This project started out as a student project with me and three classmates. A couple years after the class I repurposed the designs to do another refined iteration. I also brought it into Figma to make it an interactive prototype.
Team Members: Angela Piccolo, Allison Parrott, Nicole McLean, and Stephanie Dahle
My Role: Research Wireframes UI/UX Design Documentation Videographer
Be Well adds a positive platform for people with Anorexia Nervous to improve their health without the shame or negative feelings that come with current treatment methods.
Eating disorders are currently a difficult medical and mental illness where there is a lot of shame and negativity built around it. The general public
put pressure on individuals especially young woman to have a perfect body like you would see in magazines or other media. These issues lead to a large amount of emphasis on calorie counting and less of a focus on healthy eating and nutrient improvement. Approximately 11 million Americans suffer from an eating disorder and Anorexia is the 3rd most common chronic illness among adolescents (Eating Disorder Coalition) . The most common behavior that will lead to an eating disorder is dieting (Natalia Zunino, Ph .D, of American Anorexia and Bulimia Association, Inc).
Our suggested solution is Be Well, an app that will connect the person with anorexia nervosa with their dietician to make nutritional goals to improve the patients health over time depending on the specific areas of malnutrition . The patient will be prescribed an insurance cover medication which has the capability to connect to the Be Well app to record the broken down nutrients in the stomach . Be Well adds a positive platform for people with Anorexia Nervous to improve their health without the shame or negative feelings that come with current treatment methods.
Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder that is psychological and sensitive in nature. It requires specialized care from a team of doctors, therapists and dietitians to build a road back to recovery. Roadblocks that prevent those with anorexia from gaining the help they need include:
Need for Control-Psychological disorders like OCD and the desire for self-control and mastery are large contributors to the development of anorexia.
Sensitive Subject-A combination of negative self-image and fear of judgment make it difficult for people to seek help.
Negative Focus-Restrictive dieting and obsessive calorie counting lead to an aversion to food.
This aversion to food leads to a severe depletion of the nutrients the body needs to function and can eventually lead to death . An app was needed to help those with anorexia focus on nutrients instead of calories and provide tailored support to their specific emotional and psychological needs.
Be Well is an app that allows individuals with Anorexia Nervosa to work with their dietitian. It will improve their overall health by setting goals based off of nutritional values provided by a pill tracker. By tracking their progress and working towards goals, individuals will be able to work toward a healthier lifestyle.
Be Well focuses on nutrition levels on a daily basis. To get a highly accurate reading of these fluctuating levels, a digestible pill is taken once a week. The pill is safe to consume, made of magnesium as the primary ingredient, and uses a signal to connect to the app. The nutrition recorded from the pill is sent to the app and visualized in a graph showing the current levels against the goal levels. This keeps the patient motivated every day to stay on track . The information is also sent to the patients Dietitian, who will use the readings to modify goals.
Treatment of an eating disorder in the US ranges from $500 per day to $2,000 per day. Outpatient treatment, including therapy and medical monitoring, can cost $100,000 or more.
(Eating Disorder Coalition)
Our hope with Be Well is to promote healthy eating habits and make the treatment of anorexia more easily accessible, nutrition based, and cost friendly.
One reason individuals with anorexia follow such a strict diet is because it is a method for them to find absolute control over something in their life.
(Therapist Tess White, UVU)
By having a badge, found in the app, for the individual to work toward, it will give them a better source to channel this need for control and structure.
Research played a major part in the creation of Be Well. Through research, we found out that people with anorexia care about the health of their bodies, even though they struggle with weight gain . It is not uncommon for someone with Anorexia to want to get back into an eating habit in order to keep their body healthy. This fact is what we based the entire idea of Be Well: focus on nutrition.
We interviewed a therapist who works with people with eating disorders. She said that anorexia is often accompanied with other mental problems such as OCD, depression, and anxiety. We used this research to develop the Badges aspect of Be Well . Badges are the rewards in the app when a goal is met. This helps the user gain recognition for their efforts and keeps them motivated.
We also interviewed a dietitian who works with people with anorexia specifically. She mentioned the types of goals she sets with her patients, which we implemented into our app. She also said that she rarely uses calorie counts because she doesn’t want the clients to get rigid and uncomfortable . This is why Be Well does not include anything about fat or calories. It is solely nutrition based in order to keep the patient focused on what they’re most invested in.
Initially we wanted to create an app with broad applications to all eating disorders from anorexia to bulimia to overeating. Eventually we decided that the scope of that problem was too large to tackle effectively all at once and choose to focus on Anorexia Nervosa. Many ideas were considered the best way to help someone get the help they needed . Some of those ideas included a different nutritional focus on health, a community support system, constant contact with medical providers and positive messaging to change preconceptions about Anorexia. After further researching the problem we concluded that an app that would directly connect
patients with their dietician with a nutritional, healthy focus instead of calorie counting would be the most beneficial. This lead us to the development of the app Be Well.
The idea of the project is the patient works with their dietician to first make a plan, then the patient tracks with their pills what they eat and the nutrients they are getting. Then they meet back up with their dietician where they will Reflect together on what is going well and what can be improved on. As they continue to work on their nutrition they will Meet Goals and Earn badges for accomplishments they meet. Then it is time to do the cycle over and over until the patient and dietician feels like the patient can handle eating on their own with occasional check-ins.
The Be Well App provides 4 app components or features to help the patient meet their nutrition and mental goals.
We created story boards to visualize the user of our app and also help us begin putting together a story to display the app in our video.
Then we did some initial paper sketches to help us visualize our ideas and quickly get them down on paper to explore further.
We also created journey maps to help us better understand who the user was and their needs for the app.
Next, we created some low fidelity digital wireframes to further explore our design ideas .
We spent a day filming a video that would explain and promote the Be Well App. We filmed in two different locations with two actresses and a dog actor . We filmed in a home setting and in an office for the dietician at work scenes.
Initial Screen Designs
After doing several iterations of wireframes and upping the fidelity of our design we were able to come up with these initial screen designs. This is where the project ended for the class.
High Fidelity Designs
A while after finishing the class and I had some more experience with user experience design I did a redesign of the app to make it more professional and show the new skills I have obtained. So here is my redesign including an interactive prototype .