Brief: A tool that helps parents get a customized list of complementary food for a baby
Field: Product Design, Interaction Design
Timeline: 3 weeks | 2017
Role: Teamwork | Product Designer & UX Designer
So Many Questions !
I once worked for a healthcare technology company. The company had a mobile application that is a health management tool for infants, mothers, and pregnant women. The application had an online chat module so users can chat with our doctors and nutritionist to get professional suggestions from them. We received plenty of aforementioned questions that were asked by mothers through our system. On average there were about ten questions about complementary food per day, which was one of the most frequently asked types of questions. Doctors needed to reply to them one by one and for most of the time answers were quite similar.
Did any patterns exist? Could I find a favorable way to generate complementary food, so we can help more parents and infants while saving doctors' time?
How Do Doctors Draw Conclusions?
“When breast milk is no longer enough to meet the nutritional needs of the infant, complementary foods should be added to the diet of the child. The transition from exclusive breastfeeding to family foods, referred to as complementary feeding, typically covers the period from 6 to 18-24 months of age, and is a very vulnerable period.”
————World Health Organization
My colleagues suggested that it is a necessary step to ensure the healthy growth of a baby. However, it is true that many parents do not know what kinds of food suit infants’ growth. Principles offered by World Health Organization and other official consultations plus reference materials and doctors' experience help them make complementary feeding plans for different infants.
Information They Used
Organizing the Information
The information discussed above is essential of Feeding so it needs to be well-organized. The thinking process of doctors enlightens me. After reading some complementary feeding reports, I realized two important things: each kind of food material has different functions and suits to infants of different month ages, requirements of babies vary from age to age. In this case, we need two forms to manage food materials and requirements.
Data Structure (Two Forms)
An Input Tool for Doctors
We have already known what kinds of information are needed. Now let's design a clear and efficient tool for doctors to input, manage, modify required data! Clearness and efficiency are very important since doctors are not proficient in computer as we are and this input task cannot take up too much time.
Then, developers can build a database to store essential data according to doctors' input.
Food Material Table & Editor
Requirement Table & Editor
Generating a Food List
With the help of a doctor, we have more than 100 food materials in database! Cool!
I am getting a step closer to "success". Now it is crucial to find a method conveying the valuable information to our customers. After reviewing hundreds of chatting history (anonymous), I concluded two kinds of necessary information that doctors need-month age and food allergies. Moreover, to get a more specialized list, functions of food should be considered.
After gathering aforementioned data , suitable food materials can be filtered from database and generate a list. A list, in my opinion, is more comprehensive than a diet plan because sometimes one or two ingredients could be absent and a full list means more options.
An Application for Customers
The user flow of the application was not complicated, I wanted it to be clean and clear.
Originally, this tool was regarded as an extension of the current system, but when I finished the preparation, I realized that it was a both integrated and independent module of our system. So I decided to design a new application besides an extension.
The functions of the extension and the new application are exactly the same. The only difference between them is the design style. The extension's design style is compatible with the former one which is a little bit outdated. However, the new application can be independent and more attractive. Therefore, I will take the new user interface as an example in the following part.
Present User Composition
Since we already have a stable user base, analyzing its distribution helps me predict user composition of the new application. Most of our users are women who prefer something cute, vivid and delightful. I had tried three kinds of styles and chose one of them after testing 20 mothers' inclinations.
Choosing a Style
A Demo !
To Be Continued
After this application and extension were released, we received much positive feedback. And DAU(Daily Active User) of our system increased more than 200 due to the new extension. Around 9000 parents customized complementary food lists for their babies within two months after the application and the extension released.
However, much more needs to be done to help more parents and infants: