Our team was very exited about Health Hackathon. It is always nice to have some changes to daily routines. The team included three of the newest Kiskonians, and we felt a bit like underdogs, even though it was not a competition. We decided to focus on our own product, no matter what the other teams came up with.
We started to think about different options what we’d like to build. One idea was a weather app for extreme sports people who need specific conditions for practicing their sport. That app would read weather data and let you know when is the right time to go.
Joni suggested building a recipe app, which could easily fix the user’s diet. He said he believed that people would start eating healthier little by little if there was an easy and simple way to do it. Sami had recently gone through a change in his diet because health issues, so we already had some experience on the subject. We pondered there would definitely be a target audience for the app. One reason for the choice was also that we had been talking about building an app for one Finnish superfood company for which this app could be adapted to.
While doing research on different recipe apps and services, we realised that no app in the market had a similar approach. All the existing apps expect you to know about healthier foods or offer limited options of different recipes. Our core idea was to make a smart search that would suggest healthy recipes based on your appetite and needs. You could just write whatever you desire (for example: french fries) and the app would suggest healthier products and alternatives to that.
Features and usability
In addition to healthier meal suggestions, FixMyDiet also gives suggestions about snacks. If you desire for sweets, it offers you some healthier products and recipes for snacks and in the future versions even tells you where to get your snack fastest based on your location.
In later versions it could even search recipes or products based on your condition, for situations like “flu” or “long night at work” etc. We were also thinking about a shopping list functionality. You could add recipes to the list, and it would construct a complete list with correct amounts of ingredients in one simple checkable list!
FixMyDiet is super easy to use. Just type in what you want to eat, no matter if it’s healthy or not. FixMyDiet will tell you. If you searched with a healthy word, the results will be something close to that. If there’s something to be fixed, don’t worry, you’ll get healthier options.
The ideal user
There’s a large target market for FixMyDiet. The ideal user would be a person who is willing to eat healthier but doesn’t have time to do all the research and reading. With FixMyDiet it’s easy to get started. Another type of user is a person who is already into healthy lifestyle and wants to have more advanced tips or variations of his or her recipes. For the first version we’ve been thinking about Finnish consumer markets.
FixMyDiet could also be beneficial for some company offering healthier, organic, or superfoods. Or perhaps for some magazine or website promoting healthy lifestyle. A company with an existing, large database for healthy recipes would definitely benefit the most from FixMyDiet.
As the solution is simple, and the idea of the app is the key thing, we didn’t need to think much about fancy and new ways for app-building. We started with rough wireframes to get a sense about the product and the ways to use it. Immediately after that, Henri started to build front-end and Joni back-end setups for the product.
We built the app with newest Rails and React. We didn’t face any major challenges.
Back-end is pretty basic Rails app and we didn’t need to do any hacks to get something working. Even though we thought we don’t build an admin panel, we end up doing one for easier recipe management. We planned to import ingredients from external source, but didn’t have time to do that.
For the front-end we used React to get the UI more interactive. For example, recipes and descriptions are included in search results, so going through results and viewing recipes is fast and smooth.
Sami was put in charge for creating and finding content. He realised it was really the biggest time consumer during the Hackathon. Because of that we had to create the final visuals and looks of the brand very quickly, but we are happy with them as well. Limited time pushes you to make fast decisions and deliver rapidly!
Why should you use FixMyDiet? Because it’s so simple. You don’t have to know about healthy foods or recipes. Just type in what you’d like to eat, and the app will fix it.