After the idea and case study part from the 2 former posts it is time to build up the app content. Dick suggested this as my next step. He also mentioned to find a thread.
To start, I wrote down all functions my app should have on small pieces of paper which you can see on top of the photo below. Then, I drew the interface of the first function of the app on an A4 sheet. Each part is drawn on a single piece of paper which allowed a much quicker and more interactive process. The lucky coincidence of cutting it in those mentioned bits was the best approach, even if it was a coincidence. All the functions that are written on the little cards were then piece by piece incorporated in the bigger “pages” that should demonstrate the interface of the app.
Building up the content by this method made this complex task much easier. However, it took me a full two days to finally have the content ready.
All the features that I needed to incorporate in the app:
– social media function (followers, posts, likes)
– sharing recipes
– feed of others (recipes like start page)
– tool to browse through recipes (suggested recipes the user might like)
– search tool to find every recipe the user wants to
– charts of the most liked recipes
– tool for phone or device to make scan your fridge content
– this should evaluate your food stock
– clever tool that itself calculates the difference each time you make a new scan (food update)
– knows how long items are in fridge or storage to remind you on eating them (food waste)
– offering to order a free DNA kit
– DNA evaluation goes into profile and lists the food that you’re genetically suggested to like
– labelling other’s recipes with a button so you can collect your favorite recipes in your profile
Structure and content finished:
While setting up the content, I detected some problems:
Problem 1: Not everyone will like to do the DNA-Kit thing as some people have data awareness issues. Making it optional would be some kind of compromise that would effect the “strength” of the app.
Problem 2: Scanning your food might be a problem. Fridges have depth. A regular iPhone camera will not be able to detect the food hidden behind other food. Also scanning your storage might raise a problem if the scanner won’t be able to distinguish a pack of flour from a pack of sugar.
Problem 3: Out of problem 2, another one occurred. Technically, a scanning tool for phones seems imaginable in the near future as face recognition already works on photos. So why shouldn’t there be a tool that detects tomatoes and cucumbers.
Solution Problem 3: After discussing this problems extensively with my peers, it appeared that in the architecture department there is a 3D scanner. They can put there built models in there, and the scanner transforms it to vectors on their computers.
It seems obvious, that in the future there will be 3D photos and 3D scanning tools available on our technical devices. 3D is the next logical step after 2D.
Problem out of this solution: Having a futuristic tool in the app, doesn’t fit with photos and other media.
Solution: Why not making a futuristic app. Upgrading this whole app in the future seems like a really exciting and nice idea. Maybe in the future I will be able to design apps for clients. But designing an app for the future is a unique chance for this Master Project.
The more I started thinking about it the more excited I got.
– Scanner: Assumably, the innovative food scanner would work a lot better if there would be a 3D scanning possibility on our smart phones. This could work more precisely and could detect food that is hidden in the back of the fridge easily. It should then provide a list for you and always know how much food you still have. It should also tell you to eat foods in your fridge that you forgot about, before they get rotten.
– 3D photos: The 3D media will probably also be available for our photos in the future. Imagine you post a 3D photo of your prepared cake. So far, there are already 360° view cameras available. This makes 3D photos quite imaginable.
– Scent-Button: A mainly interesting field of my research was about digitalized senses. Scientist are working on digitalizing taste, smell, and touch. Smell and taste used to be quite tricky so far, as they are chemically evoked, not electronically. However, there are already some attempts and scientists are sure, that in the near future we will have digitalized smell + touch.
People have to prepare the food and take a 3D picture of it. Imagine, your phone could identify and safe that smell, so you upload a picture and a smell. If another user looks at your uploaded recipe, he can not only see it, but by pressing the Scent-Button also smell that certain dish.
– DNA Kit: To design the app for the future also makes more sense in terms of the DNA analysis part. In the future, it might be that something like this becomes better accepted and very common. Years ago, scanning your fingerprint to unlock your phone also seemed absurd.
Introduction: As soon as you open the app, the following slides should appear. As I don’t have a name yet, the word “Name” functions as a placeholder. The introduction should quickly explain the most relevant features to the user, to not throw him unknowingly in the middle of the app. While I tested the 14 recipe apps, I much preferred the ones with introduction, rather than the ones without.
The 3D photos should not be the only media. There can also be videos uploaded (maybe with 360° cameras as well). They can be made either very exclusive (time limited) and vanish after their time runs out like Snapchat. Or they can be uploaded without a time limit. There can also be live videos (Inspiration from live videos on Facebook – that results in really high visitor numbers and comments).
Why would this app be useful?
According to my research, cooking and enjoying self-made dishes as a social activity especially within a family is a highly important issue. However, there is a ongoing shift in a different direction that includes, ready meals, delivery services, increasing pickiness, unhealthy eating and separate dining times.
On the other side, it seems that people are aware of this negative development. Bestseller author and TV producer Laurie David explains in her talk the value of a family dinner (https://foodlinkedtofamilyhistoryblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/24/the-value-of-family-dinner/https://foodlinkedtofamilyhistoryblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/24/the-value-of-family-dinner/).
There are several recipe apps online and it seems that there is also a counteracting-trend to encourage and to value cooking, self prepared food and dinners within a social group.
My aim is to support this as I myself love cooking, baking and dining together.
Would that app be still relevant in the future?
The cultural shift that I outlined in the former paragraph is ongoing since a while. However, it feels like cooking is not close to becoming extinct. People are cooking since several thousand years and assumably, will keep doing in the future. Cookbooks are a solid component in each bookstore (See my research “Bookstore Observation”) and each year the lead the top list of best selling non-fiction books.
This seems to be related to books. They’re existing since several thousand years and even if they could technically be replaced by ebooks, people still value them. And they’re not even effecting your health.
Future generations that will, assumably, cook less than we do today. The design should not be exclusive four women (cheesy baking apps) or men (grill and meat app).
It should be for social media interested people. Cookers and non-cookers; chefs and amateurs. Recipe inspiration browsers and self cookers. People who like personalized stuff. Unfortunately, it is hard to define a certain age group yet. Basically, cooking can be done by anyone.
- Additionally, I also would like to design the DNA kit that will be sent to people. This will include a box and a information flyer or folder on how to use and return it (Infographic?).
- App will be neatly done and take a lot of time on how to best present it
- Icon Design for App
- Take time to let people test the app