OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign up, Login or Learn more

"Eat Smart" Mobile App. Outsmart your cravings with no compromise on taste or health.

A mobile app that outsmarts food cravings by recommending personalized & customized delicious-healthy foods from different sources.

Photo of Swapna Bellare

Written by

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

Mostly, targeted to Hispanic population, but anyone with a smartphone who wants to satisfy cravings by eating healthy and delicious snacks based on their choices. Since, the app does not compromise on taste for health and vice-versa, users are more likely to follow recommendations on the app and learn healthy eating habits, overtime.

BACKGROUND & RESEARCH

We all have cravings, don't we? and often on, we choose junk food to satisfy those bad cravings. In no time this behavior becomes habitual and we binge eat for instant gratification. 

Scientific health research indicates that food cravings are triggered  by physiological (source) and psychological (source) reasons.

a.  According to the medical research, unhealthy food cravings are caused due to slight deficiency in vital nutrients. For example, someone craving for a sweet candy is actually lacking chromium levels in their body; thus foods high in chromium such as broccoli, grapes, and cheese, can satiate the craving for candy (source).

b. Food cravings are psychologically determined  as well; and seen as a response to emotional stress or triggered by one (source).

Thus, by informing people about healthy and delicious foods to satisfy their cravings, will encourage them to eat better and manage their cravings, smartly.

SOLUTION: MOBILE APP "EAT SMART"

USP for Marketing purposes: "Outsmart your cravings with no compromise on taste or health!"

MVP: "Eat Smart" assists users to overcome their food cravings by suggesting customized-personalized recommendations on healthy-delish snacks sourced from different databases.

  • Recipe videos from Celebrity videos on Telemundo's You Tube channel.
  • Suggestions from user’s Social Media friends.
  • Recommendations from Health Sponsors.
  • Old fashion recipe videos from Latino Grannies (Telemundo YouTube).
  • Recipe videos from Hispanic Chefs. (Chef's personal blogs & websites)
  • Suggestions from Local users.
  • Tried and tested foods that satisfy cravings from Health Blogs/Experts.


I want users to maintain healthy lifestyles long term, and not give-up easily, hence, the app provides reinforcement through information, convenience, engagement and motivation such as:

a) Provide instant call to actions during time of need, when users are craving and need suggestions quickly. It eliminates user's  boredom of going through loads of information online. 

b) Provide convenient shopping options by recommending hyper- local health stores to buy health food. 

c) Instill community feeling, by allowing users to engage on online groups/social media and share food ideas, diets. 

d) Engage and motivate users, by allowing them to interact and seek guidance from like-others, receive badges, compete, receive coupons for health stores and a chance to be featured on YouTube for their effort of eating healthy. 

e) Trends, quantifies user data by trending and syncing their eating habits and activities. 

Below is a full suite of app features, actions & supported technologies:

1) Type & Talk feature: besides the default typing feature, users can use voice commands to input their craving.

Action: users can click on app icons to either type or speak the food they are craving for. Bob clicks on the microphone button and says that he is craving for chocolate doughnut today. 

2) Personalization feature: users can sign-in using Facebook, Google+ or email; and are given an option to provide their health history. This helps to provide recommendations based on user's lifestyle, health issues and special conditions.

In addition, based on user's activity on the app (i.e time when the app was accessed), the user receives real time alerts on when he/she is are more likely to have food craving and receives recommendations in advance. With frequent use, the app shows a log/trend chart of user's attempts to satisfy his/her cravings.

Action: User creates a health profile by signing in through Facebook. He is prompted to share his health history, so the app can send personalized food items and JIT reminders based on his online activity. He is allergic to sesame, hence, never gets recommendations for items made with sesame or sesame oil. The app alerts at 3:00 pm (when he craves the most) and tracks his attempts and shows a log of his craving and rewards accordingly.

3) Customization feature: There is an option to customize the app to provide  recommendations on:

    a. Diet: Paleo, Atkins, South Beach, Weight Watchers.

    b. Food Options: Vegan, Veg, Organic, Locally Grown, Gluten Free, Ethically & Responsibly Managed: Grass fed, Open range, Air chilled, Hormone free, Non GMO, Savory, Sweet.

    b. Nutrition: Carbohydrate, Protein; Fat and Fiber with high, moderate and no options under each category.

    c. Mood/states: foods that boast energy, relieve stress; aids digestion; induces sleep etc.

    Action: user selects options under each category. Bob wants the app to recommend a vegetarian, savory snack that aids in digestion and selects the options accordingly.

4) Crowd-Sharing and Collaborative Database feature: the app's recommends food options from different databases:

  1. Celebrity Database: Telemuendo's YouTube channel showing celebrities creating healthy snacks under 5 minutes in a quick 2 minutes video.
  2. Social Media Database:  recommendations from friends from FB & G+. 
  3. Health Food Sponsor Database: currently in partnership with Nutiva & Fage.
  4. Ethnic Database: Collaboration with top Hispanic Chefs and grandmas in USA & South America(www.quericavida.com); (latinkitchen.com); and YouTube videos of Latina grannies cooking traditional recipes (Example).
  5. Local User Database: shared data from local users.
  6. Health Blogs: food recommendations from health research articles/blogs.


Action: based on personal settings, the App recommends, Bob can try these healthy-delish options:

  1. Root veggies (Beyonce Knowles).
  2. Protein bar (Bob's friend Sam on Facebook)
  3. Mediterranean yogurt & Buttery Spread w/ Crackers (Fage & Nutiva) 
  4. Avocado mole fritters (Texas Chef Rick Lopez)
  5. Pesto nuts (Local users) 
  6. Hummus with baked Pita & Broccoli w/Cheese (Nutritionist Blogger)


Action: Bob likes the hummus & pita recommendation.

5) Supporting Research; User Sharing with Geo-Tagging feature: the benefits of recommended food options is backed with data on nutritional value; nutritional deficiency that cause those cravings.

Action: Bob sees a nutritional level of each food item, and understands the science behind the craving. He reads a testimonial from his office colleague (also an active user of the app), about eating red-pepper hummus from local health store that has helped him to control his binge eating.

6) Local partnership feature: The app partners with a local health/ grocery stores that prompts users to shop online or offline from a closest store location.

Action: Bob is asked if he is interested to buy Mediterranean hummus from local Trader Joe’s. He can either choose to buy online and have it picked-up or delivered with extra charge.

7) Social Media connectivity feature: the app has micro-interactions that allow him to like the recommendation and share his scenario via Facebook/G+/Twitter/Blogger. Thus, this app, not only inculcates healthy habits in users; but also influences others to follow, when shared via social network or online communities.

8) Awards and Recognition feature: the app provides virtual badges to users based on their activity (Inspiration Source). Since, Bob has used the app for first time, he receives a “Rookie” badge. Having his badge displayed on his profile helps in interacting with others and asking right questions to the community. In addition, after 7 badges, user receives store coupons and can indulge into something they like.  

9) Digital media partnership/Competition feature: With partnership with NBCUniversal- Telemuendo and health organizations on curb obesity campaigns in Hispanic community, users have an opportunity to be featured on Telemuendo's Youtube channel to share their struggles on binge eating/cravings; promote their favorite fit foods and their favorite recommendations. Similar to Subway's Jared campaign (source).

10) Partnering with Web Md and LIVESTRONG to promote app on their website. especially, when users are looking for healthy options to eat or researching about weight loss. 

STRATEGIC PLAN

The app will be launched in 2 phases:

Phase 1 (Current, 2015): Focus on physiological aspect of the craving  by recommending healthy and delicious food options to satisfy the cravings.

Phase 2 (Future, 2016): Focus on psychological aspect of craving by recommending work-outs and mind engaging activities to curb cravings or delay gratification.. Potential features in phase 2 will be:

1. Integrate Smart Activities with Health Technology: adding engaging activities to curb cravings, for those who want instant gratification or prefer to sweat it out instead of eating smart. User's workout history will be synced with Fitbit.

2. Richer Database: includes different sources such as:

  • Youtube Workouts from Vloggers showing 4 to 5 mins workouts to minimize cravings. i.e fitness blender, Tabata interval training.
  • Cognitive/mental activities prompting users to use Lumosity app.
  • Connecting with a support group, users will receive guidance and motivation by sharing healthy issues and cravings.


3. Customized Monthly Delivery: based on user's progress & cravings, Eat Smart will partner with Graze or Hello Fresh to deliver customized snack boxes each month. (Inspirations: Graze; HelloFresh).

USER SCREENS:

Image title
USER SCENARIO
:

On a regular work day, at 3:00 pm, Bob craves for a densely rich chocolate filled doughnut; and grabs one from the free dessert bar at his office. He wants to overcome his bad habit; but does not know how to. After discussing his problem with the office wellness team, he is recommended to use the app that gives him options on healthy snacks to satisfy cravings. He enters chocolate filled doughnut as his craving in the app. Bob is  prompted to personalize the recommendation and is suggested to to eat dark chocolate-almond bread, instead.

In addition, he is recommended to buy the snack from a local organic grocery store located within 0.1 miles away from the office. The app also gives him an option to buy online for pick-up or delivery for an extra charge.

By having this information, he decides to take a walk down to the store and buy the item. He makes sure, he buys extra to stash his desk drawer, so next time when he has a craving, he simply reaches out to his drawer and not to the cafeteria where doughnuts are stacked!

He is so stoked about this experience and information that he shares it online with his friends who are struggling with the same issue, and influences them to try it out as well!

COLLABORATION

Thank you Ideators for suggesting great ideas.

App features enhanced and/or modified based on feedback from:

  • Yehuda T
  • Annie Zhu
  • Taeyoung Kim
  • Allen A
  • Chris Lee
  • Bettina Fligel
  • James Mayr
  • Nuno Franca
  • Chung
  • Shane Zhao
  • Hannah Mackaness
  • Brigitte 
  • Justin Bean
  • Ahmed Rub
  • Nathan Entrekin
  • Anisah Parks


Animated User Flow (see attached) by:

  • Samrat Sankhya

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

Hypothesis testing: Users were more satisfied when given choc dipped nuts (tasty, healthy, chromium) versus choc & carrot sticks (not so tasty, healthy, lacks chromium). Older version of prototype was tested to make structural improvements (reduce # of screens, transparent menu, consolidate categories in drop down, add pop-ups).

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

An app designer/developer/coder/engineer -- anyone with technical skills to make this app a reality.

This idea emerged from

  • An Individual

Does your idea currently have an Indiegogo campaign drafted?

  • No

Evaluation results

25 evaluations so far

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

Yes, I think so - 60%

I'm not sure - 32%

No, I don't think so - 8%

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

Yes, I think so - 68%

I'm not sure - 24%

No, I don't think so - 8%

View more

Team (12)

André's profile
Giannicola's profile
Giannicola Baiardi

Role added on team:

"since, I was inspired by your app, I am hoping to work as a team"

Carlo's profile
Carlo Stragapede

Role added on team:

"Carlo, I read your about your Mediterranean app and am hoping to get your perspectives about my idea, since my app is built on similar concept."

