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Food Culture = Health Culture - Updated 7/ 31 Wireframe Mock Ups

Multicultural communities bond over food cultures, not work out routines.

Photo of Avani Arora
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Who is the target audience for your idea and how does it inspire the end user to lead a healthier life?

My idea focuses on the preservation and promotion of food cultures amongst multi-cultural communities. Target audience includes anyone who loves cooking or anyone interested in continuing (or starting!) family food traditions. Healthy lifestyle is promoted through documented and sharable food cultures, e.g. fresh ingredients, home cooked and nutritious meals. Also, eating is a human necessity and therefore has a 100% participation rate - making food a critical part of the health solution.

Context: I have been thinking about food culture for a while and recently, I heard Magnus Nilsson (chef) say something that completely aligned with my thoughts:  "After one generation there will be no one left who knows what to do with their hand. After three generations, we might have photos [of meals]…but you can’t go back to see how people did something with food like you can with art or sculpture.. Food culture is very special- [it is the] very most important cultural manifestation that we have because we [all] have to eat." - Chef's Table (documentary film)


Research Highlights: During the research phase of this challenge, there was a range of fantastic ideas that included healthy activities, food and other avenues to promote healthy lifestyles. As I contemplated on this research for the ideas phase, I wanted to know where to focus my efforts-- food? healthy activities? wearables for health? To help answer this question, I had a series of discussions with friends/ family members including those who practice medicine in areas of different socioeconomic and multicultural groups. Here is what I learned:

Many multicultural groups are generally not proactive about their health.  There are many reasons why this is the case, including:

  • Cost
  • Access to care
  • Sense of urgency, e.g. need to worry about now, not something 5 years from now
  • Cultural nuances, e.g. don't go to doctors because people will think I am flawed


Although this is not an exhaustive list or the result of extensive, statistically sound research, it does provide some insights that are useful. First, it confirms my beliefs that food is a critical avenue to promote healthy lifestyle. Food fits within the window of time called "now"and thus brings with it a consistent and reliable mindshare of individuals. Second, food harnesses the positive influence of culture and community as opposed to potentially negative influences of community, as illustrated in the example above.

My Idea:

A platform that lets users capture and grow family traditions (food, special occasions, etc.) 

Here's how it could work:

Content Creation to Link Food Culture with Healthy Meals

- Users can create a family profile, invite family members to join and contribute content in specific food related areas (ingredients, recipes / meal preparation, etc.).  

- Content can be tagged or enriched with additional data. Examples include occasion (e.g., bat mitzvah), allergens, reviews / comments,  substitute or rate ingredients, health score, etc.

- Users can also subscribe to content "channels" in the app, e.g. Indian Diwali celebration meals, Diabetic-friendly Latin foods, etc.

- Content channels could be generated in two ways: 1) Within the app, by mining the data submitted across users and 2) By leveraging media (e.g. NBC Universal, Telemundo, etc.) ability to periodically post famous chefs recommendations on healthy ingredients / substitutes or preparation options for popular foods.  

Strengthen Family Traditions through Food Culture

- Create a digital family repository of their family traditions that can be shared with new family members , examples: newlyweds

- Pass on a digital repository for future generations

- Discover new recipes and add new traditions 

- Allow users to communicate with each other through the app, not only one-to-one but also the ability to share ideas or pose questions to groups of people in a virtual community center

- Allow the creation / visualization of virtual potlucks, where the sharing of recipes can be seen as they are shared and you can receive post cards from your recipes on where they have been 

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

For a prototype, I can start experimenting on documenting recipes and healthy meal preparation tips within my own family. This way, I can understand barriers to adoption or ways to accelerate the growth to create the network effect required to build this app.

What skills, input or guidance are you keen to connect with from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea?

People with technology and app development experience, people who have experience working with network effect dependent business model and of course diverse cultural backgrounds.

