How to Cook Everything
Type: Product Design
Duration: 7 weeks
Skills: User research, Persona, Wireframe, Sketch
Instructor: Raelynn O'Leary, Ashley Deal
This project has three elements including ingredient card, mobile app and kiosk.
Basic knowledge about single ingredients
Recipes card provides basic information of an ingredient and will be put near that specific ingredient in the supermarket. There are three parts on the card including storage tips, how to prepare and cooking instruction.
In order to keep its simplicity, most of the cooking recipe require only this ingredient and basic seasoning.
Food encyclopedia and progress tracker
The mobile app is digital drawer of the knowledge on the recipe card. Every recipe card has it own ID number. User could enter the ID into the app and the system will automatically unlock information of this ingredient. By doing this, users could easily access to what they learned before and the app also provide more interactive and content such as video tutoring.
While user keep unlock content from recipes card, app could record users' progress and suggest new recipe with similar level.
While users' knowledge of food is growing, recipe card of multiple ingredients will unlock.
This kind of recipe will not show in the supermarket because it is too difficult to people without prior knowledge. Instead, app will generate a code for user to input into the kiosk. Kiosk will print out new recipe card for user to use.
01 PROJECT BRIEF
For this project, an open brief is give - design a product ecosystem that extends beyond the screen. The solution must include multiple touchpoints across multiple channels.
Since I like cooking a lot and I always bring my own lunch to school. It is not only healthier but also cheaper than buying food on campus. I try to convince my friends to make their own lunch but usually be rejected by many reasons including:
● I don't have time to cook.
● I want to try but don't know how to start.
● I hate to do the dishes.
It seems that there are multiple reasons preventing people from cooking by themselves.
I have done 11 user interview and observed 3 students from grocery shopping to cooking at home. I have also conducted online survey to get quantitative data from university community.
It turns out that the there so many factors involved. If you are good at cooking, you could literally spend less time and money as well as eat healthy. So how do I create the positive feedback cycle to help people improving their cooking skill step by step .
At this moment, I came across an article, "The Why of Cooking" in The Atlantic. (link)
"Learn how to cook through recipes just like trying to learn a language only by copying down others’ sentences."
The kitchen wisdom—a unified understanding of how cooking works does not represent in the cook book.
03 RESEARCH RESULT
After researches above and teaching kitchen wisdom in mind. I came out with several design principles:
● Cooking knowledge should be easily approachable.
● Self-achievement is important to create positive feedback loop.
● It is not about the number of recipes you learn bu the Kitchen wisdom you gain through the learning process..
I have also creates two personas from CMU students as my target group.
Male / 24 year-old / Graduate student
“Saving money is the first priority but time and money are always against each other. I have no choice but buy food on campus"
Female / 21 year-old / Junior
“My school work is very busy so my objective is simple: feed myself and keep healthy. I cook simple dishes on weekend with large quantity so I could eat through the week,"
In this part, I came out with several ideas and do speed dating with my friends.
One thing I have learned is that people really like the idea of app being a personal cooking tutor which customized your learning progress.
The other thing is that people often found it useful with by those little but useful knowledge about foods such as how to choose them, how to store them and how to process them.
05 LO-FI MOCKUP
I start to prototype my ideas. In order to create a product ecosystem, I need create interaction between physical object and digital app.
For the recipe card, since I decide to make it small for easier using and storing. I need to figure out what information should be included.
For the app, while I am drawing the wireframe, I think I could include more functions such as social sharing and places to buy special ingredients into the app.
06 HI-FI MOCK UP
App Promotion Poster
I decide to remove app download icon because it does not quite fit into the retro style design. Therefore, I create a mini quiz poster to attract people's attention to download the app. The visual language of poster is similar to recipe card.
07 USER TEST
I have run a 5 user test with CMU students in our studio and the feedback is very positive. Still, there are something could be improved.
1. The ID on the card is quite confusing in the beginning but become clear when the app show up.
2. There is no prompt on the card to download the app. Some people might miss the digital part of the system.
3. The role of kiosk is not clearly defined in the system.
WHAT COULD BE BETTER
I really enjoy this project. The requirement of whole product system beyond the screen really make me think through the user journey of cooking rather than just creating another recipe app. I have to consider the context of grocery shopping in the supermarket and cooking at home in order to provide incentive and help people internalize the kitchen wisdom. If one thing could be better, I would say I will further improve the role of the kiosk in the system. With limited time, I could only design the first page of its UI. I wish I could further develop it and differentiate it from just a recipe card printer.