Nuno's profile
Nuno Franca

Role added on team:

"Nuno, I like your app on the interactive app you created; am hoping you can give feedback on how to gamify my app idea. looking forward for colloboration"

Swapna's profile
yehuda's profile
Chris's profile
Allen's profile
Annie's profile
Chung Yin Emily's profile
Justin's profile
samrat's profile

Attachments (1)

EatSmart_Dynamic User Flow.gif

User flow with limited recommendations. See old prototype for all features.

193 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of GreffeCheveuxTunisie
Team

Great blog, Thank you for this sharing.
Greffe Cheveux : https://www.greffecheveuxtunisie.com/tarifs/tarifs-greffe-cheveux/

Photo of Sandrina Pinto
Team

Hi Swapna et al. This is a very interesting idea.

Photo of Stephanie Valdivia
Team

The idea of having an app like this is amazing and I believe it is much needed in our day to day lives where at one point we are all craving the 'bad' unhealthy foods. Great job Swapna on a very detailed article, I really think this app could make headlines across the world and will make an impact to those countries where obesity is an issue.

Can't wait to purchase the app in the near future :)

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Thanks Stephanie.

Photo of Paroma Bhattacharya
Team

Amazing job Swapna! The app looks great and I would absolutely use it. I think the really powerful thing could be to drive the user to action at the end (a lot of apps don't always lead to action on the ground). Hence, your idea of local partnerships with healthy stores and maybe even the possibility of ordering through the app will ensure that the user can make that split second decision of ordering healthy food - because its that easy! And this way it will be easy to track your actual tangible impact too - number of people who ordered healthy food, number of people who order healthy food on a regular basis, etc. All the best and I hope this app goes viral!:)

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Thanks!

Photo of Anna Kasper
Team

What a great idea Swapna! Having a app to turn to for support when food cravings hit can be a great way for people to get that extra boost of encouragement they need to reach their nutritional goals. I like the idea of offering a substitue for the food item they are craving and then offering a local place that offers it. It seems that the key element in this app is that it retrains the user's thought process: they have to identify the craving, take a minute to understand if the craving is a need or want, think of other options and then make a conscious decision of action. This not only helps with the onetime craving but reinforces long term behaviour change - Brilliant! I also was impressed by 'phase 2' of your Strategic Plan. By taking it one step further then the craving, users begin to understand how their actions and choices can effect the occurence of a craving and how to eliminate them all together. I could also suggest in 'phase 2' of the launch, to focus on how choices early in the day can effect this craving. For example: Does Bob skip breakfast or workout in the morning? How do these choices effect what happens to him and his cravings later in the day. This would further reinforce personal understanding and long term behaviour change associated to nutritional goals. Overall, I love the idea Swapna and think that this could be a great motivational tool for those of us who battle with those pesky cravings:)

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Thanks!

Photo of Sam Schneidman
Team

I think this is a fantastic idea, and one that I can see having a real impact! One small way I can see you enhancing the app is to add a feature that incorporates recommendations from restaurants based on location. It's great that I could logon and explain that I want a jelly doughnut and receive a healthy alternative; but it would also be good if I could explain that I want a hamburger and receive a recommendation for an alternative at a nearby restaurant. I think this feature would be well received by all your target demos, and would be particularly well-suited to the Phase II launch. I also think that Anne Kasper has a great insight about how choices could affect recommendations. Overall, though, I'm incredibly inspired by your ideas. I don't have the technical skills to help you make it a reality, but I would love to help you launch it in San Francisco when it's built!

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Thanks for your feedback!

Photo of Mick
Team

This is a great idea :)

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

thanks!

Photo of friv3xyz
Team

I like this article to your
http://www.friv3.xyz/

Photo of Amya Jacobs
Team

I am so impressed by how comprehensive your research seems to be. You did a really nice job Swapna!

While I was reading through your creative brief, I too thought of additional features that could be added to the app in one of it's phases to make it more inclusive to people of a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds. Often, location can be a potential barrier to living a healthy lifestyle and eating healthy food. Some neighborhoods lack options when it comes to grocery and health food stores, which can make it especially difficult for people who don't have easy access to public transportation. Others may lack large chain grocery stores, and instead have smaller marts that may not show up on the apps radar. Could the location tracking feature be expanded to include small local stores, neighborhood bodegas, and farmer's markets? Maybe allowing users to add and rate stores based on the quality and variety of healthy food available would ensure that the map is always up-to-date.

Also, the perception that healthy foods are more expensive and cost-prohibitive is another barrier that may influence a person's eating habits. I love that you included the option to enter a budget within the app. I think creating a cost comparison feature could take it to the next level (why not compare that $2 donut with it's equivalent in fruits and veggies?).

Maybe it would even be helpful to add a barcode scanning feature for app users to take advantage of while they are shopping in the grocery store! I am noticing that this has become a pretty common feature of most calorie-counting apps. It could make it easier to compare unhealthy snacks with healthier options on the spot. Just some food for thought :)

Photo of Devon Schechinger
Team

First of all, Swapna, well done! This app is impressive and looks user friendly! I am wondering though, how we can connect with individuals who do not own smartphones. Considering the challenge was to reach people of all socioeconomic backgrounds, the app would exclude anyone who could not afford a smartphone. Wouldn't it be great if, in addition to the app, there were text message alerts that could be sent to individuals that own regular phones. Participants could sign up by texting YES to a certain number and begin to receive text message alerts. Here are some examples:
1. Reminders: A text message that is as simple as "Have you had an 8 OZ glass of water this morning?"
2. Fun Facts: A text message containing nutrition information " Replace white rice for brown rice and receive healthy nutrients and fiber"
3. Community Events: A text message to notify participants of local community events related to health and exercise "The 19th Avenue Farmers Market is open today from 10AM-3PM, food stamps can be used to purchase fruits + vegetables at the following stands......"

I look forward to hearing more about this app and the amazing progress and change you are creating in our global community :)

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Thanks Devon!
That was always a challenge for me when I was conceptualizing this idea. But seeing that mobile phone penetration is high, I thought it might work.
I like your idea on how we can use it via regular text messages. or even desktop chats for anyone who owns a home PC (esp. if kids want to check from school or library).

I love to collaborate and I think it brings the best in me. OpenIDEO has a lot of to offer!

Photo of samrat sankhya
Team

Please find User interactive prototype (Click on ) https://invis.io/UD3WVOFZ6

Photo of Allen A
Team

Is there a way to eliminate some steps? For example, I crave pizza, and it returns a list of substitutes... Let's say I am allergic to walnuts (one of the options), there would be a link/action alerting me to mark/tag it as something I'm allergic to. They can always go into settings, to personalize the app, but in the beginning it would be better if there weren't so many steps to get a substitute. The idea is to personalize the app over time instead of doing it in the beginning ... Makes onboard ing easier imho. What do you think?

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

I think it can be done. I have seen on pandora to like/dislike a song so the app knows to play or not play the songs based on rating.
I think I can add it as a swipe / double tap to red flag it. Either as a red flag icon or not allowed icon or allergy alert icons.
About on-boarding I went back and forth on the sign-in feature. I wanted sign-in after user uses the app more than 3 times . But then I realized I can keep it optional until reached on the personalized page.
People may differ on this idea.. but the way I see it is -- People give up using anything where there is compulsory sign in esp. When they are looking for quick solutions. We can always test this assumption, later.
Any thoughts?

Photo of Allen A
Team

I agree, that sign in/ registration is a big barrier. The only time that it is required is if they want to securely save their personalized settings (in the cloud). Otherwise the phone can remember (locally), but if the app gets reinstalled, the user will have to reset their personalization. Also they should sign in if they want to utilize any crowd/social feature.

Maybe we show a warning (w/ icon) substitutes that are (commonly) allergies like peanuts, etc. If they click on the warning, and indicate they aren't allergic to peanuts, then we save the preference.

We should strive for easy/quick to use, where the app personalizes over time/use.

Photo of Allen A
Team

How about this? Every substitute well be tagged, as allergy, Atkins, vegetarian, gluten free, whatever. In the beginning, we assume the user has everything...So the icons are in warning mode (made they're emergency red color). But as the user personalizes, they aren't in warning mode, but informative mode. We still display icons/tags next to the substitute .... Just in case a friend uses the app (while personalized to other user) can see the icons... If they sign in, they get all their personalization, otherwise it's customized to the current user of phone. Just like the way search filters work when you are at a e-commerce site: clothing, men's, xlarge, etc... You can always see how it's filtering the data for you. Now this isn't a database issue, it's a search issue -new technical requirement.

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

How about there is one icon to see nutritional chart and warning both on same mouse over option. Currently we have only nutrition details.

Photo of Allen A
Team

How about "filters": vegetarian, gluten free, nut free, etc?

You can put the filters just above the results, so the user can filter the results easily by their preferences.

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

I think I found a way to simplify the app more--
User gets 1 reco from our partner without sign in or personalizing. They have an option to get more recos by signing in and personalizing if they want to.
This way I am shortening the user journey by 4 screens. Also along with food reco the app provides 1 activity ( for those who want instant gratification).
We can then use detailed personalization by using filters and icons.
Messages such as "want to see more suggestions sign -in and personalize"

Photo of Rachel Miller
Team

Is there another link or an example that can viewed? I tried clicking and I got an error message: "This share link cannot be viewed because this project is over quota."

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

I am sorry, looks like my subscription ended. However, you can check the gif images in the description.
I am also refining the prototype and will update soon.

Photo of Kevin Anthony Archuleta
Team

Reasons Why I Can Say Love Spells And other Kinds Of Spell Works
Reading about spell is not new to anyone who uses the internet frequently.More accurately, most of us depend greatly on the internet for information's and ways to fix things.It can be relationship related, or finance related or any kind of problem you can think of.So in all words we try everything we read to fix it which might just include spell casting.I know this sounds crazy but believe me spell casting is just as real as any other thing you can think of. It just turned out that the internet is flooded with a lot of fake making it is very difficult to separate the "shaft from the wheat" fake from real so here are reason that i think will convince positively about spell casting.
Even before any of us reading this article was brought into exist those before us and before them and before those before them relied on spell for healing, protection, blessing and all other thing and guess what? they never complained about the failure maybe because there where no fakes then or those who asked the spell casters help completed the process rather than not seeing it through to the end.
A lot of supernatural thing happens around us.We are either too blind to see it or we just let science explain it for us.We think anything that science can't explain is left to be thought as nothing.
There are a lot of those all over the internet.Yes, we can say not all are true but yet again, we can't say that they are all not true because we can never be sure unless we go through the complete process that is required from us.
A lot of you reading this might say am sick or crazy or what ever you may please just describe how discontent you are with this article but am glad even one has his or her right to their personal opinion which this is.It can only be understood by those who see reasons with me.I was in a messed up situation and the only help i could get was from a spell caster and if i have to, will seek their help all over again because even if we refuse to believe,this world is bigger that what our eyes can see and what our senses can feel.
Even if this sounds religious, it will interest you to know that it is not religious because contrarily to what we all know, Magic or sorcery or spell making has nothing to do with religion its more like the understanding of deep nature that goes beyond what we see and what we feel.If it is right to believe that the earth rotates because some man made telescope tell us so,why is it wrong to believe magic sorcery or spells let us gain access to deep mother nature when nature expose itself everyday.
This is not meant for everyone to read but if you do,and you want a spell caster find one carefully and if i would,i advice you contact priest jaja with this email that he uses in helping alot of people, it happens i was helped by him and he has been my spiritual father and will also be my spiritual father his email is jaja12demonspell@gmail.com and his phone number is +2347051731432 i wish you best of lucks.

