Please note this is a fictional application designed for educational purposes.
Roles: Research, UX, Prototyping, Visual Design
Project Length: 4 weeks
People are spending significantly more time at home, and cooking more meals versus dining out. However, master chefs aren't made overnight.
Many may find themselves overwhelmed by the amount of recipes available, or unsure of how to cook their favorite dish.
To help with this, I decided to design a mobile application for home chefs to find, discover, share, and save recipes as they learn more about the art of cooking.
I started off by doing some preliminary research on how the cooking landscape has changed since last year.
“There is palate exploration, recipe exploration going on. We have documented all kinds of spicy sauces that have grown substantially — we’re talking about hundreds of percent points in smaller growth categories. That is happening and a lot of Gen X and millennials have taken to cooking at home for the first time....”
Based on this research, I thought this mobile app could help Gen X and millennial users the most since they might not have a lot of cooking experience. To find out more, I interviewed Gen X and Millenial participants who regularly cook at home and are familiar with mobile apps.
To get a better sense of the competitive landscape, I read through several websites comparing recipe mobile apps for iOS. These include reviews from TechRadar, Digital Trends, The Sweet Setup, and Tom’s Guide.
After noting which apps were consistently mentioned, I gathered a list of 12 competitors and downloaded all of these apps to see how they approach searching, browsing, saving, and sharing recipes.
With insights gathered from interviews and competitive research, I created a user persona to help me organize the pain points, needs, and goals that a typical user of this app would have.
Testing competitor apps helped me draft low fidelity wireframes to map out various screens that a user would see in the app. Particularly, I focused on any onboarding tasks, home screens, searching for a recipe, and the recipe pages themselves. Below are several examples.
Using the wireframes above, I created a high fidelity prototype that was tested with 4 participants. Below are key screens that a user will encounter on the app.
Two participants were confused during the onboarding process, due to the lack of an "OK" or "Confirm" button. There was also some confusion because not all the parts of the prototype were built out, but users thought they could interact with these. Some participants thought the icons were really similar to the ones in Instagram, but I used this icon set so maybe the designer for that set drew inspiration from Instagram.
To reduce the confusion around double tapping to proceed with the onboarding flow, I added a confirmation button at the bottom of the onboarding screens to clarify to the user that they can tap this once they have selected their options.
Changes are outlined in the red boxes.
As a cooking enthusiast myself, this project was a fun way to approach a challenge that many people are probably facing now. I know from firsthand experience that it can be overwhelming to cook something for the first time, but also a good time...unless the dish turns out inedible.
But cooking is a skill that develops over time. And just like any other skill, I think there are ways to learn from other's mistakes and past experiences, which is why recipes can be so valuable. These are culminations of someone's culinary journey gathered through trial and error.
As we continue to live in a digital world, I hope that more people continue to cultivate their interests in cooking and new cuisines. In my opinion, it's a fun and delicious way to experience global cultures, traditions, and ways of life.