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm
  • An Individual

Evaluation results

10 evaluations so far

1. Can you see this idea fitting into your daily life?

Yes, I think so - 70%

I'm not sure - 20%

No, I don't think so - 10%

2. Do you think this idea will help people lead healthier lives?

Yes, I think so - 60%

I'm not sure - 20%

No, I don't think so - 20%

View more

Team (5)

Avani's profile
Chris's profile
Chris Lee

Role added on team:

"Chris, I thought your comments on privacy and family trees are important to keep track of and would love to keep developing this further as the phases progress!"

Hima's profile
Hima Batavia

Role added on team:

"Hi! Not sure if you have seen this one: https://openideo.com/challenge/healthy-lives/ideas/back-to-your-roots Looks like we have similar interests and passions :-)"

Cecilia's profile
Cecilia Reifschneider

Role added on team:

"I'm really intrigued by the Health Score concept... thanks for sharing this! Perhaps this is something to add to as we consider upcoming phases!"

Ayano's profile
Ayano Ota

Role added on team:

"Hi Ayano, I wanted to add you to my team- I thought you and your friends gave awesome feedback and that is exactly what I need to help make this successful! Keep it coming! Avani"

Attachments (1)

42 comments

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Spam
Photo of Karen Sorensen
Team

Hi Avani,
Your idea is a really cool idea. From a techie point of view, I see this as a multicultural social network that helps connect family and friends to traditions. It would be awesome to have the 65+ age group involved. I developed my prototype with appery.io . I like using this because after initial testing, I can drop databases of content into the program. If I want to go to a quick MVP, based on feedback then I can actually publish it on iTunes and Google Play. Looking at your prototypes which are really nice, I think you could easily build a prototype on this tool. Good Luck! Karen

Spam
Photo of Avani Arora
Team

Thanks much for your suggestions! I will have to play around with appery- would be awesome to make this a viable MVP!

Spam
Photo of Mansi Parikh
Team

Hi Avani,

I think you have a fantastic idea here. I moved to the US a couple of years ago and it's amazing how many times I felt like making something and had my Mom Whatsapp me the recipe or put her on Skype while I was making it. This would be a wonderful way to document all the recipes over the different generations and transcend physical distances.

The wire frames are clear and wonderfully thought out. Sometimes I struggle with just reading a recipe and following it and much prefer to watch my Mom cook it to learn some of the nuances. I wonder if you could also have a section where you might be able to include a video of different people preparing the dish and combine it with the written recipe with close captioning. Maybe even include the timing aspects with alarms or buzzers to help make it easier to follow.

I am mentoring some of the other teams as well and will be happy to help you in any way I can.

Spam
Photo of Avani Arora
Team

Thank you Mansi. I really like your suggestions for improving the concept and making it more intuitive.

Spam
Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi Avani.
Great idea and presentation! Thanks for sharing the background and context quote. It is definitely something to think about!
Have you thought about food culture in terms of health from the point of view that different cultural groups use foods in specific ways for healing and wellness? What food/s does your family use therapeutically for ailments, or to promote aspects of health? It is an interesting way to look at culture and one's cultural history in relation to health. It is distinct from family food traditions/recipes related to celebrations. Is this an aspect of food + culture that your app might seek to capture and preserve for users?
(Not sure... just thinking.)

Good luck developing the project!

Spam
Photo of Ayano Ota
Team

Hello, Avani.
Thank you for inviting us to your team!
It’s really exciting to be part of your project!

By looking through your mock app, we came up with several points which we liked, wish to have, wasn’t quite sure about (questions), and want to suggest.
Liked:
We think keeping the app/webpage simple and easy to use is really important; since there is a possibility of any age range people using the app (from grandma to teenagers), simplicity and visual icons are the key elements for your product.
The health support function is also convenient. We actually had similar idea when we did our brainstorming on the project. Perhaps, you can also collaborate with health counselors and doctors to support people who are trying to change their dietaries.
Multi-language function is another element that we really wanted to include in your project. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any recipe book written in multi-language before!
Wish:
We especially liked a comment which was suggesting a family tree-ish layout so we wish to have that kind of image or layout in your app/webpage. We think an image of a “tree” really represents connection and tie among family members and community we can build by the platform.
Question:
We had some confusion over the idea of postcard thing. If possible, could you explain it in a bit more details?
Suggestion:
Although we liked overall idea of the mock app, we couldn’t really see a point of creating our own account in order to see/open your app/webpage. There would be some people who are just willing to see some traditional recipes but not to create a family page..

