According to the latest researches Americans spend about $40 billions on dieting and related products each year. And the numbers just keep growing and growing. Those people who are looking for a chance to stay fit can benefit today from different applications aimed at tracking their nutrition habits. They have grown into bigger mobile solutions that also let monitor activities, add food logging and other specific functions that may come in handy.
We have the example of some popular fitness tracking solutions like Jawbone Up or Fitbit. They have taken the audience by storm. However, they seem to have a lack of functionality, as users are becoming more demanding when it comes to Android and iOS diet apps. It means a great chance for startups eager to develop nutrition applications and encourage more target users to opt for their product and benefit from healthy diet.
Apart from people who like spending time actively and tracking their workouts, steps and other activities, more and more users require an efficient nutrition planner app that will make it easier for them to keep to a diet as well as track the amount of calories they consume. This article will describe the key features that brilliant nutrition apps for Android and iOS should have. You will find out how to create a diet plan app and how much the development may cost.
What Options Should a Diet Application Provide?
Getting to the mobile nutrition segment can be a tough challenge. Once you decide to make a dietitian app, you need to consider all sections and options it should deliver to your end users. Not only they are supposed to be effective when handling daily tasks but also relevant for a particular group of customers. Moreover, those sections will let you realize the scope of the future project. They can be as follows:
- Healthy Food Suggestions;
- Water and Coffee Consumption;
- Weight Loss;
- Calories Tracking;
- Organizer for a Shopping List;
- Physical Activity Tracker;
- Food Intake, dietitian consultations and more.
These are main options applications should have. Startups may choose some of them as the foundation for the product. However, considering them all will let you define a set of features you want to implement when developing a diet control app.
Crucial Features of a Diet Tracker App for Android
The only way to build a diet application that will hit the headlines right after the release on the app store is to include unique features and functions. You can follow the example of some popular applications available in this segment or think of some of your own. Here is a list of some possible options that you may include in the project scope:
- Sign-IN Page – it is the first page your user will see when running the app. Here he or she will also have to check-in every time when entering the app. As a rule, the page requires inserting some personal information like weight, age, gender, food preferences, etc. This information is vital, as the application will react accordingly. A good idea is to offer a simpler and faster way to check in with the help of Google or Facebook account;
- Diet Wagging & Logger – once a user enters the app, he or she generally expects to see statistics on the amount of consumed calories, water intake, etc. Food log is the best bet for such purpose. It comes as a wide database highlighting detailed calorific value of any food or drink consumed by a user. It is something like a mobile Wikipedia that showcases a detailed information on any nutrition item;
- Dietitian Tips – the only reason why a user will download your application is to get appropriate diet plans and stick to it. He or she desires to lose weight and live a healthy life. A page with diet suggestions is a must-have for your future product. Moreover, the plan should consider user’s food and beverage preferences, current weight and other parameters to provide effective suggestions that will really work. If they don’t, your app has no sense;
- Connection to Wearable Devices – more and more users are looking for an on-the-go solutions especially when it comes to training and keeping fit. They use wearable devices to keep in touch with the number of steps they make each day or distance they cover while jogging or training in a gym. Make sure your app ensures connectivity to Apple Watch, Android Wear and other wearables. Both iOS and Android platforms provide special tools to enable such connection;
- Push Notifications – this is what makes an application really mobile app. A product without push notifications makes no sense, as a user is not able to keep in touch with the latest news, changes, contacts, etc. The same thing is with diet apps. On the one hand, they boost user retention rate. On the other hand, your application becomes more realistic in terms of virtual assistance;
- User-Friendly and Intuitive UI/UX – another crucial point for any mobile application these days. Once your functionality is hard to detect, a user will never get back to your product. The idea is to make your solution as easy and fast as possible. This is where UI/UX will work. A simple icon or a “Help” button will definitely do the track. Keep in mind that some of your target users are oldies who are not as aware of mobile technologies as Generation Z, for instance. Avoid complex structures during the development process and make page navigation as easy as possible;
- Blog – it is a good tool whenever you need to draw the audience. At the same time, it will be a good platform to deliver useful content for your users. It can include some interesting facts about a particular product or diet as well as modern techniques that ensure great results. Your blog articles may depict some diet plans that have proved to be a success in addition to workouts and exercises featuring tutorials and guides;
- Shopping List – shopping list assistance is the core function for any diet or fitness app. At the same time, a startup will hardly be able to cope with competitors without such a feature. You need to implement Barcode scanning technology making it easy to find out as much information about a particular product as possible. The data may include the amount of calories, nutrition value, etc.;
- Feedback – developers should never forget about a feedback section. The only way to make your app smoother and easier to use is to find out what your customers actually think about the product. Needless to say, any development process calls for bug fixing and testing before the application is launched.
