Some background, Sparkspeople.com is an free online program for healthy living and weightloss. It offers ways to track fitness, nutrition, weight, etc. It also has helpfully resources like recipes, exercise programs, menus, etc. The feature I would like to specifically look at is the Nutritional Input Page seen above.
Metaphors: It’s like a day planner, only sectioned off into meals. Also like a menu, listing food suggestions for each meal, and allowing for substituting in other food choices.
Concepts: Daily recording of calories, fat intake, etc., Meal planning, Dieting, Healthy living, Goal oriented, Tracking Progress, User Friendly Appearance and Navigation
Relationships: The daily recording and tracking progress keeps the user interactive with dieting and eating healthy. Goals are set to motivate the users to continue keeping track of their intake. The user friendly interface makes it simple and easy to use, relating to making dieting and healthy living easy to keep in mind. Similar to weightwatchers tracking and setup, only free.
Mappings: The total of each input is tracked and compared to previous days. The calories, fat, etc. of each inputted food is totaled at the bottom of the page where it can be compared to your personal allotted amount of calories, fat, etc. Allotted calories are based on several factors recorded during initial sign up such as weight, activity level, etc.
In summary the flow and general design of the sparkspeople nutritional tracker, is attractive, eye-catching and functional. It evokes familiarity through its metaphoric concepts and design. The mappings and concept relationships are easily apparent, even unconsciously. Making it a practical, easy, and more importantly free to be health and weight consious.