Photo of Kevin Anthony Archuleta
Team

Reasons Why I Can Say Love Spells And other Kinds Of Spell Works
Reading about spell is not new to anyone who uses the internet frequently.More accurately, most of us depend greatly on the internet for information's and ways to fix things.It can be relationship related, or finance related or any kind of problem you can think of.So in all words we try everything we read to fix it which might just include spell casting.I know this sounds crazy but believe me spell casting is just as real as any other thing you can think of. It just turned out that the internet is flooded with a lot of fake making it is very difficult to separate the "shaft from the wheat" fake from real so here are reason that i think will convince positively about spell casting.
Even before any of us reading this article was brought into exist those before us and before them and before those before them relied on spell for healing, protection, blessing and all other thing and guess what? they never complained about the failure maybe because there where no fakes then or those who asked the spell casters help completed the process rather than not seeing it through to the end.
A lot of supernatural thing happens around us.We are either too blind to see it or we just let science explain it for us.We think anything that science can't explain is left to be thought as nothing.
There are a lot of those all over the internet.Yes, we can say not all are true but yet again, we can't say that they are all not true because we can never be sure unless we go through the complete process that is required from us.
A lot of you reading this might say am sick or crazy or what ever you may please just describe how discontent you are with this article but am glad even one has his or her right to their personal opinion which this is.It can only be understood by those who see reasons with me.I was in a messed up situation and the only help i could get was from a spell caster and if i have to, will seek their help all over again because even if we refuse to believe,this world is bigger that what our eyes can see and what our senses can feel.
Even if this sounds religious, it will interest you to know that it is not religious because contrarily to what we all know, Magic or sorcery or spell making has nothing to do with religion its more like the understanding of deep nature that goes beyond what we see and what we feel.If it is right to believe that the earth rotates because some man made telescope tell us so,why is it wrong to believe magic sorcery or spells let us gain access to deep mother nature when nature expose itself everyday.
This is not meant for everyone to read but if you do,and you want a spell caster find one carefully and if i would,i advice you contact priest jaja with this email that he uses in helping alot of people, it happens i was helped by him and he has been my spiritual father and will also be my spiritual father his email is jaja12demonspell@gmail.com and his phone number is +2347051731432 i wish you best of lucks.

Photo of Rachel Miller
Team

As a female who has lost a significant amount of weight, this is an app I can see myself using. I love that it acknowledges the craving, but offers a real healthy alternative. While I was looking through the design, something came to mind. As a society, we are often so busy, that often we might not have the time or ingredients available at the time of the craving. I love that you have pointed out where they are able to purchase something healthy near by. What if you offered grocery lists, or meal prep advice to the user? This could allow for the user to be more prepared when the craving strikes.

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

its still not yet built in the prototype but the app suggests recipes videos for anyone who wants to prepare the meal. For example the persona (healthy mom) knows that she craves around 4:00 pm, she can use the app to get instant recommendations on recipes and videos and can plan her meals accordingly.
However, the issue is -- user needs to guess what she will crave later in the day and plan based on it. for example, I think I will drink tea at 4:00 but land up brewing coffee..
human mind is volatile (esp. when it comes to hunger) but there is very little an app can do, unless, food is delivered at home with extra charge:)

Photo of Rafael Gutiérrez Casallas
Team

Swapna and team,
Congratulation, I really like your idea, maybe a new feature could be:
Suddenly people can select the current mood or an ideal. For example, if a person suddenly feel sad and want to feel better the app could suggest a particular healthy food. I know that bananas for example, have high levels of potassium, that help to feel better.
In Colombia, if you feel sick people recommend to eat guayaba (a typical fruit) for its high levels of vitamin C. Perhaps the app could suggest strategies to deal with flu.

By the way, your communication skills are very good.

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Thank you Rafael. You are very kind!

You are right about labeling the sub foods with tags that enhance moods. for example, banana will be tagged as veg, vegan, sweet, gluten free etc and also stress reliever. So whenever these options are used, user is recommended to eat a banana.

Photo of Alexander Cheung
Team

I love that your work is based on scientific research, and found the connection between candy cravings and deficiency in chromium levels to be fascinating. I'm not positive chocolate-almond bread is all that much better than a chocolate-filled donut (as shown in your user scenario), but I do think it's a step in the right direction (and it's certainly more accessible too). As the user progresses in his diet, perhaps the app could suggest increasingly healthier options, like trail mix with chocolate chips, and then nuts with raw cacao nibs, and so on.

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Thanks Alex! I agree, users are picky, hence I want to give several options to choose from. My idea is to give extra suggestions when people have signed in or more involved. But for first timers, I want them to give a solution as quick as possible. That way, I don't have attrition.

Photo of Justin Bean
Team

Congrats on making it to the Top Idea round, Swapna!! The mock-ups look great, the user maps are awesome, and the surveys help show that people want to Eat Smart :) Can't wait to see where you take it from here! Let me know if you can use any help along the way.

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Thanks Jean! I am honored to win one of my first idea that I submitted! It was a great teamwork!
I now need to think how should I take this further. I'll email you shortly.
Thanks!!

Photo of Allen A
Team

Congratulations!

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Thanks! All the fun & efforts were worth and paid off!

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Congrats on your winning idea Swapna! We love how you've fleshed out the potential for this idea to help people lead healthier lives since the beginning of the Refinement Phase. What an amazing journey it has been. We've also been inspired by how you've engaged with the community in a human-centered way as you iterated on this idea. Looking ahead to the next step, we would love for you to share your story in the Healthy Lives Impact Phase. The Impact Phase that's currently open is a space where the OpenIDEO community can share updates on how our projects are progressing beyond the challenge. For reference, here's a template for writing an Impact phase story: http://ideo.pn/1U9DrSN Well done Swapna!

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Thank you for giving me an opportunity to participate. The collaboration was contagious; and I absolutely thrived in such a creative and a helpful environment. I am excited to share my thoughts via impact phase. Thanks once again!

Photo of Allen A
Team

Should we recruit friends/family to get more feedback?

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

I asked a couple of friends to rate it based on what they think and if they would implement in their daily lives. Let's see! Nonetheless I enjoyed working and learning from it!!

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Shout out to OpenIdeo, my awesome team and collaborators who took time from their busy schedule to provide feedback! Each and every suggestion helped me to learn and make this idea even better! Thanks Y'll!!

Cheers!
Swapna

Photo of Allen A
Team

Everyone - GREAT JOB!!! Collaboration has been awesome on this project.

Photo of Kenji Genma
Team

It's interested to read it. This is my simple question that is it available to take a picture the food like my lunch and send then calculate the calorie automatically? It's very easy way to understand it's the high calorie food or not. or I'm living in Japan and I like to use Amazon. Can it be encourage me to buy Amazon.com or Amazon.jp to choose the appropriate food in stead?

Photo of Allen A
Team

I'd love an app that allows the user to take a pic of lunch and calculate the calories. Unfortunately, it's out of the scope of this project. This app is to help users w/ "food cravings" find healthy substitutes.

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Allen,

Sometime soon, I will be updating this app idea to include features like food recognition, alternative methods to curb cravings, nutritional charts etc (based on teams feedback) so it is adopted to broader audience. with that also creating snapshots of the screens. I think once that's done, I can test the usability of the idea. Thanks for such great ideas!! I super excited to be a part of the refinement phase!!!!

Photo of Allen A
Team

You and I have different expectations of "refinement" :) To me it means "focusing" (reducing, rather than expanding the features). I feel it's very important to come up with an MVP (minimal viable product). We're a small team, so our resources are limited.

Food (image) recognition is a rabbit's hole. Don't include it (as a feature) if it's not necessary. Object recognition, detecting a random object from a pic is 20+ years a way from becoming viable. It REQUIRES a person on the level of a PhD to figure out how to utilize existing image recognition technologies to refine current algorithm and/or invent new ones. It could take this person many years to get something working. The image recognition databases today, mainly use "color histogram" techniques to differentiate between objects, but don't work great. For example, orange(fruit), pumpkin and basketball would be considered the same object. Building a database of images (even a "limited" one that only contained fruits and vegetables) would take a very long time. And that's assuming you discovered the correct algorithm (to detect the unique features of the fruit/vegetable) that was independent of scale, lighting, color (will you support back&white pics), etc. I can't emphasize enough how hard this problem is; image recognition is one of (if not) the hardest problem in computer science.

Looking forward to the "refinement" of your idea :)

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

that's great! I am new to this, so perhaps, why I am running wild with ideas! I need to rethink to make the app viable. I agree food recognition is far-fetched at this point to provide nutritional content. but, I was thinking to use as an input feature to scan the craving, when user is in crowded places, where typing and talking seems inconvenient. I am basing this of google googles (not glass), where search users would scan an image and the internet would explain what/where the image is?
(source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Goggles).
As an example (let me know if I am overtly ambitious): when Bob enters Starbucks and clicks a picture of a cake pop he is craving for, the app recognizes that the food item is a decadent lemon cake pop, based on geo-mapping and curated images from food blogs/Starbucks home page. The app asks to confirm if it is a lemon cake pop (bonus nutritional content from Starbucks webpage). once, user confirms the entry, the app provides a substitute for the craving -- perhaps a lemon almond flour cake/lemon macaroon (almond flour is low carb & good fat) so anything with almond flour is a better option.
I am looking for a trial software where I can create app screen shots, for better visualization. Any suggestions, where I can find a free option? -- sorry I am not in the design field, so this is a great learning opportunity for me.!

above all, thanks for helping me refine this idea!

Photo of Allen A
Team

Google has a team of PhDs doing image recognition - we're not Google! From my understanding, Google_google has last been updated in 2012 and it was still limited to "seeing" labels, text, barcodes, some landmarks, sudoku puzzles ... But nothing on the level of identifying random "objects" like a lemoncake. Google glasses has similar limitation, it basically can read text.

Aside from not having the same resources/team as Google, we don't have access to their source code which we'd need to refine the algorithms for our needs. I have no doubt that someone will build an object recognition database, it just won't happen in or time frame. I know Microsoft has a very large facial recognition database (most likely from their work w/ kinnect) .... Again we don't have access to it, and they would never share their algorithms which I'm sure their team of PhDs spent a lot of time fine tuning.

