An app that nudges hungry home cooks toward their health goals one recipe at a time
3 Weeks ｜ 2021
Jingwen Li (UIUX Designer)
Fahvyon Jimenez (Strategic Consultant)
Design Research, Interview Analysis, Market Analysis, Ideation, User Flow, UI Prototype
Our team was given a very broad prompt, "Taking care of your body," at the beginning of the design process.
In order to help us to define a product design problem or opportunity, we conducted 10+ quick Q&A with people around us. We asked the question: "How do you take care of your body?". Then we created a mind map by categorizing different factors that impact our health & body based on the responses that we received.
We followed up with the previous Q&A interviewees and asked if they faced any difficulties in meeting their health goals and if there were any roadblocks along the way.
Then we created three early hypotheses based on the responses:
Situation: Most people struggle to consistently make decisions that keep them on track to meet their health goals.
Observations: Activities done with one’s social network often work against many “health goals”
What should we do: Design something that allows a health-seeker to push their social network’s habits in a healthier direction
Validate Hypotheses Through First Round Interview
What do people care most about ?
To learn more about what aspects of health do people care about and also test out our early hypothesis, 8 people within a different age groups were interviewed
"It's really difficult or sometimes impossible to change other people's behavior, so I'd rather change mine " __Ivan Liu
“I think you're allowed to have a good time if you're offsetting it with other healthy things elsewhere ” __ Mikey
After talking with people, we figured out that our early hypothesis wasn’t correct, but testing it revealed much about where people look for different types of health. Even though most interviewees think that social group decisions impact their health decision, interviewees still preferred to focus on health decisions that were good for their bodies when alone rather than try to change how they spend time with friends.
** This insight helped us to abandon the idea of pushing social network habits in a healthier direction and set our design direction to help individuals to make healthy decisions when alone.
First Round Interview Analysis / Defining the opportunity
Most interviewees indicated that at-home cooking habits have a large impact on health & can be improved without requiring wholesale lifestyle changes. As a result, we decided to focus our topic on at home cooking.
Second Round Interview / What are people's cooking habits?
Interviews revealed that grocery shopping routines & cooking knowledge often locked-in eating habits
Almost all interviewees said that most items on their regular grocery list never changed.
Many interviewees felt strongly that time spent in the supermarket was minimized by taking the same route each trip.
Few interviewees made identical meals week-over-week; instead, they put a different spin on similar ingredients to make different dishes using what they know.
Problem: Items Rarely Change, Routes Rarely Change, Cooking Habits Are Anchored
In addition to verbal interviews, we also shadowed 5+ interviewees to observe their shopping and cooking habits. The observation will help us discover hidden pain points that most interviewees didn't even notice or mention during the verbal interviews. We frame the problem based on our findings.
Most Interviewees Followed The Shopping Cycle Below:
Similar Shopping List
Similar Shopping Path
Understand the Hidden Needs
As We Asked “Why?” and “What if?” We Began to Identify the Biggest Barriers to Change and Ways to Overcome them
Barriers To Overcome:
In a rush at the supermarket
Time to learn to cook new recipes & ingredients
Time to find and assess new recipes
Don't want the leftover recipe ingredients
Factors That Got People Excited
Use Familiar Ingredients
Stay near my routine supermarket route
Healthy, but Tasty
Identifying Our Audience
We placed our interviewees along two continuums: Health Desire and Recipe Use. Then we identified the most suitable categories and developed a persona based off of the research.
Summarizing Research Findings as User Persona
Sarah is a 23 - year-old student living by herself. She goes shopping for groceries about once a week, likes to keep up with her body shape, and plans to lose some weight by eating healthier. However, due to the busy school work, Sarah has less time to plan, purchase, prep, and cook her meal. As a result, she gives up on trying new recipes and ingredients. This causes her to lose interest in the repetitive meals, making her concerned if she intakes balanced nutrients or not.
She is always in a rush at the supermarket, so she doesn't have time to discover new ingredients
She doesn't have time to find and access new recipes
She doesn't know how to deal with leftover recipe ingredients, so she barely tries and purchase new stuff
She wants to try out new recipes and ingredients without spending extra time paring ingredients and learning new cooking methods
She wants to cook delicious and nutrient-balanced meals to help her lose weight
She wants to use familiar ingredients and stay nearby her supermarket shopping route
In order to better understand the current health management applications market and each of their strength and weakness, we experienced, analyzed, and read through user reviews of 5+ healthy diet managing apps.
Visualize users' health impact and changes over time
Provide customized recommendations
Help to manage leftover ingredients
Interesting and fun to use
User friendly interface / interaction
Keep users constantly engaged with the app for a long period of time
Does not require users to spend time manually inputting their diet data
This market analysis helped us figure out that most health/diet apps have a hard time turning new users into long-term users. The recipe book format is no longer attractive to users, pure data and calories calculator format are also not engaging enough.
**These analysis insights helped us to form the goal of our design solution and our How Might We statement.
"How might we facilitate a time-saving, easy-to-stick with, and interesting diet managing experiences for busy health seekers?"
Final Design Concept
Provides personalized, nutrient balanced diet recommendations based on users' every times' purchase
Help users to break their identital meal circle in order to reach their long term health goal
Provides quick & easy recipes recommendations
Help user better manage their grocery shopping routine
User input long term health goal
User scan receipt & record grocery list
App analyzes nutrient balance for every time purchase
App provides next time grocery shopping recommendation
User update pantry
App provides recipes/ ingredients recommendation
Low Fidelity Prototype & User Testing
User Journey Map
We Mapped Many Potential Shopping-Cooking Cycles and Rebuilt The Concept Around What Would Be Useful At Every Point in the Journey
High Fidelity Prototype
Our final design is an app that provides personalized, nutrient balanced diet recommendations based on users' every times' purchase to help users to break their identital meal circle in order to reach their long term health goal
Feature #1: Personalized Recommendation
During the onboarding process, users will be asked to fill out a quick questionnaire. The app will ask about users' health goals, tastes, food allergies, and diet restrictions. This will help the app better understand the users in order to provide customized recommendations based on their personal preferences and health goal.
Feature #2: Manage & Analyze Grocery List
The app will transfer all the purchase information into a digital shopping list. Then it will categorize the food and analyzes the nutrient content. Users can update their pantries while consuming different foods, and the spider graph under the user's profile will change accordingly. The spider graph will help users to visualize potential nutrient intake and to compare the before and after.
Feature #3: Food Tinder
Many food health apps fail to make users constantly engaged. The repetitive recipes would make users lose interest very quickly. To solve that pain point, we incorporated the swiping interaction inspired by Tinder as part of our highlight feature. Users Won't have any idea of what would be the next recipe / Ingredient, so it keeps users always curious and excited about the food. Users can swipe left to skip the recipes, swipe right to save the recipe to favorites, and hold for 3 sec to add the entire recipes to the shopping list.
Feature #4: Share Recipes & Shopping List
Recipes saved by users will display under the "My favorites" page. Users can view and even share their favorite recipes and the corresponding shopping list with friends and family. If friends and family are interested in the recipes, they can either save the recipes to their favorites or add the corresponding ingredients to their shopping list directly. When users are ready to cook, they can open up the app and choose from one of their favorite recipes and follow the instruction to prep and cook the meal.