Task analysis of MyFitnessPal App
Problem: Even the most simple tasks can be extremely tedious. Using mobile phone apps has become a second nature of people. But are these apps easy to use? Is it possible to breakdown all the processes into simple steps so that the flaws can be determined, and user experience, and usability can be improved?
Mission: My Fitness Pal is a Website/App that allows you to track what you eat, what exercise you do, balance the two, and share what you do. Conduct a task analysis of either the website or the app for your phone, and analyze what it takes to sign up, create a login, and record what you eat each day
Tools: Task Analysis, Human Factors principles, Usability analysis, Process flow analysis
Before proceeding, it is important to make a few assumptions. Without these assumptions, the analysis will have to be performed in such a way that even the smallest steps in the operation will have to be elaborated. The following are the assumptions:
- Basic Computer literacy (Windows 8)/ Smart Phone (Android: Gingerbread – Lollipop)
- Basic internet knowledge (Google Chrome or Google Play)
- Awareness that tapping or clicking the back button takes one to the previous page
- Awareness that scrolling might be necessary to reach the bottom of a page
- Interest in performing the tasks (because when each sub-task ends, a new one has to start to continue the process)
- Interest in the software/app
- Using My Fitness Pal for the first time (tutorial part is skipped in the analysis)
Task analysis is represented through process flow. And the process flow is shown using various symbols:
Main Tasks: The task analysis has three main tasks
Task 1: The flow of downloading and installing the My Fitness Pal software or application
Task 2: The flow of signing-up or login process for My Fitness Pal app, downloaded onto an android smartphone. All processes from here on are for an android smartphone.
Task 2.1 – This is a sub-process. The flow shows process of signing-up in My Fitness Pal.
Task 2.1.1 – This is a sub-process inside a sub-process. It shows the flows of goal selection and activity level selection during the sign-up process in My Fitness Pal app.
Task 2.1.2 – This is a sub-process inside a sub-process. It shows the flows of updating profile, inputting physical details, and setting a weekly goal and target weight, in My Fitness Pal.
Task 3: This is a main process to enter the details of food, water and exercises in My Fitness Pal
Task 3.1 – The sub-process shows the flow of search for food data on My Fitness Pal
Task 3.2 – The sub-process shows the flow of entering the correct quantity of food on My Fitness Pal
Task 3.3 – The sub-process shows the flow of entering the exercise data on My Fitness Pal
- There are significant differences between the android and i-os versions, so it would be difficult to get acquainted with for anyone who switches between them.
- The app has no associated pedometer. It doesn’t take into consideration the amount of walking a person does throughout the day.
- The process of adding the water consumption is not given a priority. This makes it easy to forget to add the daily water consumption.
- After completion of the entry, the app gives an estimate of the future weight (in 5 weeks). But at the bottom of the screen, there is a fine print saying that it is only an approximate.
- The app only shows the remaining amount of calories and not the nutrients (it is available in premium only).
- The app urges to use go premium each time an entry is complete, making it obvious that the user can only be acquainted with better features if the app is purchased.