Let's start refining/focusing the product to an MVP.

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Thanks for the practical insight! I agree been minimalistic and yet focused is the USP for this app! Let me update the post (in writing) for now, and we can think of more iterations.

Photo of Allen A
Team

Swapna - I just saw some of your edits to project. Keep in mind that your app name, should be very literal. So a compass app, would be called "compass" ... that's how people find/search for apps on itunes and the playstore. You're only given so many characters in the title (I forget how many), so you'll need to think about the name of the App. Some ideas: "Fight Food Cravings" (I don't like "fight" because I dont think anyone will use the word fight in the search, but hopefully you understand my example)... so think about what keywords people would search for and we'll need to figure out a "title" for the app, that would make it easy for users to find/search.

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

how about this:
Outsmart your Cravings (I thought I was original, but Waze uses it)
Crave Healthy (does not include the activity aspect of the app)

Photo of Allen A
Team

I think "food, health, activity and cravings" should be in the title ... unfortunately, I think all those words are too long ... so we'll just keep thinking about it.

Photo of yehuda t
Team

Totally agree with Allen, for the app name why not simplify it all the way down to just “Eat Smart”?

Because i think the word “engage” in itself is a bit less easily understood

by the way, our app is about food right? not about engangement haha

i know that what you meant is about engaging on an activity, but i think this is really about "A mobile App that outsmarts food cravings", this is the essence, the next few words are just the answer of the problem:

- recommending healthy-delicious food options
- and mind engaging activities
- and who knows what else

- - -
and also, the words ”eat right, engage smart” i think will not fit below any app icon, it will be truncated, or look something like “eat right, en…”

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Yehuda, the app is not just about eating right. It is also about workouts, meditate, cognitive games to keep one's mind off cravings. The details are in the description.

If you read allen's comments he has mentioned to include act, cravings, eat, in the app and also keep it short. Taking away the action aspect of the app, waters down the other main component of this app, which I don't want to do.
Thanks for your insight!

Photo of Shane Zhao
Team

Great provocations guys. Swapna have you considered what the minimal viable product version of what this idea might be? It might be helpful to highlight the most essential elements from what you've developed so far. Perhaps the barebones version of Eat Right can be what you might focus on in phase 1. Creating MVP version of this at the beginning of your idea post can be a great summary for all the viewers!

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Absolutely! I think i want to include those who want to curb cravings by workouts, because not all have the motivation to shop or cook or go to a store to pick-up/order food. However I agree that the name should promote the app's primary goals.
just changed the name to Outsmart Cravings! (not my first choice, but I think this resonates better). Thanks for the pushing the idea forward!

Photo of Allen A
Team

Swapna,

I like "Outsmart Cravings" ... a name is easy to change (so I'm sure it'll go through a few more iterations).

You've done a lot of work! Good job in incorporating other ideas, etc. But not "refining" in my mind - it seems like you mostly expanded :) What's the MVP??? If you could only implement 1, that's ONE ... ONLY ONE ... I REALLY MEAN ONE, feature, what would it be?

Today, apps aren't "do everything and the kitchen sink" - they're very much used/adopted for 1 feature. So the 1 feature you pick is the MVP ... for example, "substitute a craving" - how you accomplish that can be very complex (deep learning, social/crowd sourcing, expert systems, etc.). I think it goes back to "what problem are you trying to solve?" Does your 1 feature (your MVP) solve that problem?

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

I have changed the app name to Eat Smart! please feel free to pitch in ideas!

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

in that case, I need to go back to my original thought which was to eat right foods. So my question to you is (perhaps I am still unclear, that's why)
Does that mean that action feature will added in next iteration or
the action feature still exists but still not as pronounced in this release?
Thanks for the guidance!

Photo of Allen A
Team

We can do A/B testing on the name ... that's not important now. "Outsmart Cravings", "Eat Smart", etc. make sense to me... but until you put it in the appstore, you won't know how well it'll be found/installed/used.

My suggestion is to start w/ the MVP - what's the smallest (minimal) viable product ... if the smallest (minimal) product is 1 feature, then awesome ... if it's 2 feature, then okay - you gotta implement 2 features. But understanding your MVP, really does start w/ what problem are you going to solve. So what is it?

Then what are the ways we can solve that problem ... there's an infinite possibilities on how a problem can be solved. What I like and think is fun/cool, in the whole brainstorming/refinement/collaboration process is to hear/read all the different ways people have solved cravings or think they can solve cravings. Right now, the idea is a lot of features for an app ... I think we need a fresh canvas. Let's start fresh ... "what problem are we going to solve", then what's the core technique/methodology, "learning process", that we want the app to enforce ... and then let's build a UX (user experience) that's both easy/simple, but also re-enforces our "outsmart cravings" methodology/technique/etc.

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

the problem I want to solve is "how to inform users to outsmart their cravings?" especially, when people don't have the right information or have the information but its not motivating enough.
for example, I know eating carrots are healthier option, but they are not delicious. So, if my app can trick their brain to eat smartly and curb their cravings, I think I am trying to motivate them to incorporate a healthy lifestyle. Still, there is a caveat: users can be motivated to try delish foods but not necessarily they WILL do it. Eating healthy is a slow process and a lifestyle change, and that' why I have created engaging and convenient options (competition, peer reviews/ideas , convenient shopping.) that reminds them of this app and also to make a better choice.
Any thoughts on this? am I still running wild on this idea:)

Photo of Allen A
Team

I want to make a distinction between "tool to outsmart cravings" and "content/information to outsmart cravings" ... which one do you want to be?

Initially, when you had your idea ... did you imagine an app that would help users "outsmart cravings", or an app that would "inform users on how they can outsmart their cravings" (which is what you typed, but I don't think is what you meant). One is a tool, and one is "Wikipedia for cravings" - I want to be clear on what you want to do, cause you can do either, and users would get benefit from either.

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Ahh-haa! now that's a tough qt to answer; but I get it now!
I think I want it to be content based (does that mean, I will loose mind share from people who want to workout/engage with community to outsmart cravings?)

Photo of Allen A
Team

Let's assume the problem that you're trying to solve is "substituting (presumably bad/unhealthy) cravings with healthy options." You can present "the substitute" (which is content) that to a user as a "tool", or you can present that to a user as "content" (like Wikipedia) ...

To answer your question, yes .. you're segmenting your audience. Product creation isn't "finding the most generic solution" (to appeal to most/biggest market), although there are plenty of solutions like that. For me, product creation is done the other way around ... figure out who your customer is, what problem they have, and give them a solution that best satisfies their needs. The better you understand your customer, they'll naturally segment. And yes, at some point you have to choose on whether you want to do a really good job of satisfying A, or do a mediocre job of satisfying A, B, D and E (you're never going to satisfy everyone, so the reason I left C out).

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

You are right! I don't want it to be merely a Wikipedia of cravings, I want it to be
informative and recommendation based; but it still makes user's to implement the idea (hence the shopping, coupons, engagement)
Thanks for bringing clarity to this idea!

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Tool it is!

Photo of Allen A
Team

Ok! So what's the tool going to do? What's the one (ideal) feature of the tool, that will help users fight cravings?

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Make customized and personalized recommendations on healthy & delicious food options sourced from different databases:
Celebs
Social media friends
Health Sponsors
Hispanic Chefs/Grannies
Local users
Health Blogs

I am okay to collaborate here, but if you prefer, you can email/chat via google hangouts? swapnabellare@gmail.com

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

I just saw this updated message. This is great advice Allen! Something we all know and still do wrongly!

Photo of Allen A
Team

I sent a skype invitation. We should collaborate here (so others can participate), but feel free to msg me on skype too.

Tell me more about "customization and personalization." How does the app know how to customize/personalize the recommendations?

I imagine "carrot sticks" would always be a healthy substitute for everything (unless you're allergic to carrots) ... but always recommending carrots stick for "I'm craving ... chocolate cake, mocha latte, peanut brittle, potato chips, etc" ... is boring. Is there any science to mapping people's craving for potato chips to carrot sticks? I mean how does the "substituting" work, by taste, or similarity texture or ingredients, nutritional need, etc. ... how does the app know what to recommend, based on just it's database? Or is it all about "crowd sourced info" ... if that's the case, there's a chicken and egg problem. How do you get a crowd w/o data, and how do you get data w/o a crowd?

I'm going to start a new thread for MVP (product) discussion.

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

I prefer it here too! Thanks!

Allen, your question is fair enough and here are my thoughts:
There are 2 types of databases. One is sourced from online resources (health sponsors; health blogs; you tube videos) and other will evolve by crowd sourcing; when people start using the app and contributing to the database.

This is how I envision it to work:
Day 1:
Swapna craves chocolate.
Algorithm checks the logic that if user craves chocolate then suggest foods that are rich in magnesium (algorithm checks the logic on the cheat sheet).
Algorithm checks if there are recipes/foods online that belong to that category. If there is a match, I see it as a recommendation.
I get recommended to eat pesto nuts, I consume, rate and contribute that idea in the database. If at all, I were to customize the recommendation to follow Paleo diet, I will get Cauliflower crepe
(Legumes). If I want Atkins, I will get recommended for walnuts but not fruits. The algorithm is doing all the work, so to speak. Once, the database gets richer and the database team tags the recipes/snacks/foods based on options, I should get better recommendations.
Day 2:
My Facebook friend craves chocolate, she sees that I ate pesto nuts (Facebook Reco); also existing database recommends fruits (this time) and checks to see if there fruits snacks from health sponsors.
Let me know if this a decent assumption. Thanks!

Photo of Allen A
Team

So we need a physiological database, or at least an ingredients database for chocolate, and every type of craving that is out there. Where do we get that data?

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

the company creates it by curating health blogs, webmd articles. Hypothetically put a team of 5 interns create a database that looks at typical cravings people have. I am not saying that this app will be 100% ready first day. But we have to start somewhere. It will evolve.

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

One more thing..there is def a lot of groundwork needed to create a database; but what we can do to make it less complicated is use auto suggestive/auto populated feature based on existing database entries. for example, I am craving buffalo wings but I have hot wings in my database , the app will pick wings and prompt to ask user "do you mean hot wings", now of course it's stupid that I type very specific like 3 layered cheese pizza, but am sure I do crave that but my algorithm picks pizza not 3 layered cheese. Not sure if that 100% answers your question.. But this may be a start.

Photo of Allen A
Team

It means we need a tool and process for "building the database." This could take a lot of time ...

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Then what gets build faster ? Crowd sourced one? Sorry my qt is basic, I just want to know what are the possibilies out there to make this a reality.?

Photo of Allen A
Team

I don't think the answer can be found from the "crowd"... I think it would have the opposite effect. Imagine, someone sending "I'm craving ..." with pic of triple layered chocolate cake... Wouldn't that spread the craving???

If you want this app to be a tool, then it has to behave like a real tool, and provide results that are backed by research, papers, studies, etc.

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Yup. Just as we discussed! Thanks for conforming.

