This is a project I worked on with Industrial Designer Kelly Lo to solve the problems for fussy-eating children and their parents.
As I grow older I now have more and more friends becoming parents of young children. Through all the encounters I've had with children of friends and children in public, I've come to notice one thing - the difficulty to have children sit still when they eat. Kelly and I saw the abundance of this issue and thought that it was an imparative problem to solve as designers.
Children are oftentimes fussy eaters resulting in poor dining habits and diets. However, most parents struggle with ways to solve these issues.
In response to the three above problems, my proposed solutions are -
An interactive water bottle that helps keep your child hydrated, enhancing mood, sleep, cognition, and concentration.
Build your own playful, portable computer. Follow the story, plug the parts, see how it works. With simple steps learn to code art, games and music. Hack Minecraft, control animations with your voice. Browse the web, watch YouTube and more.
More than 20% of children are identified as picky eaters
90% of children consume too much salt
4.5 out of 5 children don’t eat enough vegetables
3 out of 5 children don’t eat enough fruits
These are the three main personas for the Nommi App - the busy urban parent, the techy parent, and the social parent.
34 / New York, NY / Account Managaer
Alicia is a busy urban mom living in New York City. Even though she’s busy juggling between her job and her family, she always wants the best and a balanced diet for her daugher. Alicia and her husband Michael are healthy eating enthusiasts and wish to build the same grounded understanding for their beloved daughter.
Pain point: Busy and oftentimes has no knowledge of what food contains.
39 / Seattle, WA / Product Engineer
Jake enjoys buying the newest cool tech gadgets for his two young kids at home. He usually allows them to play with their iPads while they eat at the dining table. Because he works in the industry, he enjoys seeing his children grow using cutting-edge technology. He has long working hours so he treasures the time he can spend with his family and wants everybody to have fun.
Pain point: Seeking for other options to let kids have fun and eat well besides iPads and TV.
28 / San Francisco, CA / Mom & Food Blogger
Kuanyi is a full-time mom and food blogger who enjoys writing and sharing her cooking on her social media. She has a daughter and has shifted her career from writing about restaurants to healthy diets for kids. She’s also into food photography. She writes about the nutrition of food as well as having to upload them onto a separate social media platform.
Pain point: Needs new ways to manage recipes, blog posts and exchange ideas with other parents.
Nommi is comprised of a physical product, the utensil set, and a free app. The price of Nommi will be from $90~$110, and it can be connected to the free app, which can be downloaded on both iOS and Android devices. Paid service in the app may be included in future plan.
This utensil set is essentially like a tamagochi for eating. Children can enjoy the interactive screen on the eating mat while eating, giving them incentives to behave well and eat better. (3D rendering by Kelly Lo)
The app, on the other hand, is for the kids’ parents to use to track their performances in eating and also connect to other users in the Nommi community. This case study is mainly focusing on the software aspect.
I then developed low-fidelity wireframes to visualize my main three task flows: Set child's weight, scan food, and share a post.
Alicia is a mother and had just purchased Nommi for her son Ben and is trying to set up the app as a first time user. She wants to enter his height and weight into the app.
Jake and his wife cooked spaghetti for dinner. He placed the food on the mat and scanned the food by taking a picture of the plate.
After her son finished eating dinner, Brittany wanted to share her cooking along with her son’s good behaviors of finishing the meal.
I created three drastically different UI design proposals with the same goal in mind - "how do I delight and engage my users - the children's parents - to have a better experience managing their kids' diets?"
I used a lot of curves and rounded corners to create a more friendly, inviting and youthful look. However, I still wanted to keep a certain level of sophistication in the overall UX because after all, it is an app designed for adults to use.
I decided to proceed with proposal 02 for the final UI design after surveying and testing out with a handful of potential users.
Circles and rounded corners could be seen everywhere in Nommi's design language. These circular elements are embedded to every screen in the app, so the motion and interaction also reflect the shape as well.
The concept behind Nommi's visual design is bold and playful with the intent to mimic the tactile feel of children's toys. Interactions like rotating plates and sliding boxes are examples of that physicality.
This video shows one of the main task flows - scanning food on the app, and later on displaying food content on the interactive utensil set.
This project taught me a little bit more about kids in general. Through the research process I realized kids nowadays heavily rely on a source of entertainment espeically when they eat, which made me wonder about the consequences of the overuse of iPads amongst young children.
I also wish we had more time to do user testing so I could actually test out the product with kids to see how they behave. I had my prototype tested with my peers, but not with a lot of parents out there. I hope that in the future I am able to show more parents and test the concept.