A Low GI Diet – Glycemic Index Search

I blame my dad for getting my involved with watching the Glycemic load on foods, so when I saw this app appear in the app store, I quickly picked up as a reference, as well as giving my Dad another reason to come on over to the good side (iPhone) and to throw the 1” brick to the shelf (old Treo.)
Pros:
-Large database
-Colored boxes for easy identification

Cons:
-Small text
-Poor search function
-Awkward UI

For those of you that don’t know, a Glycemic Index is the measure of the effects of carbohydrates on blood glucose levels. Carbohydrates that break down rapidly during digestion releasing glucose rapidly into the bloodstream have a high GI; carbohydrates that break down slowly, releasing glucose gradually into the bloodstream, have a low GI. (via Wikipedia) Glycemic index – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Data:
The data in the app claims that the data comes from the National Cancer Institute and is accurate based on the research I did. However in knowing this – have you ever looked up information on the USDA website? The search function isn’t exactly accurate.
When searching for potato, you get everything from Potato Salad to “Beans, Green & Potatoes” with “raw, potatoes” somewhere in between. Well that is how this app is as well. The search function needs work. If I searched for “potato.” I would expect “potato” to be the first result not something else with potato in it.

Interface:
Besides the poor search function implemented, the UI is a bit weird as well. The use of a “nice” background, removes real estate from the much needed text placement. In other words there is a small area where the text is displayed, this shrinking it and some might have difficulty in reading the small text.
Also the search bar seems to float just below the top of the screen, which seems a bit awkwardly placed.


When you tap on an item, you will see it’s full title as well as a colored box with the Glycemic Load number in it. The box changes colors the higher the number is. Bright Green = Good; Red = Bad. I do like the colored boxes, however I’d rather it be the background or something, as using the whole screen would see nicer anyway.

Overall:
I think this is a great reference and concept, however, I think that there needs to be some major UI changes as well as making the search function better.
I’d also like to see an option to browse through certain items that begin with a certain letter of the alphabet or filter by low, medium & high GI numbers. At the current price ($3.99,) I think that the price is quite high. Maybe $1.99 if like to use GI as a reference, if you use it a lot, wait for it to drop a dollar or so then grab it. I think if they make the few pre-mentioned changes this app will work a whole lot better.

Author: Matt Sawyers

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