Thali Model: Relooking at an age old visualization
Thali model is a visual tool that helps pregnant mothers and caregivers with varying literacy rates from different parts of Karnataka to visualize a healthy meal.
As we know, consuming a nutritious healthy meal is very important for a pregnant mother and her baby’s health. But unfortunately, in most Indian hospitals, diet advisories are showcased in the form of complex, text-heavy food pyramids or confusing nutrition percentage charts.
The food items recommended in these nutrition charts are focused on general urban populations. Hence, it is challenging for our rural audience from various literacy rates to conceive this critical information.
To resolve these circumstances, my colleague Neelima Devadas (Senior Health Design Researcher) and I (Creative Lead) from Noora Health decided to design a simple visual tool to help pregnant mothers and caregivers visualize a healthy meal.
First, we spoke to mothers, caregivers, and nurses from different District Hospitals in Karnataka to understand more about locally available food items and their usual purchase patterns. From this conversation, we listed out vegetables, Fruits, Non-Vegetarian food, locally available grains like Ragi (Finger millet), and other food items.
We decided to place the food items on a banana leaf layout, as this is the cultural way of surviving food in south India on special occasions. We also used Kattori (bowls) for vegetables and other items to show ideal food portions. Having this banana leaf visual element in the final design helped the tool stand out from other diet infographics in a hospital. These small elements added more value to this tool for the mothers and caregivers. It simplified the information needed in order to follow a good diet.
We prototyped and tested this tool in Davanagere District Hospital in North Karnataka with the help of some brilliant nurses who are part of our Care companion program.
After getting lots of positive feedback on the tool from the users and nurses, we are customizing this tool for different regions across India as part of the Noora health Care Companion Model.