As a recap, I am working on the design brief “Change”, and for the first assignment, Needfinding, I observed how people choose what’s for dinner, how they find out what ingredients they will need, and how to cook it. For some the process was too time consuming, some are too busy during the day to research options, or they might be unfamiliar with some ingredients and how to prepare them, plus junk food temptations lurk around avery corner.
For the second assignment, I am reviewing the user needs I brainstormed during Needfinding. I will begin solidifying these needs by seeking inspiration, developing a point of view, and creating two storyboards.
My point of view: People would like to make healthy choices when cooking and eating, but only if the process is quick, easy, and tailored to their specific preferences – like having a personal shopper.
Words related to my design idea: healthy, yummy, quick, easy, good food, clean, white, clear
Here are two storyboards illustrating two different design ideas that both address my Point of view:
This storyboard illustrates how the app had already downloaded the daily recipe to the user’s smartphone, so he could look it up and check the shopping list while on the underground, before shopping for ingredients and making a healthy meal.
This storyboard illustrates how the app can show the user that a home cooked meal can be quicker than ordering food delivery, using left over ingredients in the fridge.
Yummly features aggregated recipes from many different sources, displayed in an appealing way, but customisable recipe search is what stands out. Users can filter by cuisine, taste, diet, nutrition, allergy, cook time, technique, etc. However, this still requires the user to “pull” the information at some point, which is easily forgotten or postponed until it’s too late. I would like the daily recipe to be presented almost as ambient information – e.g. at a specific time of day – say 6pm, or at a specific location – upon leaving the office or entering a grocery store. All preferences would have been set in advance.
Bombfell is a monthly clothing subscription where users set some personal data and preferences such as sizes and preferred styles, to then get regular shipments with clothes matching their style. I envision a similar “set and forget” process to input food preferences.
The Yummly App features a beautiful, clear presentation of recipe photos and text. This is a digital example, but a beautiful cookbook is inspiring along the same lines: Choosing a recipe – and shopping for food – has become a highly visual activity, and the better the imagery, the more appealing it will be to try it out.
What I like about MyFitnessPal is that it references nutrition information from a massive database, allows the user to track his intake and then presents calories and macronutrients in an appealing way. I would want my app to present nutrition info per recipe, and if the user does want to track food, it should be easy for her to send it to her choice of fitness tracker.
The lift app acts a coach to help users reach their goals. It gamifies the experience and helps users to stay motivated with guidance, encouragement, and optional reminders. I am considering whether it is enough for a recipe to just „be there“ when needed, or whether there should be a gentle „nudge“ to cook a certain (customisable) number of healthy recipes per week. In which case the app also needs a way to “check off” that you did cook the suggestion.
The UK is introducing colour-coded food nutrition labels to help people make healthy choices. The new label is colour-coded red, amber and green, and highlights ‘percentage reference intakes’, to show how much fat, saturated fat, salt, sugar and energy is in a product. This makes it easy to see at a glance how healthy your choice is. I am considering to add similar labels. On the other hand, some users weren’t so concerned with nutrition information, so it might be a waste of space.
OS X and iOS 8 Notification Center / extensions. I envision the dinner tonight app as mainly being accessed through OS X or iOS 8 Notification Center. This can be achieved through extensions and should work on both platforms. As mentioned before, the recipes should be ambient information and don’t require high levels of engagement after the initial setting of preferences. The interaction would be to just present a shopping list for a recipe when tapped.
An example of an iOS 8 Notification Center Extension with images and text info. I am considering whether one recipe will be enough, as long as it is based on the user’s preferences for diet, nutrition, time to prepare, etc – or whether there should be an alternative choice.