep
Object is sheep, which is acted on by user.
Sheep can be added to group (flock), can have treatment hi...
This does work…
…but not for us.
This is the model that
breeders use.
Per-animal focus to draw out lineage and make selective breeding
decisions.
Enabled w...
We can’t do this.
Many farmers don’t operate on a per-animal basis.
Animals are treated as mobs (herds / flocks) that are s...
Some farmers simply
don’t know exactly how
many animals they have.
Single view of mob
We can treat the mob as the object.
A user can act on a mob.
A mob can have a treatment history, a loca...
But…
What happens when a mob is split or combined?
Some calculations are
easy
We can recalculate aggregate measures like weight and condition.
Some are not
How do we know which animals have been treated?
Which ones have a history of producing twins?
Of producing he...
No easy solution
Combining records leads to false accuracy.
We need to maintain mob history back through splits and joins....
One exception
Bulls and rams
Bulls and rams are treated as individuals.
Well, kind of.
They’re animals, but they’re also farm equipment....
Single view of ram
We can see the specific history of a ram or bull.
Healthy history, treatment, paddock movements.
We can ...
Data model
Takeaways
Understand how your users conceptualise objects
Map actions by users and other objects
Understand that group obj...
Data model
Questions
Internet of sheep
Internet of sheep
Internet of sheep
Internet of sheep
Internet of sheep
Internet of sheep
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Internet of sheep

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designing for sheep

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Internet of sheep

  1. 1. Counting Sheep Designing software for farmers
  2. 2. AgriWebb Farm management software app + portal
  3. 3. AgTech Relatively new space for tech Lots of legacy players Geographically dispersed user base Heavy focus on cropping
  4. 4. Farms A lot in common with startups Wide variety of business models (Growing, breeding, finishing, agistment, intensive or station) Heavily indebted with a range of stakeholders providing guidance Risk management priority (multiple animal herds, cropping) Lot of small operators, often acquired by large multinationals Lot of entrenched service providers (chemical companies, intermediaries)
  5. 5. Software Note keeping Task management Financial reporting Paddock performance Blood line Chemical calculations Treatment records Compliance Maintenance
  6. 6. UX challenges Poor internet Users vary from agricultural scientists to semi-literate labourers Processes can be heavily detailed with bad failure states App used in bright sunlight, dusty conditions Really, really poor internet Workflow heavily paper dependent
  7. 7. Data model What is the level of the representation?
  8. 8. Complex measurements DSE FCR Crop yield Boom setup / nozzle capacity / spray quality Dip / drench / injection Condition score
  9. 9. These are straightforward to implement While there’s a lot of calculation involved, the calculations are linear. If we have the formula, we can implement them with time.
  10. 10. What is the core object? For a bank account, the core objects are the accounts and the transactions, which are owned and acted on by the user and the bank.
  11. 11. For a crop focused farm… There’s paddocks, which contain crops, which are acted on by users. Paddocks have a geographical location, a bounding box, a physical area, crops and vegetation. They may have a treatment history, a performance history, a maintenance history. Tasks can be assigned against them. They may move (or be split / expanded) but this happens rarely. The area of land can still retain the history.
  12. 12. For a grazier, though… What is the object?
  13. 13. Single view of sheep This would be the easiest for us.
  14. 14. Single view of sheep Object is sheep, which is acted on by user. Sheep can be added to group (flock), can have treatment history, birth history, age, weight, condition, task assignment. Can have death or sale record. Can have lineage and performance record.
  15. 15. This does work… …but not for us.
  16. 16. This is the model that breeders use. Per-animal focus to draw out lineage and make selective breeding decisions. Enabled with specific software and per-animal record keeping. RFID chips and specialist hardware.
  17. 17. We can’t do this. Many farmers don’t operate on a per-animal basis. Animals are treated as mobs (herds / flocks) that are separated at different times based on different criteria. Some are split by pregnancy status (twins / singles), some by age, breed, some simply spread across paddocks. They are split and added at different stages of life.
  18. 18. Some farmers simply don’t know exactly how many animals they have.
  19. 19. Single view of mob We can treat the mob as the object. A user can act on a mob. A mob can have a treatment history, a location, a feeding history, it may have tasks assigned. It may have aggregate measures of weight, condition, sale price.
  20. 20. But… What happens when a mob is split or combined?
  21. 21. Some calculations are easy We can recalculate aggregate measures like weight and condition.
  22. 22. Some are not How do we know which animals have been treated? Which ones have a history of producing twins? Of producing healthy offspring? Which ones got sick?
  23. 23. No easy solution Combining records leads to false accuracy. We need to maintain mob history back through splits and joins. This can lead to a complex interlinking of mob records.
  24. 24. One exception
  25. 25. Bulls and rams Bulls and rams are treated as individuals. Well, kind of. They’re animals, but they’re also farm equipment. And they kind of act like a mob treatment.
  26. 26. Single view of ram We can see the specific history of a ram or bull. Healthy history, treatment, paddock movements. We can generate a profit measure against a specific ram or bull by calculating condition and sale weight of offspring.
  27. 27. Data model
  28. 28. Takeaways Understand how your users conceptualise objects Map actions by users and other objects Understand that group objects are not always groups of objects Understand aggregate vs actual values Avoid false accuracy Risk-manage when data is ambiguous
  29. 29. Data model Questions

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