Alma

Customizing Experiences

Empowering Consumers

Alma translates confusing ingredient labels
so you can make informed, intentional purchases.

Problem

Consumers care about ingredients used in their products, but find them confusing.

Titanium dioxide, zinc citrate, sodium lauryl sulfate, blue 1—which of these could be harmful to your health? Industry nomenclature or scientific names can sound foreign, marketing labels can be misleading, the font and size of the text may require you to pull out your monocle. Most people do not have time to educate themselves and evaluate every ingredient in every product they purchase.

Solution

Design a tool to empower consumers to make informed purchases.

Our vision is a healthy and sustainable life for everyone and the planet. We believe this can be accomplished by making information and knowledge easily accessible so everyone has the opportunity to make informed choices. We conceptualize a tool that empowers consumers to make that choice by defining cryptic names, making text legible, flagging known harmful ingredients.

App Design

  • Browse by category

  • Scan a product

  • View product details
    Get customized alerts

  • Get translated ingredients

  • Personalized recommendations

See the Design Process

OVERVIEW

As a team of 4 UX designers, we wanted to conceptualize a solution to make healthy choices more intuitive and accessible.

ROLE

  • UX Research
  • Flow Diagram
  • User Testing
  • UI Design

TOOLS

  • Sketch
  • Sticky notes
  • Pen & Paper
  • Temi-Transcripting
  • InVisionApp

Research

The journey of discovery. Who needs this most? What is their greatest concern?

99
Online Survey
Responses
6
User
Interviews
3
Competitive
Analysis

Online Surveys

After results for our first survey were in, we concluded there is a need, but for a niche audience. We iterated on a 2nd survey to hone in on where our target audience's greatest need and concerns were. We collected data regarding:

  • user demographics
  • consumer needs
  • consumer concerns
  • consumer shopping habits

We utilized Mechanical Turk to get a high volume of responses quickly and inexpensively.

One flaw we found was there ended up being a lot of junk data that we ended up having to manually filter.

User Interviews

Because of our time restriction, finding a representative population to interview for each category was not possible. We decided to focus on 2 categories where our online surveys indicated people having the greatest concern: food and cosmetics.

A couple lead in questions determined which category they would be interviewed for. The interview was concluded by asking them to look at an ingredient label of a sample product; most were surprised by their own reactions.

I just glance over the ingredients because they are hard to read, If I was aware of the ingredients I would use them more in my decision

Competitive Analysis

3 products in the market with similar goals were evaluated. One key feature missing was personalization.

Features
Personal care products
Food products
Household products
Babies and kids products
Browse by category
Scan barcode
Search
Bookmark/Favorites
Safety ratings
User ratings
Nutrition information n/a
Flags harmful ingredients
Cites sources of definitions
Safe product alternatives
Personalization

Research Insights

Difficulty learning to shop for new dietary lifestyles or restrictions

Lack of trust in marketing labels

Confusion reading and understanding labels

Ideate

Fill out as many post-it notes and see what sticks.

Affinity Diagram

Sketches

Decision Flow

Persona

Our research provided insights into more specific scenarios where we could target our users. It also shed light on users we did not think to consider. We created our persona around the former and hope to address the latter if our concept proves useful. Meet Kat.

Storyboard

After Kat talks to a friend and watches a documentary, she decides to try a vegan diet. While grocery shopping, she realizes how difficult it is to shop with new dietary restrictions. She is recommended the Alma app by her vegan friend and is eager to shop with renewed confidence.

Prototype & Test

Rinse.Wash.Repeat

Wireframes

Personalize your experience by selecting your preferences.





Find a product by either browsing by category, typing in your search, or scanning a product's barcode.

See if ingredients conflict with your preferences and get explanations.

User Testing

We created a clickable wireframe in inVision and asked several people to use our prototype. We collected valuable user feedback we were able to incorporate in our next iteration.

Users were confused navigating setting their preferences, unsure if they were saved.

A user did not expect a search to return a product that conflicts with their preferences. This scenario should never happen.

This panel is not easily accessible

Reflection & Learnings

Talk to as many different people as you can; listen and be open to change.

Through our research, we came upon some surprising discoveries. We discovered the audience we thought was our target persona may not need our tool. A larger opportunity may be in the group of people who do not currently practice buying based on ingredient knowledge but would with the right tools. I learned how important it is to interview as many different people and listen to their needs.