Photo of yehuda t
Team

Oh ya ok, but still, i think there’s no other activity, workout, meditation, or games that could replace one’s need / hunger / cravings for a physical food.

Therefore, i think those activities are the secondary solution, but the primary purpose is still, to give alternative healthy food suggestion. So its about eating smart.

- - -
By the way, “Outsmart Cravings” sounds more like a tagline for me. Just like Waze's tagline, Outsmarting Traffic, Together.

Its a short description of what this app does, by the way i think it should be more like, "Outsmart your food cravings", it has to be more specific, because the word "craving" means "a powerful desire for something", so its pretty wide.

And for a name, we have to pay attention for syllables. The shorter in length, the better.

"Out-smart Cra-vings" has 4 syllables, whereas "Eat Smart" has only 2 syllables. Therefore, 2 is better, because an ideal brand name have 2 and maximum 3 syllables, if more than 3, it will automatically abbreviated by people to make pronunciation easier. Even some 3 syllables brand names are getting abbreviated too.

For Example:
2 syllables: Ap-ple, Goo-gle, Face-book, Sam-sung, Dis-ney, Ni-ke, In-tel, Wal-Mart, E-bay, Za-ra

3 syllables: Mic-ro-soft, To-yo-ta, O-ra-cle, Ve-ri-zon, A-ma-zon, A-di-das
Chev-ro-let = Chevy
Volks-wa-gen = VW
McDonalds = Mcd

4 syllables or more (will get abbreviated):
Co-ca-co-la = Coke
Ge-ne-ral E-lec-tric = GE
Lou-is Vui-tton = LV
Hew-lett-Pack-ard = HP

- - -
some source:
http://fortune.com/2011/12/15/10-rules-for-picking-a-company-name/

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

thanks yehuda for your detailed perspective.

Photo of Anisah Parks
Team

I noticed the app doesn't address the "instant gratification" aspect of food cravings. The app provides a great selection of customized options to redirect food cravings, but what happens when the user doesn't have the ingredients on hand?

Once the user has entered enough data on diet preferences, allergies, sources for food recommendations, etc., I suggest adding a feature to develop a personalized grocery list that motivates users to get in the habit of stocking up on healthy treats that are always at their finger tips. This could be a new feature to add in phase two. Best of luck with this app!

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Thanks for pointing that out! The instant gratification aspect was for the engage ( games & workouts) which is in phase 2.

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

also, the buyer may not have the ingredient, but has an option shop the recommended snack from closest local health store for pick-up or delivery.

Photo of Anisah Parks
Team

Those are important prompts as well, since pantry items may not fulfill a specific craving. Many nutritionists and health advocates encourage having a treat or "cheating", as long as it's in moderation. Ordering delivery or finding a treat at a local business will make the action of indulging the craving even more satisfying. The Foodspotting app and Yelp have specific menu items in their directory. Those apps could be good sources to integrate with the Eat Smart app.

Photo of Nathan Entrekin
Team

Love this idea! Have you considered promoting this app through medical clinics? My wife works at a non-profit health clinic and advises her patients on a variety of healthy eating habits daily. As a non-profit, the clinic is able to offer services to low-income and underserved families, who I think could benefit enormously from this app.

For this segment of the population, access to information on healthy-eating habits is often quite difficult to find. Additionally, cultural (and gender) expectations make lifestyle adjustments difficult for many of these people. As such, one feature that might be useful is a list of suggestions or tips for healthy-eating that align with (or would still accommodate) specific cultural traditions (or alternative, healthy food substitutes that would be be accepted within the those households.)

Even tips on how to address body image expectations within a culturally-biased environment could be helpful for Eat Smart's target user base...

Just some thoughts. Keep up the great work! Excited to see where it goes.

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

I like your suggestions Nathan.
I thought about leveraging webmd or live strong for promoting this on their website for marketing purposes. But I guess I dint make a note of that. Thanks for pointing that out, I'll add that note.

Photo of Allen A
Team

http://www.themarketbusiness.com/2015-08-15-got-cravings-playing-tetris-to-reduce-cravings-for-food-and-sex

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

yup! there you go! there are people who would like to play games to keep cravings in control. My suggestion was to collaborate with lumosity for playing engaging games and delay gratification. perhaps in the 2nd release (hypothetically)! Thanks for sharing!

Photo of Allen A
Team

Product ("Eat Smart!") MVP: Make customized and personalized recommendations on healthy & delicious food options sourced from different databases:
Celebs
Social media friends
Health Sponsors
Hispanic Chefs/Grannies
Local users
Health Blogs

Photo of Allen A
Team

Swapna (or anyone):

Tell me more about "customization and personalization." How does the app know how to customize/personalize the recommendations?

I imagine "carrot sticks" would always be a healthy substitute for everything (unless you're allergic to carrots) ... but always recommending carrots stick for "I'm craving ... chocolate cake, mocha latte, peanut brittle, potato chips, etc" ... is boring.

Is there any science to mapping people's craving for potato chips to carrot sticks? I mean how does the "substituting" work, by taste, or similarity texture or ingredients, nutritional need, etc. ...

I'm trying to understand how the app knows what to recommend, based on just it's database? Or is it all about "crowd sourced info" ... if that's the case, there's a chicken and egg problem. How do you get a crowd w/o data, and how do you get data w/o a crowd? Or do we simply ask the crowd? I'm craving pizza, HELP!!!

Do we build communities around "cravings" ... folks that always crave potato chips, will have better suggestions on how to deal with that craving, than someone that craves mocha lattes, etc

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Thanks for making this very clear! adding it to the description. Thanks!

Photo of samrat sankhya
Team

I can contribute in App designing part and also wire framing part

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Thanks. can you take a look at the dynamic prototype I build and let me know your feedback? Thanks
https://live.uxpin.com/b301af6bbcfba679c414d1ba5d76a394a7c10afb#/pages/25976520

Photo of samrat sankhya
Team

Hi , I have looked into your dynamic prototype.
1) There is no back button to previous screen in some screens, Better use back icon.
2) User can search at any stage , so search functionality should there every time.
3) Better can you create menu on top which contains all functionalities.

can you e-mail me all the screens in the user flow sequence, so i can develop a animated prototype of user flow.

Email id :- samratsankhya@gmail.com

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Thanks samrat! The screens I have are on a uxpin profile. There is a pdf I can send once I add in more features.

Photo of samrat sankhya
Team

I went through uxpin, but I have felt lost in user flow. So I have asked for all screens in user flow. Sure send be the Pdf.

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

I am not sure, what you are looking for. If you have a something in mind, could work some samples and let me know? sketches will works too!!
Thanks for your work on the logo! my app also recommends activities, in addition to food items.
If you look at my menu tabs, they are square not circles.
For a health app like this, I would think of showing good foods or person walking/jogging.
also, I like minimalist designs and perhaps my ideas are too big for now, but these are just thoughts. I haven't even thought of making a logo until I get the UX streamlined!
Thanks for your insights! keep them coming, I am definitely learning a lot through these conversations.

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Samrat, thanks for offering. I have sent you the files and UX link. please note that the name of the app has changed to better fit the goals. I really appreciate you taking time to work on this idea!.

Photo of Justin Bean
Team

Hi Swapna, great idea, great work on the idea, and congrats on making it to the Refinement round! I recently went through the Refinement phase of the Financial Empowerment Challenge, and the OpenIDEO team recommended that I reach out to you to share my experience and help guide you through the process. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions - I’m excited about your idea, and happy to share my stories, my experience with OpenIDEO and my process during the Refinement phase, and/or talk through some aspects of your idea if you like!

Here are a few initial ideas that I had after reading your idea:
1. Great work on the prototype! InVisionApp.com is also useful for developing these. I'm wondering how graphics can be used to illustrate ideas and simplify the experience. Perhaps 99 Designs would be helpful to get some ideas.

2. It would be interesting to get feedback or tracking data from the app. Perhaps in a later version users could rate their satisfaction with the suggestions, which would help to make more tailored recommendations the next time. How else could you use the data to help people eat healthy or companies provide/market healthy food?

3. How can users track their success and progress? Perhaps every 10 healthy meals earns me one chocolate glazed donut (mmm - I deserve it!), then every 15, then every 20? It might help to slowly ease people off of junk food. What other behavioral influences could you take into account to influence healthy behavior and long-term engagement?

Congrats again and feel free to connect if you'd like to discuss!

Best,
Justin

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Thank you so much for reaching out to me, Justin! How would you prefer to communicate (openideo comment section, email or chat).

Photo of Justin Bean
Team

Hi Swapna, my pleasure! If you'd like to brainstorm ideas with the community the comments section is great! If you'd like to jump on a call to dig a bit deeper let's schedule by email: justincbean@gmail.com

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

I'll send you an email shortly! Thanks so much for you feedback and really appreciate your help on this!

Photo of Shane Zhao
Team

Great to see you guys connect Justin and Swapna! Keep us updated on your collaborative conversations:)

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Thanks for your advice Justin. Hopefully by tomorrow, you will see the user personas. It was challenging and yet fun to create target segment for this app. Samarat is helping me make this app more visually appealing. I am really excited to release the final by end of the challenge. thanks for the guidance!

Swapna

Photo of yehuda t
Team

Swapna, this one is a pretty cool clickable prototype for reference:

https://medium.com/@masoninthesis/steal-my-app-i-dare-you-472fd044068f

- - -
also check this one out: foodpairing.com
i don’t know but it may come in handy next time, know this from @tferriss from 4 hour chef book

here, we can find similar matches for a particular ingredient, and therefore create & taste new pairings

“Play with foodpairing.be, which is based on the Volatile Compounds in Food (VCF) database. The objective is to start thinking about how to mix and match foods based on similar characteristics.

Don't have saffron? On their site, you'll learn that you can replace it with, oddly enough, tarragon. Ran out of sage? No problem; use rosemary instead. Both contain eucalyptol, so your dish should turn out similarly. Wondering what the hell will go with the leftover cucumber and grapes? Try the various cucumber soup recipes they have links to. Ran out of lemongrass, or don't want to bother buying it in the first place? Type it in and you'll learn that you can combine a little lemon peel, ginger, and basil to reconstruct the basic lemongrass flavor."

- - -
other sources:

Simple Herb Pairing Chart: http://imgur.com/SNj6Zha 
https://web.facebook.com/TimFerriss/posts/333269120107343

5 Tricks for Tasting Food Like a Master Chef
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tim-ferriss/5-tricks-for-tasting-food_b_2599640.html

9 Lessons from the 4-Hour Chef
http://thestonesoup.com/blog/2013/05/9-lessons-from-the-4-hour-chef-how-i-came-to-be-in-tim-ferriss-latest-book/

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Thanks yehuda , I'll look into it!

Photo of Ahmed Rub
Team

Good idea ; Mobile application that recommend healthy-delicious food options and mind engaging activities I think you are idea can tie with this product http://www.thinkmelon.com, Melon headband is product that track your mind activities, it would be cool if your app can get my focus information and give me analysis of my focus rate relate to what I eat at each specific day.

