Research Synthesis Design Solution

Low-Carb Life  


04 Brick & Mortar Observations

about Brick & Mortar observations

From our directed storytelling, we got a very good idea of what people do when looking for a recipe (see Directed Storytelling for more info).

We noticed that people like to flip through a book looking for something they think they would want to eat (i.e. "this one looks flavorful") or for something that they can make with what they have on hand. This approach limits the number of recipes available by the length of the recipe book and does not allow customization. Conversely, the recipe book sits in the kitchen, is easily annotated, is portable and doesn't have pop-up ads.

Below is a list of what is better about finding a recipe in the real world (e.g. in a recipe book) and a list of what a web site could do better than the real-world experience.

Real World
  • A Cookbook is quick to browse: people like flipping through a cookbook. It is natural and familiar
  • More personal: a cookbook or recipe card is tangible and is owned by the user, a web page is ephemeral
  • Can see more than one recipe at time: you can typically see a few recipes at a time in a cookbook. A web page typically shows one recipe in detail at a time.
  • Can flip through lots of recipes quickly: we sites have a lag time. A book is always present and is not remotely locates.
  • Saved recipes are easy to find: it is easy to get to a tabbed recipe in a book or in a card box. A web site has to find out who you are first and then usually has a hierarchy to find a saved recipe.
  • Social connections are important: people often share recipes my exchanging info on paper. We browsing is a solitary activity and is not conducive to ad-hoc sharing.
  • Recipes stored in the kitchen: A recipe box or cookbook is typically kept in the kitchen and is very portable.  A web site can only be viewed on a computer - which is not standard equipment in a kitchen.
  • Low cost or free: a web site is usually free to use. A cookbook costs money and takes up space.
  • Web can update and grow: a web site is dynamic and can expand with no effort from the user.
  • View of recipes is dynamic interactive & tailored: what you see can be personalized to who you are. A recipe book or card box is the same no matter who is looking.
  • Can search by more than ingredients: a recipe book or card box has one index you can search by. A web site can search by and quality that is available in a recipe - ingredient, prep time, equipment, etc.
  • Provides tools to help monitor diet-related data: by virtue of being interactive, it can link what you are eating to your status on the diet.

IID 2005 . Human-Computer Interaction Institute . Carnegie Mellon University