Nutrismart Dining App
Industrial Design Thesis Project.
In partnership with NUS Healthy Campus Initiative.
Design for Public Health Nutrition
Public Health Nutrition refers to the promotion and maintenance of nutrition-related health of a population, through organised efforts and informed choices of society. It deals with both under (deficiency) and over-consumption (toxicity) of nutrients.
Despite national health promotion efforts, national statistics show a worrying increase in the prevalence of nutrition-related chronic diseases, which reduce our quality of life, and also burden society with unsustainable healthcare costs. Meta-analysis has shown compelling evidence that healthier diets can prevent the onset of chronic diseases.
However, our compliance to dietary recommendations is relatively low - I saw this as a behavioural design challenge.
Encouraging Students to Choose Healthier
It’s not that people don’t want to make healthier choices. In fact, 90 out of 100 university students I surveyed want to eat healthier, but less than half of them feel confident in their ability to do so. This preliminary survey reveals low self-efficacy among the students, and perceived high barriers to behaviour change.
Upon discovering that NUS is looking to digitise its point-of-sales systems across all canteens, I felt it was a prime opportunity to redesign the current NUSmart Dining Application, in a way that would encourage students to make healthier food choices.
Design to Increase Self-Efficacy
How might we encourage students to make healthier food choices through digital point-of-sales systems?
In my design process, I addressed three key barriers:
1) Complexity about Nutrition
2) Setting actionable goals
through introducing the following features:
1) Dynamic streamlined Nutrifacts scale
2) Collaboration with canteen vendors
3) Call-to-action App Notifications
The App is programmed to provide personalised nutrition literacy, even optimising nutritional parameters for students, such that the user experience increases students' perceived self-efficacy. Through a series of experiments and user testing, Nutrismart Dining (App) redesigned is evidence of great potential to leverage digital systems to support public health efforts and individuals' personal motivations.