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Thanks for your insight Ahmed!

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Ahmed, I really liked this idea, but instead of having another gear, I am thinking of collaborating with luminosity. it will keep users engaged, also make them smart! (which goes with the App's USP). Thanks for this idea!

Photo of Ahmed Rub
Team

Wish you the best of luck ! I think you are heading the right direction !

Photo of H Mack
Team

Great idea- I was wondering how could it be adapted so that people don't get bored of the same thing? Perhaps one way is combining different ingredients to satisfy the same craving- something like Graze boxes (https://www.graze.com/uk/). Perhaps once the app was developed more it could track what people are often craving, and link them up with a site like Graze which then sends them boxes of snacks straight to their home or office.
Also I noticed in your example- a chocolate doughnut is cheap but a pistachio bread is expensive- cost is sometimes a reason why people can't eat healthier. If you were able to apply some sort of community funding then maybe the richer customers could help fund snacks for the less fortunate? Something like a funding model that recommends items with low profit margins but you could sell items with a higher profit margins to wealthier users- then use the profits to substitute snacks for users who often don't use the purchase option? It gets a bit ethically/logistically complex but I think it's a valid point about cost and healthy eating.

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Thanks for the feedback!!

Photo of Shane Zhao
Team

Likewise, great feedback Hannah~

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Welcome to refinement, Swapna! Your idea was an early crowd favorite, and we’re excited to see it progress in the next couple of weeks. It’s a really great idea because many people are often drawn to eating unhealthy foods because it takes more effort to think of a healthy alternative. We think of staring at the desserts at the store wondering if there’s something better but not quite sure what it could be. Your idea could help with that! It’s appealing because it gives end users a sense of choice and control and is widely accessible. We encourage you to take a look at existing efforts to differentiate your idea and create something even more powerful and viral. Could your idea be integrated into a subsection of existing websites instead of being a stand alone app? How might filmed content be included? We also think there’s exciting potential for content to be sponsored. For example, Fage yogurt could be one sponsor and they could highlight unhealthy snacks that could be easily substituted with yogurt. Additionally, how might celebrities be leveraged in your idea? How might the sponsors and content directly and specifically appeal to the hispanic community? There’s so much potential! If you haven’t pursued these collaborations already, End to end healthy substitutions [http://ideo.pn/1RT8gKp], WiseGranny [http://ideo.pn/1dvfhTR], Step by Step [http://ideo.pn/1ChL2Gw] may be able to provide really valuable insights for moving your idea forward. We can’t wait to keep up with you and Eat This Instead during these next couple of weeks of refinement. Happy prototyping!

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Thanks for your feedback. I think I do have a solution on how to incorporate recommendations from sponsors, celebrities and for traditional food items.
but still thinking how I can create this as a widget on a website ( I am thinking more on having this as a tool on webmd, since, Webmd has a strong SEO and shows up first in search results, when a health related questions is asked. perhaps, the website recommends to try this tool whenever the word "crave/eat/health/diet" is entered.

Photo of Nuno Franca
Team

Hi Swapna,
After re-reading your app description, something else come up.
Everybody knows we all fail into all sort of temptations and food temptations are not different. Why not register all these temptations that we all fail into? The app would then tell the user something like "you gave in and eat some chocolate, so you owe me a 45min jogging to compensate for that"
(45min jogging is, obviously, just an example).
The app would then keep a record off this and would show some graphic or "balance" sheet of failed temptations and compensations...
Nuno

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Thanks Nuno for your insights. a personalized feature is available when a person signs in and is a loyal user of the app. I have included it in the list of product features, but not yet created a screen shot. I might create a user flow for a loyal user to show this feature. Thanks!

Photo of Brigitte
Team

As someone who struggles with cravings for sweet things, I'd love this app! I have a background in health and I know that carrots are better for me than doughnuts (hopefully most people know this), but I still find it hard to simply make the healthier choice.

A major issue with cravings is that a lot of time it isn't a matter of hunger, but that the person is feeling bored, tired, stressed, lonely, etc. In your example, I love that you give Bob ideas for alternatives to the doughnuts, but for many people, they reach for the doughnut because it's cheap, tasty, and easy. Even if the person reaches for the healthy snack, it still doesn't address the underlying issue: using food to satisfy the stress, loneliness, or other emotion they are using food to help soothe.

I'd love to see some emotional support in your app, similar to how a person in AA has a sponsor they can call whenever they are experiencing cravings, whenever a person starts craving a snack, other members of the community can instantly help them work through it and give them ideas for non-food alternatives to address what they need at that time - a walk, some meditation, or even just offering words of encouragement can go a long way.

What I love about your idea is that you can easily test a very low fidelity prototype just using text messaging, for example. You can set up a group text where over the course of a week or so, people in the group agree to text "I'm craving X!" whenever they have a craving, and the other members in the group can provide suggestions. Make sure the team logs their failures/successes to learn best practice for what works and what leaves room for improvement.

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Great idea Brigitte - Group text for support! Might be that just sending the text to a preformed group can delay one from snacking and the craving will pass, before even getting a text back.

Photo of Anastasia Golovashkina
Team

This reminds me of those "Eat This, Not That!" books that used to be so popular about a decade ago. Love seeing the tradition live on through mobile tech.

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Thanks!

Photo of Annie Zhu
Team

User interface is very important for the app. It's better if it can have the function of self defining the font size,graphs sizeand languages so that it can work for a larger users,for example the old people and the people who can recognize English.

Photo of Annie Zhu
Team

https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B-0nT52zc2UBfjB2MTN3a21SNkl1NzdpbnBSR2FDd3RsMjhaZXpqSU8wd1Q3V0xCTkJ5SGs&usp=sharing
Our group developed our initial prototype and we share it in the google drive.We place them in order from 1 to 4.
1. It shows the food people are craving for in 3 ways: different categories in icons/ searching box/voice recognising system.People should choose or enter their craving food category. If people choose the icon, the app will go to page 2.If they search it in the input box or using voice recognition, the page will go to page 3.
2. It shows the sub-categories people are craving for ,so that users will determine the exact food they want to eat right now. People should click on the food pattern they prefer.
3.It shows their craving food on the left (green color), and the suggested alternatives on the right(in pink, brown and blue) .Also, under the original food ,different key words are provided to narrow down the food features they really want.For example, users need to drag the dot to a certain distance which refers to their perference for calory, protein, and other nutrition indicators.For each substitute , besides the name and the image of the food,a nutrition radar chart will be shown underneath.At the very bottom ,there are two buttons: order and recipe.People are supposed to click in the bottom button (order/recipe) for the alternative food they prefer.
4.When people finish step 3,there comes the map for the location of finding the food ,both including restaurants and markets,etc.

Welcome any suggestions:)AND LETS MAKE IT BETTER

Photo of Allen A
Team

This is great! Can you run some (paper) usability tests with "strangers" to see if there are any usability issues?

I'd like the input to be: I'm craving ... "pizza" (voice or text input) ...

A browse/selection mode would be nice too ... but many more steps

Photo of Chung Yin Emily Hai
Team

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-0nT52zc2UBSnFyWmVGLTBwVUE/view?usp=sharing
Our group has modified our prototype and we upload the ppt in the google drive.
Please feel free to comment.
Thanks!

Photo of Shane Zhao
Team

Fantastic prototypes Annie and Chung! We love how you've been working offline to help refine this idea. Perhaps you can announce that you are a part of the Standford Social Innovation Program to help Swapna better understand the context this collaboration?

Swapna, perhaps you like to incorporate some of these prototypes into your idea post? It'd also be great to work with Annie and Chung as you start to collect feedback from potential users. Exciting to see this collaboration in progress!

And here's a useful tip: When 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!

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Absolutely Shane! I had some very basic ideas and will merge Annie's and Chung's paper prototypes into mine. I just found out about how to create wire frames/prototypes.
Thanks once again for your input. I will add the update now!

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Thanks Chung, I liked how the app has a logical sequence and how each action is specked out. I was thinking of radio buttons for personalizing dietary options, but I think I will incorporate icons/tabs (on your homepage). This is really helping me to fine tune my prototype idea.

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

thanks Annie for your suggestions. As I indicated to Chung, I am going to fine tune and create a flow chart on the user progresses and associated screen shots.
I like paper prototypes that the group has created, so will mimic that in the 1st iteration.

Photo of Lillian Kivel
Team

The prototypes really help this app come alive! It is a great idea and I think it has so many possible uses. I wonder how specific you need to be with identifying what people are craving. In my experiencing with cravings (and asking my boyfriend, the only other potential user I have immediately available), it tends to be around certain areas (sweet, salty, greasy, etc.). I think that the user experience could be even more streamlined if they did not have to try to clearly identify exactly what kind of cake. I also imagine that this would be much easy on the back on coding and could help with making it more easily adapted for different cultures, regions, and languages, which would be a challenge with so many different items. I do not want to limit the potential power of this app, but I was just thinking it may be worth testing a "lite" version with generally categories and see if people are equally satisfied with their experience.

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Annie, after looking at your team's suggestions, I finally got to creating screen shots. please let me know what you think of it. These are not the entire set, I will be working on next steps sometime next week.

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

your team's suggestions got me inspired. please can you look at some of the app screens I have created and let me know if you foresee any issues. Thanks in advance!

Photo of Taeyoung Kim
Team

When the user is craving for food and as soon as APP suggests alternative option to user to choose,we would like to have delivery system. So the user can have the healthy and local food immediately.

Photo of Helen Ngai
Team

It would be better if it allows people to choose the language. It is even better to include the units tranlastion like the kg to lb.
It would be more comprehensive to have video on the site as well.

Photo of Allen A
Team

Helen - what types of videos would you like to see?

The units translation would be a simple thing to do. The question on whether to build in language support from the beginning or whether is it something that can be added on later is something that will need to be determined.

Photo of Annie Zhu
Team

There might be a problem that not many people will have the incentive to use this app.Or to another words, not many people are food cravers so there may not be a large market for this app. My suggestion is to make more function which can apply to normal people's life .For example,we can expand the need of food craving to bad eating habits.Also, the app will use the users' behaviors to give a suggestion for the alternatives.

Photo of Allen A
Team

Annie - you bring up two points: 1) market size 2) why would someone use this app (incentive). The first is easier to address, and the later, well we'll figure that out as this process continues:

Defining a market is difficult. I prefer helping people "substitute their cravings with healthy options" to helping people "fix bad eating habits." Focus is always "clearer" for both the end-user (to identify with the problem, understand the product, etc) and the team tasked with delivering the solution/product. I think everyone understands what "cravings" are, I think less people understand what "bad eating habits" are. You don't have to educate the "cravings" market segment, while you'll have to educate the later.

Another reason I like our current market segment, is because "cravings" is a clear "pain point." In the VC (venture capital) parlance, providing a solution that is a "pain killer" (aspirin vs vitamin) is the preferred approach. Users are highly motivated to solve their "pains", and the market for "pain killers" is generally much bigger than the market for vitamins.

