iOS app to promote health and fitness among youth by incentivizing healthy habits

Aug 2017 - Dec 2017
5 months
Paper protyping
My Contributions
User Research
Interaction flows
Lo-fi and Hi-fi Prototypes
User Testing
Project Type
Design and prototyping project for Intro to HCI class.
Instructor: Prof. Eun Kyuong Choe
CarrotCoach is a mobile app that motivates people to create healthy habits by giving financial incentives.

The app helps the users accomplish their health goals by suggesting ideal schedule for their activities, giving timely reminders, and rewarding points which could be used to redeem health-related prizes.

In modern healthcare, patient activation is an important aspect to engage people and help them actively take charge of their own health. Within the general public, activation comes not only from consistent communication with physicians, but also through mobile applications for activity tracking, fitness coaching, and health monitoring.

Recent research has shown that these applications significantly improve the health goals of users such as eating vegetables and losing weight. However, only 23% of the population tend to use them in their daily lives. Given more than 100,000 health apps on mobile app stores, there is clearly a gap when it comes to engaging the average Joe/Jane in their own health.

After conducting a research on competitor apps in the current market, we identified three different aspects the current apps target at their core.

1. Simplification: Users easily learn and develop a routine. Example: 7-min workout
2. Incentivization: Users earn points or money. Example: Sweatcoin
3. Gamification: Users engage and compete to achieve goals. Example: Pokemon Go

These three aspects are promising for developing healthy habits. However, current applications focus on only one or two of these aspects. In contrast, CarrotCoach offers a solution that builds upon on all three to develop and maintain healthy habits. It motivates the users by creating simple goals and regimen, incentivizes them to maintain their performance through a points system, and allows them to utilize their points to redeem gifts.

During each and every phase of our design process, we implemented multiple design and research methods and went through several iterations by getting continuous feedback from evaluations.

Here is an overview of all these steps in our design process.

We conducted semi-structured interviews with 8 young adults to get insights on their food and health habits and evaluate our ideas. I chose a grad level student and a working professional to interview because they would have more life experience and have probably developed certain habits by now.

From the collective insights of our group, I created two user personas to understand the potential users of our app and their expectations.

To organize all of our insights from our research, we outlined all the themes to create an affinity diagram.

We then sorted them into issues and "hot ideas" that could address these issues.

We each created a set of 40 concept sketches to put down all our ideas to design the app screens. This was followed by a session of affinity diagramming and we selected two sets of screens for two design concepts.

We conducted white-boarding sessions to sketch selected ideas and create information flows. After iterating, combining, and evaluating concepts, we selected our two best design flows for our concept.

In order to assess the usability of our designs and identify one design concept to move forward with, we decided to create a low-fidelity paper prototype for each of the two wireframes. We chose to use paper prototypes so that we could focus and receive feedback on the overall concept of our design, rather than the aesthetics. Paper prototypes are also cheap and easy to create, making it an easy choice as a medium for our low-fidelity prototypes.

Our first prototype is a mobile app with which users can track healthy habits and are rewarded for completion consistency via an incentives system. Stars are rewarded when habits are completed. After accumulating enough stars users can redeem them for a selection of rewards.

For our second prototype, we came up with a new visual design and model for the same concept as the previous prototype. The homepage is the hub of the app and navigation is accessible through this screen via buttons.

To evaluate our prototypes, we conducted User Testing during which 4 users were asked to perform few tasks and were asked questions regarding their experiences.

Watch the complete process of our evaluation here:

Based on the feedback received from user testing, we selected Prototype-1 to proceed further. We understood that the home screen of this prototype was too heavy. Hence I redesigned the placement and created a medium fidelity prototype of our home screen to get another round of feedback from peers in the class.

After multiple iterations, we created the high fidelity prototypes of our final design concept using Sketch and Invision.

A detailed report of the Design process and decisions can be accessed from here: Design Report





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