It is estimated that 20 million women and 10 million men will experience an eating disorder in the U.S. alone (NEDA). Food logs are research backed tool to help those experiencing an ED to self-monitor their intake and eating behaviors. According to user-reviews, current apps that support eating disorder recovery are ‘overwhelming’ and have ‘outdated’ features that decrease ability to complete self-monitoring. The old behavior we seek to change is incompletion of food logs and emotion/behavior check-ins on a routine basis. Self-monitoring can be a tedious process, but with the right design for simplicity, ability can be increased to complete food and emotion/behavior logs in a daily, regular basis.  Why shouldn’t ED apps feel modern and beautiful like Headspace or Moody? In partnering with Headspace and utilizing its features that create a pleasurable experience, we hope to


Users are motivated by their own personal experience with EDs and food. Motivation exists because of hope (to heal and recover), pain (mental & physical caused by ED), and fear (of rejection by society). Our journey maps describe the combined motivation and ability users experience from start to finish using RR (old ED app) versus HEAL (new ED app).


The greatest pain point discovered in old ED apps exists when users log meals and mood. To a log a meal, a user must complete 14 questions. Existing ED apps such as RR and Rise Up utilize a continuous scroll feature that causes users to lose interest and skip questions that provide key details for clinicians.

This demo also shows the ‘outdated’ interface that users experience when logging their food and behaviors. This experience does not offer anything engaging or stimulating to the user. The pop up at the end of a food log varies, and is not as rewarding as it was intended.


Overall, our design aims to create greater simplicity for the user. The following specific features of our design are intended to increase the target behavior of completing meal and mood logs.


Other ED apps do not have features for personalization, such as a login or character feature. Create your own personalized account with HEAL. Characters create ‘stimulation’ and greater ‘engagement’ for users, which in turn can increase motivation to use this app.


Track your progress with a visual food log. Set goals with your clinician and see your progress. Clinician engagement creates an ‘authority’ for users to look to. Unlock rewards when you attain goals and streaks. These features combined can increase motivation in all types of users, whether ED specific or someone seeking to create good habits.


Prior ED apps (such as RR) require you to fill out all of your data (14 questions) related to logging your meal/mood on one page that has a continuous scroll. By employing a swipe feature that divides these 14 questions over 3 pages will decrease the amount of ‘brain cycles’ and ‘effort’ required to self-monitor and capture detail.

When logging meals, our interface is more minimalistic and aesthetically pleasing. Prior apps seemed cluttered with unnecessary color and features.


Instead of having triggering quotes and random images attempt to encourage you on your journey, see your own progress after you complete your log. This feature creates consistency and routine in what you can expect once you complete a log. This may create routine and incentive to be consistent in your logging.


Tailor your experience to you. To some users, this may be a private, personal journey. For others, some may need extra support, validation, and accountability (‘social proof’) on this journey. No other ED apps have the ability to connect with friends yet, by creating the ability to connect with clinicians, friends, and other support services, HEAL can accommodate all preferences.


We employ two kinds of notifications. The first assumes low motivation and low ability. Those with EDs may experience a dip in motivation from time to time (i.e. not filling out log routinely). We employed a “Just checking-in, start a streak by logging your next meal” notification for when the user does not log a single meal in a full day. By utilizing a motivational element with this prompt notification, we are using a ‘spark’ prompt. The second one assumes high motivation but low ability. This ‘facilitator’ is a personalized and timed notification that will remind you to fill out your log around your “meal time” and “snack time”.

LINK to prototype

LINK to presentation