Nutrition Buddy

Issue

We were approached by a client who is looking for ideas to monetize image recognition technologies, in which the company has experience. Client had some ideas for mobile applications, and one of them was idea of application for nutrition tracking. So, there is task: To make ideation and propose a competitive solution for nutrition tracking mobile application based on image recognition technologies.

Research

First questions that we should try to figure out:
1. What the market we are working for?
2. Do we have competitors?
3. What are the competitors weaknesses?
4. Who are the users?

Competitors analysis

There are 1320 results when you search "nutrition app". While healthy lifestyle becoming a worldwide trend the need for tracking your calories grows. Most of the apps require frequent user inputs, and as an output user get just a history chart with his calories norm deviations. To differentiate we need to deliver more, understand what users get frustrated with and fix that. So our task changes to a bit different: how to design app that will better then all this 1320, not just 1321-st same app.

User Research

Here are feedbacks from people who interested in Nutrition apps:
What users expect to see hearing about app connected with food(nutrition) tracking:
1. Proteins, fats, carbohydrates
2. Calories
3. Some graphics with comparison what have been eaten
4. Some tips what is good food (e.g. apple, banana etc.) and not good/not useful product (e.g. chips)
5. Daily Calories calculator

That's what users detect as a problems in work with such application:
1. How we can know what is the weight of a portion
2. We too lazy to enter some data by hands
3. What about products without barcode
4. Ok. If I scan a bar code it doesn't mean that I will eat it in the future
5. Different food traditions in different places
6. I have been using such app not longer than a 3 days.
7. It is a problem to invent something new because there are already a lot apps that already in the market.
8.Moreover different apps for different group of people, so it is too much competitors.

Personas

Based on User Research, we have created Personas to use:

Ideation

Question for our brainstorm was: Is it there any techniques makes user prefer our app to others? Result: Let's make our users addictive to our app. To know about this technique you can, for example, in this video

Mapping ideas to the new app

There are basically two sides of the app - user input (scan food's nutrition facts or enter manually) and info output with recommendations and tips on how to eat healthy (will behave much like Google Now)

Users Input: Make it easy

Instead of working with calories and digits, we propose to deal with kinds of food and sizes of plate. Harvard School of Public Health updated their "Healthy Eating Pyramid" with MyPlate program. "MyPlate illustrates the five food groups that are the building blocks for a healthy diet".

In our case it serves as a benchmark, the norm of how to eat healthy. In same time, bar scanner can be helpful too. Users will be able to add food they've been eating in several different ways:
1. Scanning nutrition details
2. Scanning restaurant menu
3. Scanning product itself
4. Adding food manually using a simple inputs

Solution

Predictive Analytics

All the processed info is shown as a cards on home screen. It doesn't require users to do anything, it just there when they need it. We can achieve that by using the prescriptive analytics. The app will know what to show and when to show the right card. For example, if user will glance at app before dinner time she will get suggestions on what he may have. Get an healthy alternatives to her favorite junk food or be warned of consequences
We can have all sorts of cards:
1. Suggestions on what to eat and when
2. Warnings and alerts
3. Statistics and Progress
4. Places to eat in and healthy recipes

All the processed info is shown as a cards on home screen. It doesn't require users to do anything, it just there when they need it. We can achieve that by using the prescriptive analytics. The app will know what to show and when to show the right card.

For example, if user will glance at app before dinner time she will get suggestions on what he may have. Get an healthy alternatives to her favourite junk food or be warned of consequences.
We can have all sorts of cards:
1. Suggestions on what to eat and when
2. Warnings and alerts
3. Statistics and Progress
4. Places to eat in and healthy recipes

Motivation, Ability: Profile

By creating the profile users will provide the app with valuable info that can be processed and influence the app behavior. Users will provide such info as:
1. The goal (Lose, keep or gain weight)
2. Weight, Height and Age (BMI)
3. Activity Level
4. Vegetarian/Allergies

Reality Check

Most important feature of the app is reality check. "Am I eating healthy?", "Is this food good for me?", "I've gained some weight recently, I wonder why?" - those are the questions the app have answers for. Through statistics, warnings and recommendations represented by cards, we are going to help users realize what's wrong and how to fix that.

The Future

The app has a huge potential to improve. The social aspect and location services can help us to turn this app in a platform where people can interact, develop and use the content in many different ways. The restaurant owners may create the whole menu with Nutrition Buddy, and, users can check it (with all nutrition details) on their way there. The enthusiasts can create and publish their own recipes and so on.