Research, Analysis, Wireframes
Two Weeks - March 2017
Nutropti is inspired by the satisfyingly technical approach to nutrition that is Complete Foods (formerly DIY Soylent) and the subsequent innovation of the DIY Soylent community which received support from the original creators of Soylent. This community arose when the need for balanced nutrition met the desire for customization and variation; an unsurprising progression given the targeted user base of progressive professionals, who although preoccupied by their busy lives, are nevertheless insatiably creative and individualistic.
People who discover and consider purchasing Soylent like the idea of complete nutrition and convenience, but many people have unique dietary needs and preferences where pre-packaged Soylent does not make the cut. When it comes to DIY or doing it yourself, how do we make DIY complete nutrition as or nearly as convenient as pre-packaged Soylent?
The challenge is to create a platform which allows users to easily create recipes to suit their unique nutrient profiles, while considering diet restrictions whether medical or ethical. The platform grows with the user, adjusting recipes over time to changes in their body, like losing weight or getting taller, and temporary changes in nutrition needs like pregnancy or recovery from an illness.
As a bonus, how do we help users incorporate complete nutrition into their lifestyle, and help them understand the real benefits to their well-being?
The website Completefoods.co is the main inspiration for this mobile app, with a functioning nutrient profile calculator, and recipe adaptation from open source recipes posted and rated by other users. The recipe editor appears too granular, and the density of numbers and in depth information can be overwhelming. Creating recipes requires a lot of manual entry and adjustment. Some information seems unnecessary and confusing.
Through my research I also came across SoyLog, a companion web platform (still under construction) created for people to track their soylent consumption in correlation to their health, with the goal to help researchers improve soylent. SoylentQuest is another related web platform created to share recipes and balanced nutrition meals, it does not seem to have very wide adoption and lacks focus.
I also researched analogous platforms like Yummly.co a recipe discovery and organizing app, and Fitocracy, a bodybuilding app with workout and diet tracking, which gave some insight into educating users at their pace and navigation for tracking and personalization. Nutrino a diet planning and tracking app incorporates eating out which prompted some ideas for integrating the Nutroptic app with a user's social lifestyle. These apps gave some insight into different on-boarding and personalization experiences as well as tracking styles and navigation.
Thinking about the user’s changes and needs over time. I opted for access to multiple nutrition profiles depending on changes in dietary needs, like cutting, bulking, or prenatal. Users can indicate on their profile if they have temporary nutritional needs, like recovering from illness or training for a marathon. The app can then suggest supplements or changes in macronutrient intake.
Users can also opt to see visual representations of the changes in their overall well being in correlation with sleep, activity and nutrition. Perhaps this feature can help users understand the impact of nutrition and other lifestyle habits on their health.
I will be posting on-boarding for creating Nutrient Profiles soon.
The recipe page allows users to organize their recipes and create recipes in a more intuitive way. Users can choose create a new recipe from scratch with autofill to "complete” and match their current nutrient profile, to alter their own existing recipes or recipes from the Completefoods community.
The app can also access the user’s virtual pantry and determine how many servings can be made from the availability of ingredients, with the option to keep track of ingredient consumption. Alerts can be set in place to notify users when supplies are running low and facilitating purchasing with direct links the wiki community may be inclined to share.
The Recipe Creator Page walks users through the process of creating a recipe and simplifies creating a 100% complete recipe that is within the maximum and minimum intakes of each nutrient for the user's specific nutrient profile. It also suggests ingredients at the user's request, will autofill remaining undesignated ingredients as well as cross reference what is available in the user's virtual pantry.
The wiki community page is for user discovery of other open source recipes and research and discussions surrounding nutrition. Users can follow other users as well as discussion threads on various topics, like flavor, supplements, and groups with common nutritional motivations like body building or prenatal care.
I am curious if virtual pantry items can be linked to purchasing platforms by other users in the community, giving the user access to sources they would otherwise have to dig around for and compare pricing and shipping.
User’s can track their feelings, activity, and sleep patterns, with the option to connect to other tracking devices and platforms. This diary or observation logging feature can help users understand the correlation of other lifestyle choices to their overall health.
*While I have gone through the process of creating my own first batch of diy soylent (will include an anecdotal entry on that experience in the future), I would also like to conduct some behavioral research; observing a user making their first batch of diy soylent, as well as some usability testing before prototyping the next round of Med-Fi Wireframes.