Generally, all tools have a difficult challenge of getting the user to "change a behavior" to incorporate using the (new) tool as part of their habit. Changing a user behavior is a very very very hard thing to do. There's a lot to it: educating a user on why they should do it; motivating the user to learn/adopt a new behavior; etc. People that have cravings and know they have cravings and want to find healthy alternatives are motivated to find tools to help them curb them. I understand your concern about market size. I think that people with "bad eating habits" intersect (but don't completely enclose) people w/ cravings. Meaning, there are people with great eating habits that have cravings too. A few years ago, I read articles/interviews on a number of professional athletes that talked about how they eliminated sugar from their diet, and how it helped them achieve a higher level of performance. These are "fittest athletes" in the world, that had cravings for candy, etc and they stuck w/ a regime to eliminate sugar. So cravings isn't just something that someone w/ bad eating habits have. It's something that even the folks w/ the best eating habits deal with and this is a market segment that doesn't require educating (on why good eating habits are important, etc), and this is a market segments that is motivated (by their cravings) to take advantage of tools, etc to help them achieve their goals, etc.

I like our focus (and we'll continually refine it to be sharper), and I'm fairly confident that our market size is "big enough." And figuring out the "onboarding strategy" to get people to use the app, well - that's the challenge! :)

Photo of Taeyoung Kim
Team

Congratulations Swapna on making it to the next level! We really like the idea of suggesting to the users that they can have alternative food that they are craving for. When we interviewed a user who traveled a lot to different areas of the world, our user concerned about the authenticity of the food that she's having in apart from the country of origin. Our user viewed the trustworthiness of information of food recipe and ingredients that obtained locally yet healthy - organic, not so much processed and no frozen food. We would like to see improvement in easier access to good and healthy food sold at local groceries. Thank you very much.

Photo of Allen A
Team

Congrats on making it to the next level!

Photo of Jim
Team

I like this concept. I've found that regularly eating a modest amount of the darkest, lowest sugar chocolate I can find helps me reduce craving for desserts. Sort of like "chocolate as dessert methadone".

Photo of yehuda t
Team

I’m looking forward for this to be a reality soon, because i want to use this myself, already hoped for an app like this one for as long as i remember, it would be really helpful, and I also haven’t found any similar app that exactly does this really well, and therefore it would be great if we can collaborate on this project together on this creative and collaborative worldwide platform (openIDEO).

By the way, here’s some thoughts on my end:

It would be even better if there are options to filter the food suggestion, by diet.
for example: If I’m on a slow-carb diet, therefore when I search, as a result, the suggested food that is listed there, are only slow-carb foods.

- - -
And some statistics would also help, and make it all the more interesting and accurate for the user.
for example: There are a little message bubble at the bottom saying “by choosing the suggested food / meal plan that are recomended, you save 230 calories and 170 mg cholesterol!” -> what’s this? -> (this equals to 2 McDonord cheese burgers, *for example)

- - -
And its good with, for example, a suggestion of “85% organic dark chocolate melted on a multi-grain pistachio bread”, instead of rich chocolate filled doughnut, but to be realistic, most of the times the alternatives given, seems to me will more likely be less or so much less tasty or even attractive..

And it seems to me sometimes or most of the times, it will more likely be easier to just follow the first craving, not bother to add more effort to take your iPhone, unlock it, swiping to the second or third screen and or typing a few words to find the app, opening them, waiting for them to load, then finding and putting some few taps and typings or many more taps / confusion (if the apps UX is suck badly, read: not user friendly, too complex and buggy) to look for the food suggestion alternatives, and then make some considerations and more effort to go find the alternatives suggested, if then even succeed. (thats why, from the UI standpoint, the app needs to be really simple, intuitive, and user friendly, almost effortless, and thats why we need a really good team of UI designers and developers to execute the app)

Seems to me that its way easier to just go to the donut shop on the corner of the street where they walk passed everyday..

What i am saying is just to anticipate what people might feel, so that we can form a strategy to handle them before we face them, and come up with a prepared solution

- - -
And because the truth is, if we want to be / stay healthy, there will be some sacrifices
If we want to stay on top of the game, stay fit, there are ressistance we need to go through
just like, if we want to stand up, we must resist the natural forces that is gravity

Therefore, it seems to me (without any research) this app will likely be more interesting to people who want to “pay the price” by taking more effort, and choosing to eat, the less tasty and attractive alternative..

With that hypothesis though, hopefully the app will affect people that initally don’t want to “pay the price”, to want to “pay the price” by eating the less tasty and less attractive alternatives. And if there is a huge trend arround healthy eating, that would help even more..

- - - -
- Similar apps
Eat This, Not That
Eat smart, and you could lose 10-30 pounds – or more.
http://www.webmd.com/diet/eat-this-not-that

Eat This, Not That! Restaurants
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/eat-this-not-that!-restaurants/id409344432?mt=8

Eat This, Not That!
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/etnt/id491060947?mt=8

- - -
Other references / sources:
Fast Food Calorie Counter
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fast-food-calorie-counter/id290886367?mt=8

Nutrition Menu - Calorie, Exercise, Weight & Water Tracking
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nutrition-menu-calorie-exercise/id294692235?mt=8

What’s for dinner? Ask Gojee, a recipe recommendation app
https://gigaom.com/2013/02/19/video-whats-for-dinner-ask-gojee-a-recipe-recommendation-app-for-ios/

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

these are great resources yehuda. Will look into it and see if I can expand my app's functionality to multiple goals.

Photo of yehuda t
Team

my pleasure! By the way, average person have about 119 apps (http://www.buzzfeed.com/matthewzeitlin/apples-wwdc-by-the-numbers#.foqDDxol1). And there are 24 apps in every home screen in an iPhone, some phones, like samsung even have only 20. Therefore (assuming there are no groupings / folders), if we even able to get to their second screen, its already a nice accomplishment..

For me these are the essentials in a homescreen, from the frequency of acessing them:
- Phone (built-in)
- Messages (built-in)
- Camera (built-in)
- Photos (built-in)

- - - -
- Notes (built-in)
- Evernote

- Contacts (built-in)
- Apple Music (built-in) &/ Spotify
- Podcast
- iBooks (built-in)

- Mail (built-in) &/ Gmail

- Whatsapp
- Line
- Facebook Messenger
- BBM /& Wechat /& Kakaotalk
- Snapchat

- Google Maps &/ Waze

- Safari (built-in) &/ Chrome

- Wunderlist / other to do list apps
- Reminders (built-in)

- Calendar (built-in) &/ sunrise calendar
- Clock (built-in)

- Dropbox &/ Google Drive

- Settings (built-in)

- Instagram
- Facebook &/ Path
- Twitter &/ Periscope

- App store (built-in)
- Google Translate
- Calculator (built-in)
- Dictionary

If we stack these all up, these alone is already more than 24, because there are so many apps, i think its crucial that we create someting that is insanely simple and focused so that people are not getting even more cluttered and even more confused from what the world already offer..

well, at least, we start awesomely simple first, and progress from there, add more features as we go, but keep simplifying things too as we progress, (Like Google and Wunderlist, it started very simple) and stay focused and excellent on what we does best, as simple as give some food suggestion that "rocks people’s world"

So that we could help people (with clarity and focus), not add clutter and noise that hinder / distract them from getting the best food sugestion (advice)..

and to my knowledge, its much easier to make a complex confusing stuff than it is to make something is so simple, and intuitive..

i never forget what the late Steve Jobs once said, “Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

I will add some screenshot of the app that i think is simple and intuitive, when i found one..

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Thanks! so much!. I agree - having a simple, clean and "does one thing but does it is well" is what I should aim for in this app!
I tried to create a app home page template from google homepage.. (sorry, not a designer, so i have to lurk on other sites to get ideas!!)! I really appreciate you taking time to provide feedback!

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Even better than just a homescreen app would be a widget functionality. Since the core premise is that you're getting crowdsourced suggestions, why not have a widget displaying photos of things you could be eating / activities you could be doing?

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

I am sorry (since not a designer), am a bit confused of how/what widget looks versus the home screen shown . do you have examples that show that differentiation. Thanks for your help!

Photo of Shane Zhao
Team

Great discussion, guys! Swapna, it'd be great to incorporate any feedback & new thoughts that you're keen on into your actual concept post to acknowledge your idea is evolving through these collaborative conversations. Perhaps a create a new subsection titled "Feedback" in your post highlight some of the community feedback. Looking forward to the next update!

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

sure. definitely!

Photo of yehuda t
Team

This is one screenshot of zomato app that i think is pretty good, i don't think this is the perfect one (which i haven't found yet), but its pretty decent for the trending section, here's the link: http://cl.ly/image/0j3j1e3p3P3e/Zomato%20App.PNG

Photo of Bethany Arwa
Team

It would be great if the app could track the calories saved by making the healthier choice. Love the idea!

Photo of Allen A
Team

I like that idea. Also if you choose an activity instead, you really benefit ...

Energy expenditure (calories/minute) = .0175 x MET (from table)* x weight (in kilograms)*

*Weight in Kilograms = Weight in pounds/2.2

*MET: A MET is a measure of exercise intensity. It's formally known as a metabolic equivalent. METS are directly related to the intensity of physical activity and the amount of oxygen consumed. The larger the MET value the more calories burnt.

You can find a table of METs (based on activity) on the web.

Photo of Chris Lee
Team

Could you add a "zombie apocalypse mode" where it counts up your calorie savings and presents the equivalent number of zombies you were able to run away from or whack with a cricket bat?
Nod to veggie heroes (https://openideo.com/challenge/healthy-lives/ideas/introducing-veggieheroes) and finding ways to make it fun to play with your food.

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi Swapna.
I wonder if an app like this also has a place for suggestions that are not related to eating, rather "Do this instead". Whatever the trigger is to eat, a craving, feelings/emotions, might creating an opportunity for someone to choose other actions be another function of an app that is about alternative choices? Might the app provide guidance on how one can prepare oneself for "snack time" by planning alternative activities, in addition to the "eat this instead" option? This exercise was something that I did as part of a group for smokers who were trying to quit. I found just the idea of it empowering and useful. One plans ahead. If one finds that they regularly reach for candy at 4 pm how about planning three other brief actions that one can choose from to do at that time? The power for me was in the suggestion that ultimately if one wants to snack (smoke) they can, but why not try something else first. Ideas - call a loved one for a 5 minute break, take a short walk, listen to music/maybe even get up and dance?, meditate, do a crossword puzzle for a few minutes etc. etc. ....
Just a thought....
Good luck with your project!
Bettina

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Thanks Bettina,
It was suggested by community ideators, and I do appreciate you confirming this by a real life example. I have decided to add 2 tracks to curb cravings:
Eat Right (healthy foods, hydrotherapy)
Engage Smart (meditate, binaural, 10 min nap, aromatherapy, brush teeth etc).

The idea to prepare user in advance can be included in real time alerts based on user history of when he/she craving.

thanks for providing examples!!

