We’ve all experience the agony of post-cooking problems: a mountain of greasy dishes, ingredients haphazardly scattered over every possible surface, and worst of all, a food coma that just won’t quit. These are a few excuses why many people avoid cooking at home.
We interviewed two San José State University Nutrition professors in order to gain an academic perspective on food-related subjects, and we interviewed a professional chef to gain insight into the occupation.
We conducted an anonymous survey among 56 participants ranging from age 16 to over 40 years old. Participants ranged in skill level from complete novice to experienced cook.
We created three personas and discovered that user levels were most calm when they were confident in what they needed to accomplish, and were most restless when faced with uncertainty or doubt.
Knows how to cook
Hasn’t cooked much before
There are different types of learners: some students like to be hands-on, and some like to observe and watch. From our interviews, we discovered that awareness and organization are important traits to have in the kitchen.
We kept in mind four key parts in designing an enjoyable cooking experience:
In our initial stage, the application was designed to utilize voice control. The voice control feature allows the user to use our app without needing to tactilely interact with the device. However, we ended up removing this feature, after receiving feedback that using voice control might not be the ideal solution because of noise pollution in the kitchen.
The app also initially included a timer feature that aimed to aid the user in determining when to check on things so that they could easily multitask in their food preparation. However, we received feedback that we would not be able to determine exactly how long each step would take because cooking time varies from appliance to appliance.
Based on user testing, we moved around actionable buttons such as bookmarking a recipe for meal planning.