Health tracking with a difference—a UX Case Study
Encouraging a holistic and positive approach to maintaining a healthy lifestyle
This was a 2-week conceptual project completed while studying UX design at General Assembly, London.
Farmdrop are a British sustainable and ethical food delivery company who provide customers with farm-fresh food, locally-sourced fish and everyday essentials and household goods. They are on a mission to “fix the food chain” and pay farmers 70% of profits made from food they sell.
To design an app prototype which provided customers with an opportunity to track their health and book on to events in a team of 3 UX designers.
Who are Farmdrop?
Ben Pugh, Farmdrop’s founder, mentioned in a Sifted interview, that:
“I could quite fairly be accused of being a founder who is more driven by ethics than profit — because I am.”
Farmdrop is a company which values trust and transparency. We needed to ensure that the brand would not be tarnished by any ethical complications around data tracking.
Farmdrop’s competitors are traditional supermarkets, vegetable boxes and recipe boxes. In addition to these, introducing health-tracking and event-booking features opened up a whole new market to explore. I looked into these direct and new competitors to see if there could be a potential product-market fit and get some inspiration on how to differentiate the new Farmdrop app.
- There was a gap in the market for health tracking amongst competitors
- Events held by direct competitors were mainly about food and were predominantly available on Eventbrite
- Eventbrite is a large, corporate platform which is open to everyone. Advertising events on Eventbrite could potentially dilute the special, community feeling of premium-brand events
- Competitor apps mainly integrated with general health-tracking services like Fitbit or Apple Health and then put their own spin on the data
Validating our assumptions
We sent out a survey, crafted by Oliver, to over 30 potential app users based in Farmdrop delivery areas.
The survey results were very positive:
- Respondents attached great deal of importance to their health
- They were comfortable with the idea of using technology to track it
- Users preferred the idea of using a phone app over a website for health tracking and booking events
There were good indications the app could have a market with the target audience.
We spoke to 9 users who were either Farmdrop customers, direct competitor customers or health-tracking app users to discover what health-related issues they chose to track, events they liked to go to and potential pain points we could address with the app.
Christine created experience maps from these interviews for using health-tracking competitor app: Strava and booking with Eventbrite. These maps highlighted:
- A strong feeling of guilt — when failing to meet fitness tracking goals on Strava
- Frustration—when having to browse and search through thousands of events on Eventbrite
Narrowing down the problem to solve
Pulling key trends from our interview findings led to the creation of our persona: Belinda. We needed to ensure that every aspect of the app catered to Belinda’s needs.
We created a very general problem statement to summarise the pain points found in our research and to focus our solutions and used it to start exploring solutions:
Belinda is a busy, sociable and health-conscious professional. She needs a way to make better lifestyle choices.
Feedback from initial ideas was that the Farmdrop brand seemed a little lost in our solutions. We condensed the scope of our problem statement and focused directly on rewarding Farmdrop customers for making healthy choices:
Belinda is a busy, sociable and health-conscious professional, she wants to be rewarded for making better lifestyle choices.
We came up with a variety of ways to tackle this problem statement; from points for nutrition tracking, social training regimes for fitness events, points for using recipes, rewards for greater dietary variation, and many more. A gamified way of checking health data received the most votes from the team so we moved this idea into testing.
Testing and iterating
We tested a basic prototype with classmates—users could get points for viewing health data and progress along a scale to unlock events. Testing highlighted key issues we needed to solve but the good news was that people appreciated the core flow of the app.
3 key questions from test participants were:
- How is the health data connected to the app? Is my data safe?
- What is the value of tracking your data?
- What is the link between Farmdrop and Cultivate?
Oliver focused on adding trust to health data integration. Christine tackled improving the gamification of tracking health data. I focused on the value of going to events, boosting the link to Farmdrop and looking at our Eventbrite research for inspiration.
How is the health data connected to the app? Is my data safe?
We added an Apple Health screen during signup so users had control over what they wanted to share and track. We also added an additional ‘how it works’ screen so that the messaging around data tracking was very clear to a user.
What is the value of tracking your data?
There were now ways to unlock events on a progress scale, Christine looked at apps like Chinese Skill and Duolingo for inspiration. Future stages were greyed out so users could always see the next steps and remain motivated.
What is the link between Farmdrop and Cultivate?
Events were run by Farmdrop and were based on fun things to do with friends to make Belinda feel rewarded, this improved the link between Cultivate and Farmdrop. The events felt curated, there weren’t too many options, plus tickets were easy to access in the ‘Your Tickets’ tab.
Branding and user interface design
We continued to make tweaks and changes to the prototypes based on testing feedback. I then moved our designs into a high-fidelity prototype.
The goal was to create a brand which incorporated Farmdrop elements and felt part of the Farmdrop family but also had a unique personality that would allow it to work as a stand-alone product. Christine did some brand direction work and I came up with the name and visual design based on this vision.
This meant adding a vibrant orange accent colour (sporty carrot) and creating a logo that showed the nurturing, holistic qualities of the app experience — a thriving seedling that needs patience, care and attention to flourish.
We needed to show that the product provided users with an intelligent approach to tracking health data and collecting points.
With the same care that Farmdrop farmers apply to their produce, Cultivate enables users to tend to their own health needs and flourish in a holistic and mindful way.
This positivity was reinforced by the introduction of wise quotes in the health-tracking section, encouraging users to approach their well-being as an enjoyable and balanced part of their lives.
The final Cultivate prototype
Check out the video below:
- Social sharing—Farmdrop users interviewed first discovered the service through a friend so incentivising social sharing could have been a new, organic way of attracting customers
- Accessibility testing—1 in 5 people have some sort of disability so this would have been crucial to ensure all Farmdrop customers could navigate and interact with the app
- Wearables—developing the app for Apple Watch or other tracking devices would work well for a lot of people we interviewed, as would integration with additional tracking providers
- Solid research matters—hitting our deadline after pivoting during the sketching phase would have not been possible without the breadth of groundwork and research in place—this is crucial for working in a lean way
- Be specific—our original problem statement was too broad: narrowing the scope of our solutions allowed us to be more creative and efficient
- Keep talking—effective and regular team communication allowed us to hit our deadline on this project
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