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi. Sorry, I didn't see the suggestion in the post/comments.
Good luck.

Photo of Joël Mortensen
Team

I think the idea of an application on a mobile phone is interesting. But it all depends on the person's profile. Some can eat more of this or that depending on their age and lifestyle.
Maybe a person could 1) fill up an anonymous form online (age, health problems, lifestyle) and be given a specific health profile-type ID (instead of keeping it an online profile, for privacy reasons you just get a number which can generate the entire profile again once entered. Just like a bank code to withdraw money). This profile ID can be short or long according to the info entered. according to health statistics, the season, the location. Instead of entering the name of the food. The client could scan a product (or take a picture of it if visual recognition software becomes more powerful) and he can then access a series of info (specific for her/his health profile ID) which can help him choose the product. This info can change according to the health profile ID, but also according to the season, the location and so on. For instance : "product OK but not more than twice a week. For your health profile this product is not really recommended. Eat x or y instead". Or "product OK, especially if you combine it with x or y. Need a recipe ? Yes / No." or "The product is not very healthy, but it is also important to be happy. You're young and you do sport so ok but brush your teeth well" and so on...
So in other words : 1) scan a product 2) read the comments on the food. Another possibility : the stores put some chips on their stalls. Then you can choose the option : detect the recommended food for me. Then before closing the user can answer a simple yes/no : did you buy the product ? Which can feed the health statistics. This system could maybe also be used in hospitals but with a health journal (so the patient doesn't eat the same food). Diversity of food is also important. If you eat salad everyday then it is not healthy anymore. :)

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

some of your ideas are included as app features! thanks for sharing!

Photo of Chris Lee
Team

Nice idea Swapna. I was a little skeptical about substitutes for a chocolate donut until I read your example. :D
Might you be able to add an option to "wait a little bit?" I have found that sometimes I'm craving something because of stress or habit more than because I'm actually hungry. I have found that mindful pausing lets me acknowledge my craving without giving in to it (on good days).
Maybe you could add some context (e.g. is it just after a meal time and this is likely not a hunger issue) and meditation inducing graphics as an option to see if you can skip the snack altogether?

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

I see where you are coming from! since, this is a food suggestion app, I need to think how I can add the fitness feature in it. Perhaps, I can prompt users to select what track would they like to choose-- eat this instead OR do this instead?! thanks so much for ideas!!!

Photo of Chris Lee
Team

Maybe have a fun questionnaire that determines what kind of eater (superhero) you are through a series of scenario questions and figures out, based on your habits and weaknesses or aspirations, what kind of suggestions to make.

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

I can use this idea for badges. Thanks!

Photo of Allen A
Team

I made a similar suggestion (to another idea). What do you think about making your app like the game "apples to apples" or "words against humanity"? Until you build you database of substitutes, ask your friends what they think you should eat instead of the "triple layer chocolate cake" ...

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

I do have the crowd-sourcing element to it- the dynamic database is based on user's shared feedback and the app recommends options based on that.. but can add an extra layer to how to gamify that feature..Thanks for the suggestions!

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

I wonder what would incentivize people to flip through pictures or descriptions of other people's food and tell them to eat something else. With strangers, you run into the timeless problem of internet trolls, and with friends, well, it might start to feel personal with your friends telling you not to eat what you want, even if that's what you're asking for.

I'm just not sure enough qualified people will log in to make good suggestions for what other people should eat.

You could, for one thing, have a staff of nutrition experts who are paid to do the suggesting, but that would cost a lot very quickly.

You could also have a rating system where people earn "points" for their contributions - and award more points if the person asking for advice takes it. Sites like wiki.answers.com operate in this way, which lets users know who to trust and who's just trolling you. For the suggesters, certain points-thresholds could unlock additional features or, as with wikianswers, earn you some free physical "company swag," like a tote bag or a T-shirt that says "Eat This Instead!"

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

There are legitimate concerns and here are my ideas to minimize the pain-points:

Consumers are now relying on User Generated Content (UGC) to buy/consumer products/services; that's how review sites like yelp thrive. Based on this premise, if I have an option for users to up-vote reviews/receive badges for influencing others (i.e based on Waze, more you share, better badges you collect; people are more confident following suggestions from those users).

The hope is that people in need of suggestions will use the most reviewed/up-voted suggestion. Also, this is all crowd-sourced, so if anything looks iffy, its democratic to down-vote any suggestions. also, people are not forced to use UGC only. The app has 2 types of database (static: based on medical research/online sites shown in the source) and dynamic (crowd-sourced from app users). perhaps, I need to improvise on detailing these options clearly (my bad).

I have used the concept providing badges for those with qualified comments/tried & tested options, instead of points (for fun!) and perhaps can provide incentives to those who receive the highest badge (t-shirts as you suggested).

Let me think through how can I create more trustworthy platform, some threshold/rating system as you stated. (this is difficult one, but challenging me to try).

I do like the idea of having an expert (nutritionist), perhaps something in future as an update after the app receives traction and revenue from partnerships!.

Thanks James! these suggestions are interesting and eye-opening for me!

Photo of Joanna Spoth
Team

Excited to see your idea continue to evolve, Swapna!

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Thanks! creativity always thrives in collaboration!! I am getting great suggestions from fellow ideators!

Photo of Joanna Spoth
Team

I looks like it! So great to hear/see. :)

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Awesome idea! I think the basic premise, the app that tells you what to eat, is brilliant, and would nudge people in the right direction. I wonder, though, about the input methods for the user. Typing in your food choices is a cumbersome process that most people might not want to do, but we already talk about food and take pictures of our food every day.

I think your core idea of substituting "good" food for "bad" food would make my app idea a lot stronger, and I think your app might benefit from the food recognition/database searching component of mine. What do you think?

https://openideo.com/challenge/healthy-lives/ideas/fotofood-a-complete-nutrition-suggestion-engine

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Totally agree! In fact I mentioned the food recognition software and data analytics for my other contribution dia-bot but somehow never utilized it on this app. Thanks for reminding me.

Photo of yehuda t
Team

ya, an idea suddenly sprung up after reading James Mayr’s comment, by taking photos of food before we eat them, like i usually do, in Evernote Food app, there can be features like structured comment, what i mean by this is not just an ordinary comment section. Because if we use ordinary comment section, there could be a lot of people who just blabber manny unimportant stuff, that makes the comments pile up without any solutions given. For example, a comment like "thats great" / "looking delicious!" / "where'd you get that?" or even spammy comments, etc.. that defeats the basic purpose of this app.

what i mean by a structured comment, is that everyone who wants to comment have to fill the title with the food alternative they suggest, and then there are some descriptions they should fill too..

so, the user, who take the photo, will see a bunch of alternative given there, and just pick one he/she like, and click the drop down arrow to see the description…

Therefore the solution (food suggestion alternative) given could be crowdsourced, just like openIDEO..

The downsides of this is, the app has to be a photo app, where people could upload photos, and therefore it will be make it more complex and need a storage server to keep all the data… maybe this could be realized in the next version of the app, but not now..

anyways, here some ideas for healthy snacks:
https://instagram.com/befitsnacks
https://instagram.com/healthyfitnessmeals

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

In addition to needing massive amounts of server space to store all those pictures, you'd need a sizable population of people willing to sift through strangers' food photos and suggest other things for them to eat. Personally, I can't imagine doing this - looking at somebody's food choices and telling them to eat something else - but maybe there are people who would enjoy that.

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Thanks all for pouring in thoughts, ideas and suggestions. I have modified app features accordingly! I cannot thank you guys enough for collaborating on this!

Photo of Carlo Stragapede
Team

Hi Swapna, thank you for adding me to your team, I think your idea is "simply" amazing and It's very well presented .
Indeed I didn't know about this medical researches but this may be is the right way to aproach with users .
At the moment the only way I can think to be helpful is to find healthy food producers in my area, but let me think about it...............

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Thanks Carlo for sharing your thoughts!

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Hi Swapna, we're excited to see that your idea has sparked some interesting community comments. As conversations progress here, you might consider adding contributors to your OpenIDEO Team. Read more: http://bit.ly/oi-teams Looking forward to seeing this idea will grow...

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

sure, thanks for the note

Photo of Shane Zhao
Team

Great to hear Swapna! Also, we're particularly interested in how this idea can leverage the use of media channels and technologies. e.g. can the content of Eat this Instead! be delivered without the use of an app?

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

thanks Shane, your suggestion has sparked a few ideas in my head on how to scale this to a less tech savvy audience or those who are confined to TV as their main media.

Photo of Giannicola Baiardi
Team

Hi there. Thanks for adding me to the team of this good idea. Maybe there would be some commercial contradictions, and certainly is not an original suggestion, but I was thinking at shopping bags as an ideal support to deliver the content to a part of the offline audience.

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

I was thinking along the same lines..using shopping bags as promotional materials or ad bursts or ticker ads on Hispanic channels when the viewership is high. Thanks for the tip!

Photo of Nuno Franca
Team

Swapna,
Peer pressure, or role models and a little bit of health competition, are probably one of the most effective ways to help change. So, if your app shares the user eating habits and struggle to change with a group of friends (or role models), it could help that change.
On the other hand the app should be "smart" enough to keep track of what the user is doing and try to guide in to the best healthy path as well as be able to cross check the app data with other possible health data the user might have (for example if there are any exercising, weight logs, etc)

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

I agree, peer to peer sharing along with data quantification is must these days. Thanks for the feedback, I will broaden the scope of this app.

Photo of Nuno Franca
Team

Hi Swapna, thanks for your invitation and I'll try to help as much as possible.
Your app idea seem great and I would just add one general comment: the user "tells" the app what he/she is craving for and the app suggests a healthier alternative that should look like, smell like, feel like and taste like what he/she is craving for.

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

that's a great idea --adding this functionality will allow consumers to use the app effortlessly.

Photo of Shane Zhao
Team

Swapna, congrats on being featured in our Community Voices blog! Check it out here: https://openideo.com/blog/healthy-lives-challenge-community-voices-june-26-2015

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

thanks Shane! always a pleasure.

Photo of John Born
Team

Great idea! Love the way you can find instant alternatives and make an impact on your daily eating in moments of "weakness"!

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Thanks John! you are right, simplification was my aim here!

Photo of Shane Zhao
Team

Very cool idea Swapna! And great use of the user scenario to flesh out how this idea can play out in real life. I particularly like how this tool can slowly teach people to adopt healthier alternatives to satisfy their guilty pleasures. There were definitely times when I wanted to avoid junk foods - but I just didn't know what alternatives were out there:)

As you continue to develop how the interface of this app can work, check out if you might draw some inspiration from Sven's idea here: https://openideo.com/challenge/healthy-lives/ideas/have-an-app-scan-an-ingredient-list-or-a-interpret-a-photo-of-a-fruit-or-vegetable-you-don-t-know-to-tell-you-how-healthy-the-foodstuff-is

Photo of Swapna Bellare
Team

Thanks for your feedback and information on how to improvise the idea!