Product and Scope
Our goal is to create a mobile application that allows users with specific dietary requirements (such as allergies) to streamline their shopping experience by allowing them to quickly find dietary information about potential product purchases.
This would be a cloud-based service and allow for multiple user profiles. An optional wearable gadget which will link to the app via Bluetooth would be used to augment the experience by providing an interface that at a glance will show a “yes/no” indicator whether the product that was scanned, fits their requirements.
Why build it?
1. There’s a gap in the market for an app that helps people with allergies
2. The allergy community is continuing to grow so there is a ever growing demand for a product like Foodgies
Who is it for?
1. Food allergy sufferers
2. People with food intolerances
We have broken down our stakeholders into three categories:
Primary: Anyone involved in the creation of the App, Users with allergies, Parents/Guardians, Sitters
Secondary: People who want to add to database, groceries stores
Tertiary: Other companies offering a similar service, health service, app store hosts (those that will distribute our application), dietary experts and professionals
What does the market look like?
Competition: For this part of our research, we looked at similar products to Foodgies that were already out in the market. From our findings, we noticed that although there were mobile apps which had similar motivations to Foodgies, many lacked features and ultimately did not provide the sort of functionality users wanted. This was emphasised by the negative user reviews we found.
Substitute products: We found three mobile apps which we concluded were substitute products to Foodgies. They were: Ipiit, The Food Ambassador (free app), Non-GMO Project Shopping Guide (free app), NextNutro ($4.99 iOS, $2.99 Android). Out of these three mobile apps, Ipiit used similar features to what we are aiming for with Foodgies.
From the information we gathered, we learnt that applications existing in the market does not fully satisfy the needs of the user. We feel strongly that we can product a better product and we will use the short-comings from these existing products to create a dietary app that meets the full requirements of users who have allergies or dietary requirements.
To gather feedback from potential users we devised a questionnaire using Google Forms. We distributed it in a number of different locations including on chat rooms and to friends and family. Unfortunately, we only received a total of ten responses, however there were some useful insights that we were able to gain from the responses.
The most common type of allergy/intolerance we found was lactose which was featured in 70% of the responses. This suggests that is could be important when developing the database to focus on building a archive of products that contain this substance.
The frequency with which people check labels seemed normally distributed with a slight tendency towards frequently checking labels. Interestingly though very few (only 2) respondents said that they looked at labels for the purpose of seeking allergy information with most mainly suggesting that they looked at them for “best before” dates. This potentially suggests that despite suffering from allergies people tend to either stick with what they know or go for products that they assume is safe.
Personas & Scenarios
After sending out our questionnaire to the public, we created some personas based off of the data we received. We decided to create three types of personas which we thought best represented the general user groups for Foodgies; these included: a person who was a vegetarian (Gia Stevens), a person who had allergies (Angelica To), and a person who did not have any specific dietary requirements or allergies (Jeremy Cow).
Click on each image to open up a larger view
These personas were made with Xtensio
Use case for Foodgies
- The user needs to check the ingredients of the product they see
- They take out their phone and open the Foodgies app
- As they are a returning user, they will be confronted with the main menu screen
- From here they choose the ‘capture’ mode to start scanning products with the camera
- Recognises the product and indicates if it is suitable for the user based on their requirements they set beforehand. If they want more information, they can double tap on the object box which pops up after the product is recognised.
- There is an error in the capture process and Foodgies does not recognise the product; so the user uses the secondary scan function which is scanning the barcode. This will give the same indication of a green or red light to determine if the product is suitable for the user or not.
- The product is not in Foodgies’ database and so the product is unidentified. The user has the option to log a request for the item so that it can be added to the Foodgies app at a future update.
- The user retrieves the information they wanted to find and decides whether to purchase the product or not