Everyone wishes they could cook more often, but different problems get in the way. With Cookery's I set out create a tool that would make daily cooking easy. It was important for me to understands why people cook, what gets in their way, and how this app can be a took to teach and empower those that are less comfortable in the kitchen to give it a try.
The expert and the novice
In my interviews I sought out working professionals living in the Silicon Valley that ranged from cooking experts to cooking novices. I focused on the inspirational aspect of cooking as well as the pain points, and zeroed in on the different culinary tools and services often used in place of or to aid with daily cooking. From the interviews I created 2 personas—the expert who cooks frequently and is at ease in the kitchen, and the novice who seldom cooks and needs a bit of assistance.
For the competitive audit, I looked at not only traditional recipe apps and blogs, but also grocery providers and different dinner delivery services, as well as new products that sell groceries and recipes as a joint package. Some of the users I spoke to use these services regularly, but most expressed the desire to be more independent and not to rely on them. Services like Blue Apron and Joy Plate were described as training wheels that users are anxious to outgrow. Having mapped out the terrain, I decided to incorporate the grocery delivery service into my application, while focusing on additional ways to save time and plan for convenience.
Not your traditional recipe app
Through different rounds of sketching and prototyping, I looked for ways to streamline the recipe search process and to instead follow the method of planning that users follow when creating a meal plan or searching for a recipe based on ingredients they have.
Sketching and testing
Wireframing different approaches
It was a challenge to create an app that knows your preferences without asking the user to insert a lot of content up front. Through multiple reiterations I narrowed down the initial input to dietary restrictions, ethnic cravings, and only sourcing seasonal ingredients, and providing recipes with active time of less than 30min. This narrowed the options quickly.
Holding on to my initial aim to make this a learning tool, I looked for ways to integrate moments of learning throughout. Within the recipes, users have the option to swap out ingredients. The app provides suggestions for different ingredients, along with the amount needed. This function can be used to learn what ingredients are comparable to each other as well as to swap items for what one prefers and/or has on hand.