Design a recipe app with the following deliverables:
- Competitive analysis and user research
- User personas
- MVP document
- User stories and user flow diagram
- Paper prototype
- Usability testing results
I chose two recipe apps for this competitive analysis: Forks Over Knives and Oh She Glows, the latter having been featured on the demo screens for iPads and iPhones at Apple Stores around the U.S. Both of these apps are popular and have a large social media following.
User Personas and Scenarios
At this stage of the project, colors and typography had not been assigned and the title was, “Cooking Green.” These documents illustrate the research I did for the MVP, including objective, hypothesis, success metrics, feature requirements and user stories.
User Stories and Flows
Assess the learnability for users interacting with the recipe application for the first time on a mobile device.
More people are becoming aware of food waste in America. This app may help cooks better utilize the food they have in the kitchen by providing simple, creative ways to use various ingredients, as well as provide inspiring ideas for converting traditional recipes to plant-based.
- Search for recipes and filter by allergens and preferences
- See what equipment is necessary to make it the recipe
- Add ingredients to a shopping list
- Add recipe to favorites
- Search for ingredient substitutions
Since this was a single test focused on design, I used Jakob Nielsen’s rating scale, concentrating on errors only. How many errors made, how severe they are, and how easily the user can recover from the error.
0 = I don’t agree that this is a usability problem at all
1 = Cosmetic problem only: need not be fixed unless extra time is available on project
2 = Minor usability problem: fixing this should be given low priority
3 = Major usability problem: important to fix and should be given high priority
4 = Usability catastrophe: imperative to fix before product can be released
Saving to favorites and creating an account in order to add to grocery/shopping lists
On main entry page, in addition to create account –
add “to save recipes and make shopping lists” or similar text.
No way to go back to create account or search page from search page without going to profile page
Back button on search page should go to beginning –
to SEARCH or create account.
Confusion between “list” icon and “heart” icon – in that users did not know the differentiation.
Fully app functioning should solve this problem.
All users wanted to search by meal category
Add meal categories to search menu. Fully functioning app should solve this problem.
This project went through 3 distinct style iterations as my learning expanded over the course of several months. I still think the concept and perspective is valuable and plan to continue usability improvements. I will also expand the content to include tips for living and eating more simply and in line with the finite resources of our planet.
Project duration: 12 weeks.