Hope these feedbacks help you in some way.
We are now working on our prototype based on your project. When we come up with final version of our prototype, I will post it here!

Spam
Photo of Avani Arora
Team

Hello again Ayano + Team,

Really appreciate the comments and feedback. Here are my thoughts to what you said:
- Health settings: yes, I agree- I have started talking to a doctor who is helping me think about this. It appears that there are several attempts to do something like this, but no universally accepted approach. Partly, because there is no consensus amongst medical professions- as they are learning about how our bodies /organs work and process nutrients every day. Because of this, I want to create something that provides directional indicators, but ultimately puts healthy decisions in the hands of the individual.

Family Tree: I agree, this is a great concept. I am not graphics designer so I struggled with making this come to life- help is much appreciated! I would ask you to look at Geni, which is a site you can use to actually track family trees. My experience with it is that it gets difficult to navigate when you add a too many people, which happens when families are adding extended members and their families.

Postcard: This was an idea submitted by Chris Lee (See July 7 comments). The idea behind this is to see how recipes have been shared, where they have been used, etc. I think this is a great way to promote more sharing and dissemination of healthy recipes and frankly, it's kinda cool to see what other people, culture and countries bond over!

Login: I did not want to create just another general recipe site and the basis behind my idea was to catalog and curate recipes built on family traditions to pass generation to generation (hence the family tree aspects). Along the way, you pick up healthy options and create new recipes. I felt a log in was needed to bookmark, favorite, or save recipe portfolios specific to you. That way, you aren't searching the whole site every time you want to find something you liked or want to use again. I agree with you though that the log in shouldn't be required to view, but to access these other features.

Look forward to your post!

Spam
Photo of Shane Zhao
Team

Great wireframe mockups Avani! We're also excited to see this collaboration in the works Ayano. Looking forward to the prototypes that are in the pipeline.

And it'd be great to indicate andy updates in your idea title by adding an extension. For example, you can add the extension " - Update 7/31: Wireframe Mocks" to you idea title. This will be a good way to keep people informed about how your idea is progressing!

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Photo of Avani Arora
Team

Thanks Shane! Also I have updated the title to reflect the new updates. Thanks for the suggestion.

Spam
Photo of Chris Lee
Team

Hi Avani. The wireframes really help give a sense of how the pieces fit together.
Seeing that flow, I second Ota-san's observation that the family tree is really important. It is, in fact, what originally caught my attention about your idea. It would be great to see that aspect brought to the center of the UI and navigation experience. I'm sure that there would be a need to be able to pivot on different aspects of the data (e.g. see all recipes like this, ingredients like this, cultures same as this, etc), but maybe those elements can move into the background. Being reminded of your food tradition, in the context of your family and groups of families would be a powerful message.
Done right, that UI would also provide a fairly different experience and could generate some buzz for being so different... built-in marketing never hurts...

Spam
Photo of Avani Arora
Team

I agree- the UI is key to this and I still love the Family Tree idea. Do you have any ideas on how best to prototype this?

Spam
Photo of Shane Zhao
Team

In addition to Chris's suggestion for the Family Tree, we'd love for you to put your mockups in front of potential users in your local community. Check out this helpful DesignKit reference: http://www.designkit.org/methods/57 Looking forward to any feedback that you might receive from the prototypes!

Spam
Photo of Ahmed Rub
Team

I had two AHA moments when I read your post, one when I read this quote "multicultural communities bond over food cultures, not work out routines." and the second " After three generations, we might have photos [of meals]…but you can’t go back to see how people did something.
I know that some of the families have secret ingredients and they take pride that their food taste different, this generate curiosity between other especially if food taste good. I wonder if your application can add feature to secret ingredients, give people chance to give feedback and maybe the cooker share it with specific people !

