Designing food tracker that promotes more-mindful eating

TOOLS USED: Sketch • Invision

TIMELINE: March – April 2019

The Project

Modern day food tracking apps such as MyFitnessPal and Cronometer tend to focus mainly on calorie count and be quite tedious to fill out unless you are eating the same meals everyday. For those of us who live busy lives and generally know what healthy eating looks like, the task of tracking what we eat can feel like a headache.

For this project I wanted to investigate how can we make food tracking less tedious. What if we can refocus the conversations around food tracking to be more about how you feel when you eat? How can we teach and encourage mindful eating through the daily practice of logging food?

Research & Discovery

To investigate the pain points concerning food tracking, I interviewed ten college students and young professionals. I wanted to find out what they liked about their current food tracking methods, what they disliked about them, what they thought about simplifying the food tracking process.

From these interviews, I learned that most people did not track their food intake unless they had a specific goal in mind — such as weight loss or other fitness related goal. For the most part though, food tracking was a tedious task and to make it easier for themselves, those who tracked their food intake generally ate the same foods everyday. 

Having a better grasp of the types of people who would be interested in focusing on mindful eating, I created three personas that reflected that.

Creating Foodfeed

From the data that I collected, I created a concept map to dish out my food tracking app idea. The turquoise colored  nodes are the goal states that a user would reach from using the app.

From the concept map, I decided what features were crucial and beneficial and created a site map flush out how the app would work: what information and functions each landing page would have, which other landing pages the page would be able to lead to, and how each page connects to the other. I wanted to emphasize simplicity, but give users the freedom customizing what kind of information they’d like to track.

Afterwards, I created some screen sketches to flush out the ideas made in my site map. These sketches feature a couple variations of the home page, as well as some screens for uploading personal images of meals.

The initial low-fidelity wireframes feature were focused on the main task flow of uploading an image of the user’s food and viewing it on their profile.

After usability testing, it became clear that the home page from my low-fidelity wireframes seemed to act more as a settings page rather than a real home page, and the users I tested my wireframes on wanted the homepage to inspire healthy eating. Furthermore, it seemed to be a little unclear where the photo was going to go post-uploading, and the healthiness rating feature of the app needed some work.

I redesigned the flow of the app, and then implemented visual design elements to give it a brand personality.

Next Steps

There are still many improvements that can be made to Foodfeed. The statistical information can be rendered to be more visually appealing and user friendly, a method of filtering the photos by meal or healthiness can be added, and a social component can also be implemented.