Articles for December 2012

Recipe app – updates

Even though we had a working version for our recipe app when we released Halloween game, Rick decided to redo whole design. For one we decided to create universal app, departure from our earlier iPad only plan and second UI is evolving as we are iterating thru UI design. Technically there are some cool things Rick is doing such as using JSON files for keeping recipes. There is a good reason why and may be someday I will be able to twist Rick’s arm to write about it.

Our goal for UI is to be clutter free from elements that do not belong there if you want to use iOS device in the kitchen for cooking. “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler” we are mindful of this quote by Sessions and Zukofsky? and are working towards converting our thoughts in to reality. We have few options now to compare and sounds like we are going to pick our best effort as the final UI soon. Our core concept for recipe app UI breaks down in to three fundamental things.

  • Show case to present all recipes in the app – There is some element of play in a way we will present these recipes.
  • Show ingredients needed, estimated time and servings – This is like a summary of the recipe you would like to cook.
  • Steps – Yes all of Mrunal’s recipes are broken down in to simple steps you can easily follow. This is where we are spending more time to ensure UI represents thought of “ability to follow steps easily as you cook”.

I think the way we are presenting above information will make our app unique and very useful in the kitchen. Happy cooking!!!

iOS recipe apps – observations

When Mrunal and I scanned and bought few iOS recipe apps, we quickly realized following things:

  • Too much going on in the app meaning too many UI elements on a screen. This means app helps with what and how to cook but not really something you can actually refer while cooking
  • Except one or two apps we have seen and used rest were not helping with highlighting heat and time, two important things cook need to pay attention while cooking

We discussed in our team if we can do something to address above and create an app which will be a cooking companion. We believe our approach and design can help solve these two problems. We are working hard on this app and soon I will share more on progress we are making.

 

Recipe app

Like I said in my earlier post we were working on two apps at the same time. As Halloween approached we focussed on HallowsThieves game and recipe app, the other app took a back seat. As of this writing, we are 100% focussed on recipe app and will be releasing the same in near future.

So big question then is why recipe app? Well for couple of reasons:

  • My wife, Mrunal is an amazing cook
  • Friends and families vouch for her amazing cooking and she is always happy to share food and recipes with all
  • Last but most important, looking at many from roughly 1500 iOS recipe apps (as of writing this post) we really struggled to understand why we cannot find an app which actually makes cooking food in the kitchen easy.

Last bullet is worth deliberating. I will share things we observed about iOS cooking apps available in the store today and what prompted us to consider developing our own app soon.