NUT (the Nutritional Understanding Tool) is a visualization tool for understanding the nutritional content of what we eat. The goal of NUT is to support users in making healthy choices about what to eat by visualizing nutritional information in the context of the whole food.
In developing NUT I followed a design study methodology, which is becoming an increasingly popular form of problem-driven research and design in Information Visualization. The tool utilizes the very detailed USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference data set from 2011, which includes data on the many different vitamins and minerals present in over 8000 foods. I built a number of rapid prototypes to assist me in analyzing and understanding this data set, which helped me to determine the requirements for the final tool. I developed the NUT prototype using processing.js, a great toolkit for quick and dirty web visualizations. Following the design study methodology, I conducted a number of case studies using the tool to understand and compare the nutrient profiles of different foods.
methods and tools
design study methodology
processing (+ processing.js)
documented process and case studies [pdf]
prototype demo (no sound)