Developing Univore

September 27, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-09-07 at 11.37.00 AM

An app I developed, Univore, was recently released for iOS (you can also read the technical overview here)! Students (and dieticians!) seem to really be enjoying the recipes and simple instructions that Univore provides. It’s been wonderful to hear all the feedback.

When we were preparing for release, the Univore team organized for an article by the U of T MD Program to be released. This tells the origin story of the idea for Univore – but what about it’s development?!

I met Liz and Brandon while attending UHN OpenLab’s Open Rounds, a weekly forum to discuss current projects and new ideas. Liz and Brandon presented the Univore concept, but mentioned they were having trouble finding a programmer. “Hm…I’m a programmer”, I thought. After the meeting I introduced myself and got to know a little more about what they had in mind for the project.

Univore was created to assist with healthy eating choices.

Univore was created to assist with healthy eating choices.

Liz and Brandon had enlisted the design services of the extremely talented Karen Keung, who had already created much of the design for the app. It looked beautiful! The finished designs was a major selling point for me – it was much easier to visualize a great finished product, and having the UX and UI settled made my job a lot easier!

Despite the finished concept and designs, there were some challenges during development. I still had about a year left in medical school and had limited time to dedicate to development. The design, while exceptional, required extra work to implement some custom components. The late addition of the grocery list feature caused some interesting challenges (namely combining different custom quantities of ingredients, such as “a handful” and “a tablespoon”).

How many red peppers should I buy for "1/4 cup of chopped peppers"?

How many red peppers should I buy for “1/4 cup of chopped peppers”?

Fortunately, the app was finished by the end of the semester, in time for Brandon and Liz to organize a focus group for testing. The feedback sparked a couple last minute changes, the most important being the explanatory introduction screens, and we prepared for launch on August 22!

I find it incredibly gratifying to finish projects and see them grow in the wild; I’m very proud to see Univore on the App Store! Try it now!! And while the work is done for now, I’m already getting excited to start my next project!

Univore in the wild!

Univore in the wild!