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Nourish Now

Overview: Nourish Now is an exploration into how meal and restaurant planning could increase people’s healthy outcomes in diverse circumstances. 

 

Timeline: 16 weeks


My Role: I was the lead and sole designer responsible for the end to end project from research to prototyping and testing. I was mentored by Vanessa Joho, Lead Product Designer.

The Challenge

People experience challenges sticking to their healthy eating goals during busy work weeks, travels and holidays.

The Solution

A nutritional app that helps people accomplish their health goals through meal and restaurant planning.

Secondary Research

I started by conducting secondary research to validate my hypothesis and gain a clear picture of the problem. Below are some highlights of my findings:

National Library of Medicine

43% of males and 37% of females report being too busy to eat healthy foods 

Science Direct

122 adults went on a 1-3 week vacation, gained significant weight, and carried it for 6 weeks 

APA

U.S. adults obtain 57% of their calories from ultra-processed foods 

Competitor Research

I analyzed three nutritional apps to understand what is working well and what needs to be improved. I evaluated them based on Nielsen’s principles: match between the system and the real world, user control and freedom, and aesthetic and minimalist design.

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MyFitnessPal

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MyNetDiary

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Lifesum

Survey & User Interviews

Then I sent out a screener survey to identify people for user interviews. I collected 33 responses, where 76% were female and 24% were male. I conducted 5 user interviews, where I learned about their goals, struggles, and cooking and eating habits. I synthesized the data with an affinity map and identified key findings:

People struggle to find options that tailor to their diet when eating out

During busy weeks people didn’t have enough time to plan and cook meals

People generally didn’t have a system in place to make meals every week

Hypothesis Reframe

I reflected on everything I learned in my research and asked myself how might we help people:

Create healthy meal plans on the go?​

Choose food that aligns with their goals when eating out?

Empathy Mapping

I took these findings, and created an empathy map to gain a holistic view of user feelings, behaviors, pain points and needs.

Personas

With my empathy map in hand, I started defining the personas to understand who the users are.

User Stories & Flows

I wrote out 34 user stories for both personas and prioritized them to determine the MVP. Then I created 3 user flows that outlined the necessary actions users would take in the app.

As a busy adult...
  • I want to have a simple meal plan so I can consistently eat healthy 

  • I want to see my macro nutrients for each recipe so I can progress towards my goals

As a traveler...
  • I want to find restaurants that have healthy options so I can stay on track in my goals

  • I want to save healthy restaurants so I can easily access them later on

Sketches

I sketched out my ideas for each page of the user flows, including two versions of an onboarding flow. Below are sketches for user onboarding before entering the app.

I created a simple prototype of the sketches with Marvel to get some initial feedback. I completed Guerilla Testing with 4 participants, testing all user flows and the two different onboarding flows. The main finding was that all participants preferred the onboarding flow integrated in the app:

50% felt their personal information was more secure

explore the app on their own

less time consuming

Wireframes & Flows

I created wireframes in Figma and implemented the integrated onboarding flow. I created wireflows and annotations to show how users will navigate through the app.

User Interface

I wanted the app to feel supportive of users in their health journey. I chose green as the primary color, as it signals health and is both a calming and energizing color. I created the following stye guide to ensure consistency:

Mockups

I applied my style guide to the wireframes and created mockups. Below are 4 of the 32 pages:

Prototype

I prototyped all mockups to give a realistic feel of the app for user testing. Here are videos for 3 key user flows:

Set Goals
Create Meal Plan
Find Restaurants

Usability Testing

I conducted moderated usability testing with 4 participants and asked them to complete 6 tasks. These included signing up, customizing their account, creating a meal plan and changing a meal, and finding groceries, a restaurant, and saved restaurants.

I identified 5 items that were unclear to the user and needed to improve. Below are these findings with the before and after:  

User Problem #1

Before: participants recall to fill out goals was delayed since it was not in the Profile

After: users can fill out their goals in the Profile 

User Problem #2

Before: participants needed clarity on their nutritional targets 
 

After: there's a page where users confirm targets once personal information, activity levels and goals are filled out

User Problem #3

Before: the button to create a meal plan was not clear or obvious

After: users can create a meal plan directly on the dashboard 

User Problem #4

Before: the button to confirm or change a meal was not obvious

After: users now have a page to select an alternate meal and confirm their choice

User Problem #5

Before: there was no button to share a restaurant with others

After: users now have a share button - people want to share with friends and family!

Usability Testing #2

After iterating on my design, I got 3 new participants for this round of moderated usability testing. All participants completed the 6 tasks with ease – success! A couple new findings:

  • Include an option for users to change a meal to their own recipe and track food that is not a part of the plan

  • Customize the plan to how often users cook and eat leftovers

  • Provide additional guidance for users less familiar with nutrition and meal planning

Learnings

I learned so much! When interviewing users, asking open-ended and follow-up questions was essential to uncovering patterns and understanding the core problem. I learned how important it was to test the product – the earlier the better. Guerilla testing was so valuable before I started wireframing, and next time I’d also conduct testing after I created wireframes.

It’s also very important to be open-minded and receptive to feedback throughout the entire process. Not getting too attached to a specific idea or design was crucial in creating a user-centric product.

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