FOOD DIARY

personal project

S

          witching diets can be overwhelming, because there’s so much information out there, and there’s conflicting information and confusion about the differences

          between veganism, vegeterianism, and WFPB diets. What can I eat? What if I don’t like that? How do I plan for the week? How do I handle social situations with food? How am I going to survive this? UGH! Exactly... The challenge is to create a giant information hub for people who feel left in the dust by other major food-logging apps and that gives them all the guidance and knowledge they need while remaining body and food positive, and helping through all the stress.

What does the user need?

Conclusions made from user interviews.

There should be food, meal plans, and recipes for every major diet plan (vegan, vegetarian, keto, WFPB, etc.) The app should be an information hub, with articles, tools, and resources to learn about different diets, exercise routines, how the body and mind work, and tips for staying on track. In addition, there should be a way for the app to say what the benefits are of certain nutrients, how a certain exercise will impact your body, and what the health benefits are. Food diary for tracking meals throughout the day that is body-positive and doesn't focus on the numbers, but the big ideas.

Competitive analysis

I used this analysis to refine what the Food Diary app needs to be like.

MyFitnessPal.png

MyFitnessPal

"MyFitnessPal is one of the best weight loss apps and fitness apps, helping nearly 1 million members reach their nutrition and fitness goals every year. Members use it as a calories tracker and calorie counter to log their foods, and take advantage of the app’s food database that contains over 14 million foods. It’s not just a free calorie counter app — it’s also the best calorie counter app for people who are looking to take back control of their health and fitness." (From MyFitnessPal.com)

Target user

Anyone 18+ looking to lose weight

Features

- track calories, macronutrients

- set food and weight goals

- connect with community

- log over 14 million foods

- find recipes

User Experience

Opening the app, the user is immediately shown a banner that calculates how many calories are left to eat, and a home feed that includes users' success stories with the app, and diary updates from friends. The user interface emphasizes calorie control and friends' activity.

Strengths

  • Attempts to build a community to lose weight with friends and stay accountable

  • Large database of food and restaurants, etc.

  • Data visualization (weight loss graphs, macronutrient pie graphs, etc.)

Weaknesses

  • Some inaccurate calorie/nutrient information

  • Misreporting from users

  • Obsession with eating up to calorie allotment or dangerously below the calorie allotment

  • Lack of information for users to learn

Icon.png

Food Diary

Food Diary will be focused on health as a whole. Instead of belaboring how many calories you just ate, burned, or that you have left to eat, it will focus on the nutrients you're getting from meals and how those nutrients affect your health. It will do meal analysis and provide the tools to learn about your health and different dietary plans. It will also help find new ways to get active apart from the traditional ways of working out that have become chores people agonize doing.

Target user

Anyone 18+ looking to live a healthier life through mind and body

Features

- learn about food and exercise, their benefits to the body

- body/mind-positive food logging with no emphasis on calories

- recipes and meal plans for every diet

- meal analysis with nutrient breakdown

- articles about any topic (food, mind, and body) to inform users

User Experience

Opening the app, the user will be shown articles curated for them, and popular content on the app. The user interface will be focused on informing the user and being a helpful mind- and body-positive guide. There won't be an emphasis on calories, or what the user's friends are doing.

Strengths

  • Plethora of information and resources for users to learn

  • Emphasis on overall health instead of calorie counts, to eliminate unhealthy obsession and decrease user misreporting due to pressure

  • Curated content for users

  • Mind- and body-positive

Weaknesses

  • Doesn't attempt to build community

Ideation and wireframes

These wireframes are from early in the ideation stage and were developed and updated after conducting research and talking to target users.

Home.png

This home screen is simple. It displays articles curated for the user. It's intentionally not cluttered to be easy for the user to use.

In between different stages of wireframes, research confirmed that there wasn't enough information, or use for the home page. (More on this later.) Perhaps the design is too simple.

Info.png

This screen serves as the information and learning hub for the user. The user can select which diet plan they would like to learn about or access resources for, and they'll be shown food, recipes, meal plans, and articles related to their selection.

Saved.png

This screen will be extremely useful for users to save and reference articles, recipes, and more.

Diary.png

An integral part of this app is a food diary that casts out all the noise and harmful effects of most food-logging apps, while still efficiently keeping track of the user's meals.

This screen is very minimal and only focuses on what's important. There's no counters or emphasis on calories.

After research, I concluded it's important for there to be an exercise section added to this page.

Nutrition Analysis.png

In food diary apps it's important to have ways to analyze what the user is inputing, so they can see their eating and activity habits. Most apps put strong emphasis on numbers, like calorie count. This sketch does something similar, but it also uses the information to come up with ways for the user to improve and to tell the user what they're doing well.

I felt like I didn't have enough information to completely stray away from the traditional way of analyzing macro-nutritional value, so I incorporated some ideas I thought of with what is common in food diary apps. (with the intent to do more research, and discover how target users think the experience could be improved and more effective)

High-fidelity prototype

After user interviews and testing, this is the high fidelity prototype for the food diary app.

Home.png

This high-fidelity version of the home screen is still simple, but it creates some differentiation between different kinds of content. It displays articles curated for the user extra big and at the top, while popular content on the app is smaller and below.

After talking with target users, I concluded that a way to increase the utility of this page was to add an exercise finder feature. A big user pain point is exercising because it always feels like a chore. With this feature, users can find new ways to move their body that are fun for them and accommodate their needs.

While transforming this screen into a high-fidelity prototype, I managed to keep it super simple, showing the basics only. For more information, the user can analyze their day using the button at the bottom.

Diary.png

This is an effective logging experience that casts out all the noise and harmful effects of most food-logging apps, while still efficiently keeping track of the user's meals and activity.

Learn- Vegan.png

The Learn screen serves as the information and learning hub for the user. Not much has changed from the wireframe to the high-fidelity version, but there's a better use of space. One area of concern that I would test further is whether or not users can easily tell that the FOOD, RECIPES, and MEAL PLANS areas are all clickable.

Saved.png

The Saved screen now uses space better to differentiate different sections. Users said they'd be most interested in accessing their saved recipes when using this page, which is why the recipes section in the focal point.

Nutrition Analysis.png

In food diary apps it's important to have ways to analyze what the user is inputing, so they can see their eating and activity habits. Most apps put strong emphasis on numbers, like calorie count. This sketch does something similar, but it also uses the information to come up with ways for the user to improve and to tell the user what they're doing well.

I felt like I didn't have enough information to completely stray away from the traditional way of analyzing macro-nutritional value, so I incorporated some ideas I thought of with what is common in food diary apps. (with the intent to do more research, and discover how target users think the experience could be improved and more effective)

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