“A new way to change your lifestyle”

Designing an app to help you become a healthier person

Being or staying healthy this days can be a real challenge. Many of us have very busy agendas and rarely have the time or idea to cook a healthy dish. Becoming a healthier person can be huge trouble when you don’t know what to eat, which products are good to you or even how to exercise properly.

-The investigation

As I was doing my research, trying to find out what people do to change their “bad” habits on eating or exercising. And how they manage to stay or become healthier, I found out that what was most frustrating to them was not the effort, It was all the time that cooking, looking for recipes or going to the gym took them.

For this investigation I talk to a large group of different people, they all had different backgrounds and ages. From collage students on their senior year to full time working moms. For the oldest people in the group the most time consuming activity they had to overcome everyday was dealing with all the planning for the meals. They had to spend a lot of time looking for new recipes everyday. While for the youngest, they all pointed out the same thing, trying to find out what is healthy and what isn’t is a huge waste of time.

A real problem that was common for everyone in the group was that almost no one had real time to go to a gym class or even go outside to workout.

Storyboard for prototyping (based on user needs)

-The opportunity

As a result from my research and everything that I talked with the participants I could see that what they most wanted was an easy and fast way to when they were looking for a recipe. And something simple and interactive when they were trying to work out by themselves. All in all their main goal was not to loose much time when they were doing this activities and of course improving their health.

First prototype attempt

-The Process

Stages of the menu prototype / From paper to the final screen

Going from paper and drawings to the reality can teach you a lot. I took my first paper prototype and show it to some participants of the previous group. Though the liked the way it look and how simple it was they point me out thing that were missing or that they didn’t understand. One of major usability problem at that instance was the back button. As simple as it sounds and logical, I forgot to put it. This kind of errors helped me realize that not everything we think as simple or obvious works for everybody. This kind of feedback the participants gave me, help me learn how to put myself on their place. Stop thinking only as a designer and star really thinking on what the user needs.

I tried to add to the final prototype of this app as many features or modifications as I could to help people reach their goal of becoming healthier. But without loosing focus on the simplicity and functionality of the app.

Many things changed during the process of designing this app. As I took it to the next level and create the interactive prototype, I saw different opportunities coming from new tests and feedback. One big change at this point ( having an online interactive prototype) was seeing how everything works. Things don’t work the same on paper as they do in the final product. For example, when I designed all the filters to help people find their recipes in a fast way, I never took into account how important they really were for them. Once I putted them into practice, users show me how instead of helping them the design was actually frustrating them. I took this chance and changed all the filters and made it more functional for them.

One great aspect of this app that many people liked was the overall functionality, how simple it was for them to find things they were looking for. Everything they look for it’s just less than three clicks away. It is really intuitive, even if it’s your first time using it you will really get along with it.

-The Finale

I feel really good with the final solution for the app, however as it’s a prototype there’s probably many things to adapt. I think I managed to put together everyone’s needs and goals, and took into account their opinions for this final prototype.

How it works:

Be Healthy offers people help to become healthier. When they open the app they can sign in and start a easy and fun journey. They are presented with a first menu that offers them options for exercising, finding recipes, create healthy plans of exercise+recipes, design weekly menu plans, and one of my favorites aspects, the community. Here they can share everything they want on social media about the changes they are making.

On the exercise section of the app they can choose from a lot of different training programs. Everyone of this programs are presented as videos in a more interactive way. There is also a step by step feature with every video that explains users how to do the exercises in case they don’t know.

In every step of the app there’s always help offered.

Here it’s a quick demo of the app

Be Healthy is an app developed to help people change their lifestyles. Whether by finding the right recipe to have a healthy dinner or helping you with the right workout routine.

Finally , you can check the app prototype in this link. Hope you enjoy it.

Some final screens

This work was part of the Capstone project of the Interaction Design Specialization -UCSD/Coursera