Nourish: An App for Therapy Patients Recovering from Eating Disorders.

Client

Anna Freud Centre for Children and Families. See the pitch deck.

Brief

People who receive therapy for food-related mental health disorders are generally required to track their mood and eating habits. The A4 paper forms that are currently used for this are indiscreet and impractical for people on the go. Imagine having to fill out an A4 form (pictured below) Every. Single. Time. you eat or drink something!

Our product owner was a Psychology student and volunteer at the Anna Freud Centre for Children and Families. She herself had been through the recovery process for Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa. Her aim was to revolutionise the paper diaries that patients are expected to fill out several times a day to overcome the issues she had encountered; she wanted to create a digital equivalent that saves time and effort. There are several apps that already do this, but they aren't synced with therapist notes.

Team

Three developers from Founders and Coders, plus a product owner from the Anna Freud Centre.

Deliverable

We had 5 days to create a working prototype for an app that records each meal experience.

Description/Process

I researched the frustrations of the current system, spoke to patients, and tried using it myself.

To make the meal-logging process more seamless, I integrated interactive elements to speed up the user's experience of logging a meal: the time of entry is autocompleted, they have the option to take a photo of their meal in place of writing a description, and there are sliding scales for inputting qualitative data, like evaluating mood. Try it yourself, if you like. Now compare Nourish with the form below!


I also added a calendar interface, from which the user can access past diary entries, to show recovery progress over time.

All importantly, there is the convenient option to send patient data to the therapist, so users are free to be paper-less.

The aesthetic is calming and airy, influenced by the paintings of Nicholas Roreich (see below). The idea was to differentiate Nourish from other dietary apps, so that there is no hint of bodily objectification, but a gentle nudge to be mindful.


Outcomes

Nourish was received well by clinicans and test users who trialled the product remotely, although user testing revealed that the calendar view could be improved by making it visible alongside the food diary, to enhance usability.

Feedback

"Cool! Just logged my breakfast! Super awesome. I love this idea so much!"

"I found it to be very intuitive!"

"So some feedback based on the food logs we use at the treatment center I work @ - we also use for time type/amount (I love the photo idea-we have some clients take photos of their meals/snacks outside of program!) So all that aligns with what we track."
– California-based Therapist.

I used: pencil and paper, Photoshop, Illustrator, Sketch, Invision, HTML5, CSS, JavaScript.