Spam
Photo of Avani Arora
Team

Interesting idea- do you think a secret ingredient could be the same thing as a substitute ingredient? What are the differences you see?

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Photo of Ahmed Rub
Team

I think
substitute ingredient : substituting one ingredient for another when you have the necessary ingredient on hand. for the secret recipes (ingredients) : when you make certain type of food taste better from how others make it because you used secret ingredients.
what do you think the differences are ?

Spam
Photo of Swapna Bellare Balsekar
Team

Hey avani, I liked the way you have created the app screen shots for your idea. Is there a way, I can do something similar for my idea using a free trial software or something. I am new to creating prototypes for app/websites, so any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!

Spam
Photo of Avani Arora
Team

Hi Swapna,

I used a site that lets you do some mock ups for free, but you have to register for additional features. Here's the site I used: https://moqups.com/

Good luck!

Spam
Photo of Swapna Bellare Balsekar
Team

Thanks avani !! I finally found UXpin that easy for amateurs like me.

Spam
Photo of Jim Robertson
Team

I like that the idea has both the element of preserving traditions and the element of sharing traditions. That reflects an essence of the American melting pot experience. I'm intrigued about opportunities for cross pollination among traditions. One of my most memorable Thanksgiving dinners was in a grad student dorm, where everyone brought something, potluck style, from their own culture. My first taste of samosas and flan was alongside cranberry sauce and turkey.

Spam
Photo of Avani Arora
Team

Thanks Jim...I agree- cross pollination is interesting, which is why I particularly like the postcard feature idea, where you can where and how your recipe was used!

Spam
Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

We’re so excited to see your idea continue to progress in the Refinement phase, Avani! From the beginning, we’ve loved the strong ties to tradition and technology – leveraging hispanic culture (and eventually many other cultures) through an electronic platform. Now that we’re in refinement, we’d like to see as much user feedback as possible – who can you talk to that you haven’t already who would provide valuable insights on your idea? We’d also encourage you to create a prototype. Scrappy is totally OK! Drawings or using a site to create a mock app would work. Anything that will allow you to get your idea in front of people is perfect. If you haven’t already, we also recommend connecting with a few other ideas – Healthy Village [http://ideo.pn/1JMi6ta] and End to End Healthy Substitution Campaigns [http://ideo.pn/1RT8gKp] to name a few – to take your collaboration to the next level. Keep up the great work!

Spam
Photo of Shane Zhao
Team

Lovely mockups of Food Culture = Health Culture Avani! It's great to see how this idea is growing.

Here's a useful tip: Whenever you update the content of your post, it'd be helpful to indicate this in your idea title by adding an extension. For example, you can add the extension " - Update 7/29: Prototypes" to you idea title. This will be a good way to keep people informed about how your idea is progressing!

Spam
Photo of Rajesh YADAV
Team

And it becomes easy when one already knows how to develope businesses.

Spam
Photo of Tatiana Martinez
Team

I love this idea :)

Spam
Photo of Avani Arora
Team

Thank you for your comments!

Spam
Photo of Rajesh YADAV
Team

Good idea Avani.
You may include traditional food recipes of different culture also. Thanks.

Spam
Photo of Avani Arora
Team

Of course Rajesh, this is meant to be scalable across cultures!

Spam
Photo of 七海 井島
Team

I like this concept.
I want to be healthy.

Spam
Photo of Avani Arora
Team

Thanks for your comment - I hope we can make this a reality!

Spam
Photo of Nann Myint
Team

I really appreciate your idea about preserving traditional culture through food. I also believe that this is very important issue to take action. I am Nann who is feeling sad to see almost every kind of food and drink are frozen in stores around us instead of cooking at home in our kitchens. If I could give you a suggestion as I have talked your idea to someone how doesn't like to cook but still love to make natural and healthy drinks. Base on that interview I would like you to suggest about including making tea, juice or other traditional drinks as well. it would be a pity if our next generation will never know how to make even tea, and it's a tradition that is easy to keep alive!

Spam
Photo of Avani Arora
Team

This is a great suggestion- I agree that we should look beyond just food and include beverage traditions as well! Also, I love good tea and would love to learn from others!

