Foodspotting makeover emphasizes personalized dish discovery

Updated. Just in time for its second birthday, food-finding app Foodspotting is rolling out some major design changes. Starting Wednesday, regular users of the app will notice a redesigned interface and a new logo, meant to emphasize new personalization features.
The changes in the interface are intended to drive home what the founders of the San Francisco startup want this app to be: a tool for food discovery. Though some people may associate the app with people who like to take pictures of their food, Foodspotting co-founder Alexa Andrzejewski says these tweaks to the UI better illustrate the app’s intended purpose.
“We never meant for it to be just photo-sharing, it’s not Instagram for dishes or food,” she said in an interview earlier this week. “It’s trying to be a better food finding app and discovery app.”
Update: The content is there: There have been 1 million dishes uploaded to the app. Now it’s about people using those pictures to decide what they want to eat.
Here’s a round-up of the main changes:

  • Tell Foodspotting what you like and what you hate. There’s a little “x” that pops up on each picture of a dish. Don’t eat red meat? If you reject beef dishes in the app, over time Foodspotting won’t show you dishes that feature it. Like mac and cheese? The app will show you much more of that. In other words, the more information you give it about you, the better the app will work for you. “More data helps us understand what you like,” said Andrzejewski.
  • More emphasis on who’s recommending. You can see that someone loved it and that the person is an expert in a certain category (sandwiches, sushi, dessert). Reputation, in other words, is coming more to the fore.
  • More social features. It’s more obvious right away when you view a dish in a restaurant you’re in or near if your friends have recommended or eaten something there already.
  • Navigation for commenting is more intuitive. It has surfaced the buttons to tell someone “great shot” or “great find.” The option to say “want it,” “tried it” or “loved it” is hidden beneath a star button.
  • New logo, less emphasis on the camera, more on the lens. Andrzejewski redesigned the logo herself, replacing the “I [camera] Food” in favor of either a lens or a cookie with a bite out of it, depending on how you see it. That multilayered interpretation is intended: Andrzejewski says it’s really in the eye of the beholder. But her intention is to make the logo more representative of what Foodspotting is really about. The logo is “the camera lens or any kind of lens that you can look through to see stuff around you [that] you wouldn’t otherwise have seen,” she said. “Like food x-ray vision.”

Note: This story previously said there have been 2 million dishes uploaded to the app.