By talking to a handful of college students and parents, we learned that budgeting and time are common concerns in the kitchen. So they resort to cooking $0.99 top ramen to save time as a convenience and often forgetting about ingredients that may already be in their kitchen. Using what we learned, we were able distinguish three painpoints for people always on-the-go.
To better understand the target audience, their environment, and major tasks to accomplish we conducted qualitative/quantitative research with people between the ages of 18 - 45 years old. We gathered data on their current routines and major challenges.
We needed to establish a user flow that was easy to navigate while completing the task of searching/finding a quick and easy recipe. After testing the process, we were able to take that information and make changes to the search feature. Here is a task that the user is completing for “Find an easy mac and cheese recipe for dinner”.
Sketching first allowed me to gain an intimate insight on what layouts will work before getting digital with it.
Based on the task flow and sketches of the platform, we created wireframes with the following features: adding/finding/saving recipes, adding grocery items, and meal planning.
The moodboard is focused around the color yellow as it is perceived to be the happiest color which is also used in a wide range of food products. Yellow brings a sense of optimism and good feelings.
In creating the first visual style, we created visual aspects that are commonly used in the food industry and associated with healthy eating. The result was a colorful, free flowing visual take that gives a sense of home.
We learned a lot about using multi-colored type in our UI and creating various stylized elements for each page. However, after testing and critique, we were able to target additional pain points that were confusing and lacked clarity.
The second visual style is simplified and structured. We analyzed UI trends, best practices, and recipe websites/apps to develop a new UI. Version B's style is less playful and more organized. In addition to changing the visual look to be more cohesive, we also enhanced small details to create a better flow and make information clearer.
We eventually leaned on the second version to be the final design since it has better usability, greater accessibility, and clearer visual and typographical hierarchy. It allows the user to see more information at a quick glance and highlighted crucial information more heavily.
Based on our learnings from the previous visual iterations, the strongest components of both were used to create an interface that best reflects the needs of those who need to save time and money in the kitchen.
The first iteration of the visual style relied heavily on the use of multiple colors and variation of typography as the aesthetic. The second iteration allows the user to focus on important information without the use of numerous colors. If we were to continue this project, we would love to explore accessibility in user-centered design, understand how it effects those in the kitchen, and potentially design an accessibility-focused iteration.