A 14 week project for Visual Interaction Design 3 at ArtCenter College of Design
What if a recipe app could be more social?
Assessing user goals through interviews and surveys to inform the design of the user flows and interactions.
Design a responsive app prototype that provides users with a familiar social media experience for browsing and sharing recipes as well as a comprehensive guide to cooking them.
Designed in Adobe Xd
Users can explore all of the wonderful user generated content much like they would on a traditional social media platform, but may dive further in with the ability to see the recipe and cook it for themselves.
An awesome insight from user interviews was "meals usually consist of more than one recipe." In response to this sentiment, the app includes a meal planning feature that lets users combine recipes for cooking and will calculate the time and ingredients according to any overlaps and time availability.
At the core of the experience is the step-by-step guide which includes hands-free voice operation so users don't have to interact with the device while prepping ingredients. The recipes will be scalable for larger or smaller servings, and each of the steps will have a visual demonstration that corresponds with each step.
Initially, the function of connecting with other users was limited to following content creators that the user liked, but testing revealed that users would be interested in being able to send messages, to send compliments or recommendations to others.
In the final two weeks, I began learning After Effects and created this promotional short to tie in with the project.
I began with secondary fact finding to see if an app was a viable approach and then conducted a survey to gauge user interest as well as gather self evaluations and habits.
of 25 to 34-year-olds head
to the kitchen with their
tablet or smartphone.
Google Consumer Survey, Jan 2015, n=550
Instagram, July 2020
of survey participants rate
their own cooking ability
to be at or below average.
Independent Survey, June 2020, n=112
of survey participants turn to websites to discover new recipes.
Independent Survey, June 2020, n=112
I set up interviews with a handful of the participants to get deeper insight on their cooking processes and experiences using their mobile devices in the kitchen. Additionally, I interviewed two professional chefs to get their take on the cooking process, as well as how it differed in the professional and personal settings.
Mapping the Responses
Taking responses from the surveys and interviews, I sorted them in an affinity map as well as an empathy map to get a clearer understanding of who my user is.
The User Persona
This is the user for whom the design decisions will be based.
Focusing on the user needs and goals, I sorted out all of the potential app features into "haves". This helped set the groundwork for early interface ideation.
Looking at familiar recipe and social media apps provided queues to some preliminary concepts of what the interface should look like.
Prototyping - Low to High
After some simple paper prototyping with the sketches, I began increasing the fidelity through an iterative process, incrementally testing UI and flow.
The Latest Iteration
By the 12th week, I was near the final configuration and was making very slight revisions for easier navigation and clearer UI, these are some of the final screens:
I thoroughly enjoyed the process of designing this app. I found it much easier to design based on the user persona and the feedback from user testing than it would have been to design based on what I felt would make a "good" app. Despite it being a solo project, the insights and inquiries of my peers helped me to step back and really look at the design decisions in a more effective way.