What problem am I trying to solve?
So, I recently took up fasting... you can probably tell by looking at the trend in apps I've been creating. I started with Three Bite, which is eating three bites every 2 hours or so, then went to Daily Fast, which is intermittent fasting (basically just eating dinner every day) and now I'm creating Body Stack, an app that tracks your progress during speedy body transformations. I created this app specifically for extended fasting, but I'm sure it works well for others in different situations (keto, gastric bypass surgery, etc).
Extended fasting is very hard. After several attempts the longest I've fasted for is 3 days so far. It's not the fasting itself that's hard, it's that there always seems to be someone's birthday or event going on or something emotional that derails me (stress at work, anger or sadness about something in the news or in my family, lol). So I wanted an app that motivates me to keep on track and stick to my goals.
Other weight/fitness/diet/body tracking apps seem to be a bit cumbersome. Many ask for stuff like body fat percentage and your skeletal muscle mass? Some require up to 5-6 fields for every entry. Here is what I want in these apps:
Reminder Alert. I always forget to take photos or add an entry, setting a daily reminder will get me into a routine and keep me on track.
Before and After photos. When I snap a new pic of myself, I should be able to tap once and compare it to my original photo to see how I'm doing. Before/After is super motivating.
Trend Spotting. While I am dieting, I like to add certain types of exercise here and there, but I want my chart show me how these exercises affect my body. I'd like to know which types of exercise are getting the best results.
Cycling through old entries and progress should be as easy as a swipe.
One thing you'll notice about me and my apps is they all basically simplify something that others are already doing. I'm not re-inventing any industries here, I'm just taking something that I find confusing and inefficient and turning it into something more straight-forward and simple.
How does my app solve this problem?
Here's my apps home screen:
Quick look at your last entry and you can scroll through previous entries and track the chart below
You can see there's a bunch of data available to you right away. There's a graph at the bottom showing your weight progress, you can swipe up and down to see your daily photos (this scrolls the graph accordingly) and each photo has information about whether or not you dieted or exercised that day, what your weight was and the date and time of the photo. Everything is you need to know is here, ready to consume.
Tapping on the clock button will allow you to set daily reminders to add new entries.
Set an alert for when you want to be reminded to create a new entry
And tapping on the photo or the + button will launch the log entry interface.
Adding an entry takes seconds
If i tap on the 2 person button at the top right, you'll see a comparison with your original entry for a nice before/after update.
Some things of note about my app are:
Reminder time picker. I try my best to keep all of my apps touch points below the halfway mark of the screen for one handed use. I absolutely LOATHE apps that still have navigation controls and stuff at the top. However, due to the nature of trying to support the iPhone SE, I had to stack the reminder view a bit high, there's just too many controls on that page for such a small screen.
The blue color is kind of ugly. This looked great with just grays and blacks but it felt too serious so I decided to toss a color or two on here for fun. I'm not some expert color picker but it gets the job done.
Notice that the white text and icons on the image stacks will be almost invisible if you took a selfie with a light colored background. Definitely an oversight but not one I'm willing to busy it up with a bunch of drop shadows and text outlines for. If they can't see the details they can always tap on the image and read it on the entry view.
You can't scroll the graph. I was originally trying to have 2 inputs for cycling through photos, you could scroll the graph left and right and you can scroll the photo stack up and down. The idea was that they would both affect one another but for some reason I could not get the graph scrolling nailed down and accurately affecting the image stack, so in the interest of time I simply took it out.
A few test users said, "Hey, you don't have kg and lbs next to your weight! How is someone outside the US supposed to use this app?" So, I don't really get this issue. There's a number there and you're the only one using your app, so you can enter the number and it can reflect what you want it to be, right? I don't need some profile/settings interface where you decide whether or not that number is kg or lbs.
So a lot of times, I like an app but it's cluttered with ads. This really bugs me. I don't believe there's enough ad revenue generated in these apps to warrant essentially ruining the experience but for some reason this ad thing is still very rampant today. I have a list of simple apps (gift tracking for Xmas, for example) that I am on a mission to simply create an app that works the same way but doesn't have ads. Wish me luck!
My apps will never have ads and will always be free, these are just something fun I like to make for myself and share with the world if they're interested.
As always, if you have any comments or suggestions about Body Stack, feel free to contact me.