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Photo of Ayano Ota
Team

Hi, Avani.
Your project is really interesting and we (a couple of my friends and I) liked the idea of passing traditional family food recipe to next generations.
We actually did some brainstorming and an interview to one person based on your idea and came up with some new thoughts and suggestions which you perhaps can use and make a comment on. While keeping your initial aims of the project which are preserving and promoting food cultures amongst multicultural communities on our basis, we particularly focused on an element which is building a multicultural community platform where you can share your traditional recipe from your country, and stay healthy!

Here are some ideas we came up with as some additional functions for your app, which might be able to help you develop the project further.
First, to spread many traditional recipe, we thought it would be relevant to have a several language settings on your app. In this way, people can read recipes in their mother tongues and understand them easily.
Second, since there are a few different ways to measure ingredients, it would be helpful if users can chose in which quantity measurement (for example, in grams, ponds or milliliters) they want to use when they measure ingredients written in a recipe.
Third, to support a healthier life of users, app can also provide nutrition information together with calories on each recipes.
Fourth, to make users healthier and to adopt old recipe into new life styles, people can invent a new recipe based on an already existing/shared recipe in the platform. For instance, people can invent a new recipe by changing some high calorie ingredients to an alternative healthier ingredients, such as from using sour cream to Greek yogurt.
Last, the platform can also provide convenient supermarket information. Especially for those people who recently moved to a new place, it is hard for them to find a right shop to collect their right ingredients. Since some people really prefer having organic food and others need some specific seasoning for a particular dish, it will be helpful if the platform can also provide some information on where to get specific ingredients and also information about price ranges of supermarkets around their neighbors.

Hope you could find some interesting points from our work.
Please give us some feedbacks as you read through our suggestions!
Thank you.

Spam
Photo of Avani Arora
Team

Ayano + team,

Thanks so much for your feedback - these are excellent suggestions that I will definitely give due consideration. I am also uploading shortly a mock up of the app so I can start visualizing user interactions and information flows. I would love to have feedback on this if you have some time!

Best,
Avani

Spam
Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Avani, congrats on being featured in our Community Voices blog! Check it out here: https://openideo.com/blog/healthy-lives-challenge-community-voices-july-10-2015

Spam
Photo of André Fernandes
Team

Hi Avani, really great your idea to document cultural recipes and foods!

I think a key point would be go beyond apps. What kind of content could link different generations of immigrants? How could the contents be exposed for these different generations and people from other communities?
How could we document recipes from Mexican, Colombian, Brazilian, etc.? What makes a content interesting for them?

Spam
Photo of Avani Arora
Team

Thanks for your comments Andre. So I have proposed content channels as part of the app and I think you are quite right in that some research needs to be done to understand areas of interest to different types of users.

My assumption also is that people want to capture their own family traditions (hopefully including Mexican, Colombian, Brazilian!).

Spam
Photo of André Fernandes
Team

Hi Avani, I'm Community Prototyper for this challenge! If you need any help, let me know!

Capture family traditions is a really interesting point, especially when we consider immigrants.

Spam
Photo of Avani Arora
Team

Will do and thanks Andre!

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Photo of Chris Lee
Team

I like the idea of linking food to people and families. Thinking really long term, wouldn't it be cool to see recipes from 4, 5 or 10 generations ago?
That would make for a natural tie with genealogy websites so that you could associate recipes with different people in your family tree and see how eating and cooking habits changed over the generations.

Spam
Photo of Avani Arora
Team

Thanks for your thoughts. Actually, I initially thought about using the structure similar to Geni, which is based on family trees, which I think this great! I would just want to make sure though that we build it such that we are still encouraging sharing across families as well.

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Photo of Chris Lee
Team

That's a really good point about being able to share.
I'm sure there's a way to build the tables so that recipes are keyed to people but could be viewed separately from the family tree details so that you could maintain privacy.
But... that's probably beyond the scope of this phase of discussion. :)

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Photo of Avani Arora
Team

Thanks for your comments! I agree, privacy should be part of the consideration as we further build out this idea.