Project: Creating "Magic"
The challenge for our team was to create a new prototype of a food diary mobile application interface and test it.
Find out what people say
There maybe nothing new under the sun but there's plenty of people complaining about what exists today. I usually start a project like this by researching user reviews, comments and complaints about similar existing products. These can be found on websites, social media, Amazon and iTunes and industry trade publications. For this project I looked at the user comments in the reviews section on iTunes of "My Fitness Pal," and other food diary apps.
Find out what people do
Then I conducted interviews with actual food diary app users to discover patterns in the pain points. Combining field research with literature review we came up with a gap in services that we felt our prototype should fill:
- Users had a 35% error rate when manually logging their food.
- Users felt manually logging food and caloric data was to cumbersome.
- Users preferred selecting from automatic menus rather than manually inputting food data.
Step Two: Prototyping
Taking what we learned from the lit review and user interviews we decided on a few must-have user requirements for our food diary product.
- We had to eliminate as much as possible the need for manual data input.
- We had to make it easy for users to correct inaccurate logging information.
- We had to make it easy for users to keep a food diary without spending a lot of time on it.
We decided upon "Magic," a mobile app attached to a wearable device that allows users to get the caloric and nutritional break down of everything they ate by just snapping a photo. We created a low-fi prototype of "Magic" the food diary application with a mobile interface in Baslamiq.
To be honest our prototype was a mess! LOL. I mean it was so confusing. But I really didn't know that until I put it in the hands of the user. We made a lot of assumptions based on our usability research. But nothing compared to having actual users use our interface prototype. It was a revelation. Here's a video of a testing session: