Dieters: A UX Case study

There are generally 6 types of dieters that you will encounter:

1. The fad dieter:

This person that has tried it all. At one point or another in their diet epoch, they fit in under every category. From being a vegan, a vegetarian and a Paleolithic dieter, they have been there and done that.

2. The calorie counter:

This type of dieter has perhaps already memorized their BMI details and can recite and calculate all her vital statistics by heart.

3. The virtual dieter:

Remember, photos can be deceiving. This individual makes you doubt whether or not they’re even dieting. This type of person announces all their eating habits on social media.

4. The sucker for supplements:

They’ve essentially tested a good number of diet pills, soft chews, and dietary shakes like Slimfast. Appetite suppressant candies also become their best friend when they want to avoid overeating.

5. The contraption consumer:

People who have already adopted healthy eating habits, turn to equipment to further enhance their weight loss progress. Gear such as sauna suits, vibrating machines and body wraps prove to be effective to some users.

6. The hungry, angry (hangry) dieter:

We all know them as that one person who gets extremely offended when their weight is mentioned. I mean, we all get a little hurt when our physiques are pointed out, especially when it comes to our “flaws”. But if the insecurities get any more serious, consulting a doctor might be a good idea, for signs of depression, anorexia or bulimia.

For this exercise we will focus on number 2, the calorie counter.

My Design Process

I decided to follow the Lean UX Design thinking process to make sure that my design decisions are supported by user research and a solid understanding of usability principles.

  1. Empathize: This is where I put myself in the user’s shoes, to help understand their problems, using tools such as personas and job stories.
  2. Define: This is where the needs are identified and prioritized.
  3. Ideate: This is where I come up with solutions using tools such as task flows and lo-fi sketches
  4. Prototype: This is when the solution is created using hi-fi mock-ups and/or clickable prototypes
  5. Validate: This is when the solution is tested on various users to see if it works, further improvements are done on the solution in order to get it to its optimum level of usability

*Steps 4 and 5 are continuous steps in the design process


I will begin by creating a persona based on online research since I do not have access to actual consumers and also based on my experiences with dieters as I myself was once a fitness freak.This persona is created with assumptions and not fully research-based but it is something that I will come back to throughout my project to guide my design decisions and priorities

Job Stories

I used the Jobs To Be Done framework to explore different contexts in which a user would need to lose weight and to understand their motivation and desired outcome.

Defining the Problem

I decided to tackle the main pain points that our technology could possibly impact.. I have defined the pain points below.

Pain point 1: He struggles to stick to a healthy diet

Homer really wants to stick to healthy diet but he often finds himself cheating on his diet due to various reasons such as:

  • Lack of knowledge
  • Limited choice of meals at cafeteria
  • Lack of family support

Pain point 2: He can’t find a diet that adjust to his lifestyle

Homer leads a dynamic life and often has to adjust his eating accordingly be it having a drink at Moe’s or being with his family:

  • Flexibility of his hosts
  • Social inclusion, he feels excluded if he eats something different
  • Not knowing what to eat at various stages of his health journey

Ideating the Solutions

Then it was time to start sketching. I came up with potential solutions to each of the pain points and made some rough sketches.

Fitness Trackers: This based on a conventional fitness tracker with the addition of a real-time calorie counter to help users make informed decisions about what they eat.

Smart Vending Machine: This machine is paid for on a subscription based model. In order for users to use it, they simply hover their hand under a light within the machine, it then checks their blood sugar level and dispenses the appropriate meal.

Smart Vending Machine: This devices scans the users’ blood sugar level everytime they switch it on or off. The data is then ananlysed as the users sleeps and informamtion is sent to their cellphone when they wake up in the morning.

Prototyping and Validation

Due to obvious reasons I can not create an actual prototype of my solution and I won’t be able to test it too. However, I did perform an analysis of how my design solution will solve the user’s pain points.

Pain point 1: He can’t find a diet that adjust to his lifestyle

Design Solution: The device will scan the user on a daily basis and adjust the user’s diet accordingly and with the help of the companion app the user can specify any personal preferences they may have and their diet plan will be updated accordingly.

Pain point 2: He struggles to stick to a healthy diet

Design Solution: The companion app will act like a perosnal trainer continually encouraging and motivating the user by highlightign their progress and triumphs. The application will also answer any questions the user may have with regards to the provided diet.

Next Steps

This is the validate part of my design process, this is when I test the solution on various users to see if it works, further improvements are done on the solution in order to get it to its optimum level of usability.

I can not complete this part of the process but looking at my past experience with testing products and platforms, the solution will undergo alot of changes based on user feedback.

This is my favourite part of the process because I always find it interesting to see how users interact with a solution and how much they deviate in their actions based on age, demographics and tech saviness.

Now if only I can find a rich investor… I think this is a really cool idea.