Mama App

Helping Mothers Utilize Their Genome to Impact Their Pregnancies



Using Genetic Data To Positively Impact Pregnancy



Awakens Inc. is a genomic start-up that envisions to empower individuals to improve their lifestyle based on their genetic makeup and transform consumer genomics. Awakens held a 48 hour hackathon challenge to create a mobile app helps users understand their DNA better and provide actionable insights based on users' genome data. 


Mothers are often facing morning sickness and are not obtaining the quality nutrients they need during their pregnancies. There needed to be a way to keep track of nutrients and know what alternative foods are available for them.


We designed a mobile app that displays potential nutrient deficiencies, tracks the intake of those nutrients, and suggests foods that will supplement the areas of deficiency. 

Client: Awakens, Inc.

Industry: Genomics, Technology

Duration: 48 Hours

Target Device: iOS

Tools: Sketch, InVision, Zeplin

My Role: Conducted user interviews, created high fidelity wireframes and interactive prototype, and presented design rationale. 

Our team placed in the top three finalists out of nine teams based on application of Awakens' Genome Link API, design, and marketing pitch.



Finding the Pain Points


User Interviews: 3

Surveys Answers: 41

Example Questions:

  • While pregnant, what changes did you make to your diet?
  • How did you know you were meeting your nutritional needs?
  • What kinds of apps did you use as a resource during your pregnancy?

Key Takeaway: Mothers were concerned if they were getting enough nutrition for the baby since they had to avoid many foods that made them feel nauseous.



Putting Together The Research


How might we utilize a mother's genetic data to help her maintain a nutritionally balanced diet?


Affinity mapping showed the most common themes from user interviews and surveys:

  • Actionable Steps: Mothers are proactive, they want to be able to take action and be part of the impact of their pregnancy.
  • Targeted Nutrients: Most nutrients were fulfilled by a prenatal vitamin but the most important dietary concerns were: folic acid, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Nausea: Many foods and supplements can trigger nausea, narrowing the options for dietary based nutrition.


Forming Ideas With A Cross-Functional Team


  • Together with our developer and researcher we brainstormed a user flow of logging in a food item and seeing food recommendations.
  • Based on user flow, we determined the information architecture of the app.
  • Working jointly with a developer early in the process gave perspective in any technical restraints.


Final Key Screens




On the homepage the mother can see her daily caloric, iron, folate, and omega-3 intake progress, the most concerned dietary concerns based on research.

Add Food.jpg

Adding Food

When logging in food the mother can either type it in, scan the food package, via barcode, or quickly grab from frequent foods. Frequent shows as default since there are usually a few "this won't make me hurl" or "craving" foods based on user interviews.

Add Food Status Change.jpg

Status Indication

When a food is selected there is an indication that it has been logged. It is placed in the bottom position so it does not get in the way if the mother wants to log additional food items. 

Iron Rich Foods.jpg

Actionable Steps

If a mother knows she is nauseous or allergic to a food, she can filter those out in order to accurately see what her alternative options are for foods rich in the targeted nutrient.

Next Steps

  • Conduct usability testing on the interface since our team didn't get the chance to.
  • Further develop a design to help mothers pace their eating schedule.
  • Design for the stress path for what happens when the mother vomits and loses calories/nutrients.


Tying Everything Together




Get Scrappy With Everyone



This hackathon was an amazing experience because I was able to work with people from different disciplines such as a science researcher and a developer. We were complete strangers, but we lent each of our strengths. There wasn't time or resources to fully implement the entire design process. It was an experience that stepped away from the utopian bootcamp environment and more into the real world.