Now, let’s get to the development process and see what steps should be taken.
Diet App Development
The fact that people still strive for a healthier lifestyle reserves much space for startups that focus on building a diet and nutrition application. However, a competition in the segment is growing rapidly. The above-mentioned basic functions may not be enough to attract your target audience and make it stay with your app for good. At the same time, it is high time you started think of some possible monetization tools. First of all, let’s talk about extra functions that will make your product stand out.
Form a Community
Users like to talk online. So, let them talk as much as they want. Create a single community of like-minded people. Let them share their opinions on particular diets and techniques to lose weight. Let them show off their results. The idea is to create a platform that features a social media element. It will help you take your users back to the application.
On the one hand, people need diet apps for their personal usage. They want to stay in shape. On the other hand, they are always eager to highlight their results and boast them. A sharing feature can be implemented within a blog. At the same time, it can let you generate more feedback on the content and app in general.
Live Experts’ Opinion
Remember your academic writing in college? Every assignment requires a powerful support of any argument or thesis statement you needed to write. The same thing goes with diet applications. A good reputation is the key to success. If your diet plans really work, the product will have a success. A good idea is to link your users with live experts by means of live chat.
You can follow the example of Rise (a popular application that helps to lose weight). The algorithm is rather simple. Every time you want to hear expert’s opinion, the system will link you to a diet coach. You can consult him or her, share photos and ask any questions. Such approach will be a good tool for monetization in future.
In-app recipes are a brilliant idea especially if your are planning to develop a mobile meal planner. You can come up with several upgrades and deliver not only recipes but also voice guides and instructions on how to cook a particular meal. Developers may use the same approach as Live Experts chat and link users with real-time chefs.
Keep an Eye on Visualization
You need to note that your users will interact with live stats, results and shopping lists daily. The idea is to make them as comprehensive and detailed as possible. Not only they should look engaging, but also push your users to a particular goal. Animated menus could be a good idea as well as other latest UX trends.
Another issue is to make the process of entering nutrition and consuming data as easy as possible. Today, most applications implement manual documenting of all necessary information. If you think of some more effective and automated way, you will certainly succeed.
Create a shopping list with an in-built dictionary making it easy for users to find products and add them to the list. Let the app remember previous purchases and users’ preferences by date or day of the week. A product prompter is also a great function to put an ease on the shopping process. You can go even further and add geofencing to let users find menus of the nearby restaurant and cafe.
The Cost of Diet App Development
The cost will depend on your prior purposes. For example, if you simply want to help people stick to a diet and stay fit, you will hardly need a complicated product. If you want to make money from the application and monetize it, you will need to hire experienced developers. The rates may vary in accordance with the region. The diet app costs may also range:
- US and UK based dev team charge from $50 to $250 per hour;
- Eastern Europe based dev team charge from $30 to $150 per hour;
- Developers from Asia charge from $10 to $80 per hour.
The development process itself calls for precision and accuracy. A lot of attention should be paid to testing stage as well as UI/UX design. Our company has a pool of dedicated engineers, programmers, and testers who will ensure the right workflow and future success on the app store. Experienced project managers will arrange effective communication and let you keep in touch with every stage of the process. Contact us for more information.