SIAGRO: Information management system for the Brazilian Government
Genre: Desktop web app
SIAGRO is the Brazilian Portuguese acronym for "Supply and Agricultural Information System". It is one of the Conab's (the Brazilian National Supply Agency) key systems. From one side, it allows civil servants distributed across the country to enter production cost and product price data. From the other side, it empowers the Agency's experts to make advanced analysis and generate reports.
The information delivered by Conab is the base for establishing national policies of financial support to farmers and agricultural production.
I was responsible for the visual design and interaction design of new modules, based on a foundation already in place. Since most of the tasks in SIAGRO deal with data entry, the challenge was to provide users with the right amount of input fields for each task. To my surprise, what I thought to be information overload was actually not enough.
What I discovered through usability evaluation was that people quickly became expert users because of their previous experiences. So breaking the task flow in many steps with a small volume of information was actually making their lives more difficult. After some iterations, I realized that users preferred large forms where they could fill-in all the information in one shot.
Less was not more, for a change.