myfitnesspal (study)


One of my favorite health tracking products on the market right now is myfitnesspal. I evangelize it to nearly all of my friends and family as the most highly specific and detail focused health tracker on the market. However this introduces an intriguing UX challenge. How as designers can we craft a product that despite a high level of work investment from users, the percentage of new data entered is maintained/increased, and health trends and insights are clear and accessible. Enter my proposed feature change to the myfitnesspal web app– the visual dashboard.

Discovery Phase

On the myfitnesspal website, health progress and goal achievements are displayed via text fields, embedded amongst and array of ads, buried between the major navigation, secondary navigation and a utility/social media navigation. Below are screen shots of the current myfitnesspal website. My hypothesis is that the equation visual is not as powerful as a visual dashboard.


Strategy + Concepts Phase


To create an effective visual dashboard, I created a provisional persona. Personas are help put people into perspective:
1. identify pain points with the users current solution
2. avoid feature scope creep: add value, not complexity
3. identify the smallest viable first design (MVP)

Beth, is a mother of two girls, who’s life is hectic and unbalanced. She has a number of specific life constraints (facts), behaviors, goals & needs that guide the design of the visual dashboard.


Feature Requirements

From the Beth’s persona I am able to then turn to detailed design stories to create better, more complete designs. Detailed design stories help ensure that all potential use cases are identified. Once identified, it is easier to evaluate the most important and less important functions and therefore which features to include/disclude.

Feature Context
Platform: Web app
Access: Mobile, tablet and desktop
Affect: Change users’ health behavior
Account: Login required (Assumption is that user is in a logged in state)
Task Frequency: Infrequent and power users
Feature Stage: new users and regulars

Epic/High Level Design Story
Beth wants to track and view her health progress.

Alternate Flows
Beth wants to share her health progress (not addressed in MVP).

Main Flows
User can view health category by week
User can view health category by month
User can select specific health dates
User can view food actual
User can view food goal
User can view food average
User can view actual exercise average
User can view goal exercise average
User can view water consumption actual
User can view water consumption goal
User can view water consumption average
User can view sleep actual
User can view sleep goal
User can view sleep average



Interactions + UI Design Phase

Below is a demo video, demonstrating a prototype of the visual dashboard.

Learning Phase

Useable and useful? My next steps in this case study are to recruit 3-5 users who match the customer profile and test how they respond to the visual dashboard prototype. Is there confusion with regards to the user interface, the information architecture, the flow?  More coming soon…