Cook Now!

A new approach to ebook interfaces


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Role: User Researcher, Coder, Designer

Skills: User Testing, Flex, Interaction Design


Ebooks still largely replicate the print reading experience and do not take advantage of the interaction possibilities that technology offers. There is an opportunity to explore these possibilities with cookbooks because there are interactions inherent to the form, people like customizing cookbook content, and people use cookbooks as learning tools.

User Testing

I developed paper prototypes that included opportunities to customize cookbook content, integrated timers for each step of the process, and the ability to share customized recipes with friends. I asked experienced and novice cooks to complete tasks with these paper prototypes. From their interactions and comments I took away several important points.

Users liked the timers, the step-by-step help, and that ingredients were aligned with specific steps. However, they felt that the ingredient customization was overwhelming and unnecessary. They were also not interested in the social aspect. They wanted even more help with each step of the process.F

Final Prototype

The final iteration of the prototype centered around the timer feature. Timers were integrated into each step of the recipe. Users start the timer by pressing their tablet or phone screen and may add or subtract time from it. A sound plays when time is up. 

In order to help novice cooks, each step also includes a check-in photo that demonstrates how the food should look at that stage in the cooking process. There is also a space for technique videos (not implemented) and a convenient layout that matches each ingredient to the step for which it is used. 

Contact me if you would like to see this prototype. 

Future Iterations

In future versions of the interface I would like to incorporate more help for new cooks. I would also like to test more customization options, as I think they may appeal to home cooks outside of my original testing population.