How might we assist users to eat better at restaurants, depending on their health issues?
While I was doing my research, I came across many “eat healthy” apps. Some had a specific purpose, such as counting the user’s calorie intake, displaying nearby gluten-free fast food places, or making healthy recipes. One was even a hypnosis app to help the user eat healthy (this was intriguing). However, none of the apps were simple enough to use and did not display important information about the meals.
To preview Salus please click on this link.
I created Salus to help users to find healthy restaurants near them that will accommodate their health issues and food restrictions. Salus means health, safety, and salvation in Latin and Salus also refers to the Roman goddess of health and prosperity. You can pick from various health issues, such as high cholesterol, diabetes, hypoglycemia, and/or high blood pressure. You can also customize with a restriction filter by the type of allergy, where applicable. Salus can be used in a variety of situations: it can help you watch what you want to eat or help you track the food you consume.
DETAILS AND PROCESS
Salus will show the nutrition facts on each menu item and will help the user avoid certain foods. Unlike the other apps I reviewed, it provides the most pertinent information for the user’s health condition. My intention was to create an app that would be truly useful to people and help them with their dietary choices.
My goal was for Salus to be intuitive. I wanted Salus to be so easy to use and such a great solution to my users’ pain points that they would use it multiple times a day.
My main audience would be people who watch what they eat and would not be limited to the following:
Salus app map
I avoided a lot of bells and whistles and wanted Salus to be intuitive and simple to use. Therefore, there isn’t any sign-up or profile creation. The app will automatically save the user’s settings from the beginning, without requiring him or her to create a profile. The settings feature will allow the user to change his or her settings easily if they wish.
Since gesture use is prevalent in iOS, I also wanted to use gestures on Salus. For example, if the user wants to view a restaurant’s menu in the map view, the user could slide up and the menu will appear. If the user also wants to change the settings, filter, and/or health issue, he or she can slide to the right to view the hidden navigation.
I used Google Maps navigation as an inspiration. I think Google Maps is easy to use and most of the features are hidden, putting the content the user wants to see (the map) on full display. If you wanted to view a certain feature, then you can move the side drawers to the right and view more of the features.
I used a similar feature on Salus. In the map view, you do not see any tabs or buttons. I wanted to keep it this way because I want the relevant information to be seen at all times, just as in Google Maps. On the side drawer, I included the filter and settings, where the user is able to change them.
First-time users will see a brief introduction of the app and they will be asked to choose their health condition. After that, depending on the user’s location and health issue, the app will show the specific, relevant restaurants. The app does not ask for the user to sign up or create an account. The health condition will be saved from the beginning until it is changed by the user.
The map will have the consistent colors of the app. The user’s current location will be shown in an orange circle, while the restaurants will be shown in blue. On the map view, there is a search field, toggle view, and side drawer.
Search Field: I wanted to include the search field because it is useful for the user to be able to search for a specific restaurant, restriction, or cuisine.
Toggle View: I included this because there are times where users will prefer to the list of the restaurants, rather than the map view.
When the side drawer is tapped, the user will see the filter and settings. I kept these hidden because these settings do not often change. Since they are not going to be used often, I did not want them to use any space on the main screen of the map.
If the user is on the map view and taps on any of the restaurants, that particular restaurant’s information will appear. For the menu to appear on the restaurant, the user could move the restaurant information bar up and view the menu. I wanted the menu to appear this way since this information is not important at first. But if the user wants to view the menu, they can simply pull it up, much in the same way the user can pull down the notifications area on the iPhone or Android phone.
It’s important for the user to customize his or her search results because not all users will want the same results. Under filter, the user can change the restaurant results by filtering with the following options:
1. Type of meal: breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner
2. Price range
3. Restrictions: This section is important because it has a list of food allergies. For example, if the user is allergic to nuts, he or she would choose the nuts icon and the menu with meals that do not contain nuts will appear.
4. Cuisines: This will have all the common cuisines listed for the user.
5. Open now: This is an option so that users may search for restaurants that are currently open. This would be especially helpful for users who want to eat something late at night or early in the morning.
This section will hold the health conditions. If the user wishes to add or change his or her health condition, he or she could do so in the settings. Right now, I have listed common conditions, which are diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, hypoglycemia, and celiac disease.
Since I wanted the design to be minimal, I chose three colors with a white background. The two blues represents calmness and will show the hierarchy of each page, while the orange acts as an accent color to separate information. Since simplicity is a key factor in my app’s design, I did not want to use any bright or dark color for the background that would take away from the main colors of the navigation areas, so I instead decided to stick to the basic white.
I believe Salus can help a lot of people, including users who are healthy, but have allergy restrictions. Because the design of the app is intuitive, it will undoubtedly have returning users. I want Salus to help people like me be healthier and feel better in their lives. As stated, I believe my app is a departure from what already exists on the marketplace, mostly because I have prioritized simplicity in the design. By implementing an easy-to-use design, I have created a handy tool that will guide people in their day-to-day dietary decisions.