It all started back in 2009 when I worked for a startup called iChange.com. We connected users with nutritionists online and encouraged our users to track their food intake, sleep patterns, emotions, exercise, etc. all before wearables were around.
Users, for the most part, enjoyed entering their simple stats, but when it came to logging their food, that was just too cumbersome.
After acquiring feedback and performing a series of user tests, we set out to make the process of tracking food easier. This lead to creating a ‘favorites’ widget where users could select their favorite foods to add to the food tracker easily, but this still didn’t get them to track their food at the level we desired. We also improved the database of food and the search results so that it was easier to find the foods they were eating, but that still required too many steps. Ultimately, only the very passionate took the time to log their food intake.
I began to explore way in which I could make this process easier. This research lead me to the study of eating colorful food, and not just counting calories. The premise is that the more colors one eats, the more variety of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that person acquires. As a designer I was instantly intrigued. People were already taking photos of their food all the time, so how could I build from this? I started to sketch out the concepts for this prototype which later became to be known as Eat Your Greens.
Eat Your Greens encourages users to take pictures of their food, and afterwards simply mark the different colors in the photo. The iOS app then graphs the colors in a pie chart and stores this in the user’s history. When a user isn’t eating a certain color, the app sends a notification to promote that color in various foods that the user might add to their diet. This ultimately instills better food choices while easily tracking their eating habits. Many U.S. people have come to realize their diet consists of bland browns and tans, and have noticed that their diet was lacking vibrant greens and other strong colors.