Friday, 27 April 2012

Speaking From Experience Concept Crit.

I intend to instruct a group of students who are moving away from home for the first time, have a limited budget and are familiar with technology. That will need advice on how to cook and learn the basic skills that are needed to produce to low cost healthy meals. In order to achieve this I will produce an app that will be downloadable to phones or tablets. It will take the place of bulky cook books, the digital aspect will also allow the content to be up-dateable easily to suit the specific audience.

Product - An app that will help to teach students how to cook.
Range - I will produce a series of product sheets that will demonstrate my product in use to see what it would look like if it was actually created.
Distribution/Context - It will be accessible via smart phones and tablets.

Five Statements about my audience:

  1. Familiar with technology
  2. Enjoy being social
  3. Usually has a limited budget
  4. Has a busy schedule
  5. Most probably moving away from home for the first time.
Here are the boards that I prepared to show to my crit group to demonstrate my idea. I feel that they are clear and show my thoughts thoroughly.

I found the feedback I got from this very useful and beneficial to the development of this brief. Here are a few point that were brought up.
  • Recipe suggestions from food that you already have available.
  • A shopping list option, so users can remember what to buy. Paper lists can easily be forgotten to be picked up whist a phone is taken everywhere by habit.
  • Information on portion sizes.
  • Popular tea options: Bolognese, pizza, curry, pasta bake, sunday roast, macaroni cheese.
  • Information on local shopping destinations, what places are good for different items.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Speaking From Experience Recipe Research.

I have decided to look through some cookery books specifically designed for student to help give me some ideas for content and also design style. The recipes have proved very helpful, especially concerning the information to do with price and time to cook.

Speaking From Experience Cook Book vs. App.

I have decided to look at the contrast between cooking books and apps and the benefits that they have. I personally feel that apps are a big step up on books for a variety of reasons mainly because of the space saving aspect as my shelves are full of bulky books that because of their size and shape are hard to look through. With apps there is also the possibility to update it whereas you would have to buy a whole new book. I also think apps are very relevant to the target audience of new student as new technology is very popular. Here are some opinions from other people...

Web apps and mobiles apps absolutely revolutionize how people learn to cook. Cookbooks traditionally showed one recipe at a time, and if you needed to look up an ingredient or method, you had to flip to an index or glossary, or pull out an entirely different reference book. Apps let you quickly link, open pop-up windows, or play demonstration videos without ever leaving the recipe. It totally empowers new cooks who might otherwise feel overwhelmed when facing a new recipe, new terminology, new techniques all on one page.

For many cooks, the pleasure of Thanksgiving is in the planning. In early November, the recipe folders come out, along with dreams of learning to perfect a lattice pie crust, and the cookbooks 
If the people developing cooking apps for tablets have their way, that kind of scene will soon be a relic. And so will the whole notion of recipes that exist only as strings of words. Many early cooking apps were unsatisfying: slow, limited, less than intuitive and confined to tiny phone screens. Even avid cooks showed little interest in actually cooking from them. But with the boom in tablet technology, recipes have begun to travel with their users from home to the office to the market and, most important, into the kitchen. With features like embedded links, built-in timers, infographics and voice prompts, the richness of some new apps hint that books as kitchen tools are on the way out. The interface of a tablet offers possibilities to the cook that would be impossible with a laptop, let alone a book. Swiping, tapping and zooming through information presented in multimedia is a good match for the experience of cooking, which involves all the senses and the brain, as well. And when those faculties fail, as often happens in high-stress kitchen scenarios like Thanksgiving, apps can come to the rescue with features like technique videos, embedded glossaries and social media links.

Speaking From Experience Cooking Apps.

'How to Cook Everything - Based on Mark Bittman's legendary cookbook/kitchen guide of the same name, How To Cook Everything holds a new cook's hand through embarrassing basics, and give them plenty to work with once they've found their feet. $5, iPhone only.'

'Epicurious -  Arguably the iPhone's first serious recipe app, and by far its best. First and foremost, Epicurious is a front-end for a bogglingly huge library of recipes lifted from the pages of Bon Appetit, Gourmet, and other generally reputable sources, most of which are accompanied by delicious photos. Recipe choice is effectively endless, the iPhone interface is straightforward and functional, and the iPad interface is kind of gorgeous. The included shopping list tool is (baby raspberry) icing on the (flourless espresso) cake. Free, Universal.'

'Ratio - Michael Ruhlman's app is equal parts introduction to a cooking philosophy and tool. Luckily, this philosophy—cooking by ratio—is fascinating. $5, iPhone only.'

'Jamie's Recipes - a free app, where you'll get a welcome pack of dishes for free (each with step by step instructions) as well as a few tutorial videos on using knives properly and the like (to cut vegetables, not people). There's also a load of premium packs you can buy, each containing around 10 recipes and one or two vids. These packs are in-app purchases and, until 14 August, are at a cut price 69p - they're usually £1.49.'

'Cook Mate - will sort you out if you're a little bit slack on the old shopping. Can't be bothered to nip down to Safeway? No problem, just select the ingredients you do have, yes you will need to have some, and Cookmate should come up with a selection of recipes geared around your leftovers.'

'Cook's Illustrated - a great iPhone cookery app that brings you tried and tested recipes, meaning that if you do decide to attempt one, it should work a treat. This is because each recipe has had to endure the rigours of the Cook's Illustrated test cooks where each recipe is tweaked to perfection, hopefully. As the blurb goes: "We make the mistakes so you don’t have to."' 

'Big Oven - On the whole, the free cookery apps are not as good but when of the ones that really can compete is BigOven. You still get features like automatic unit conversions between metric and imperial, shopping lists and recipes based on ingredients you have but where it suffers are things like adverts and a slightly slow, connected-only experience.'

'Cooking Light - The star feature of this app allows users to easily put together a meal: Pick a protein, then you may choose their suggested menu or customize your own from over 300 options for entrees, sides, and desserts. The in-app calculator will tell you how many calories the whole meal per serving. Cooking Light, iPhone, $4; $0.99; iPad, $4'

'Do Eat Raw - This one goes out to the raw vegans in the house: Three hundred recipes are organized by course and ingredient, and available on your iPhone, internet or no, rain or shine. We're not exactly sold on their raw vegan brownies, but good to know there's an app for that. Do Eat Raw, iPhone, $1'

'Good Food Healthy Recipes - In addition to 150 beautifully photographed dishes, this app from the BBC has everything we look for: easy-to-use search, full nutritional information for each dish, ingredient info, a timer, and videos to teach core cooking skills. Bonus: British favorites like butter chicken and puddings are given healthy makeovers. Good Food Healthy Recipes, iPhone, $3; iPad, $4'

Whole Foods Market Recipes - The behemoth of organic grocers has done us well by this app. From an easy to use shopping list (makes sense, eh?) to a special diet search filter, this app wins most likely to revolutionize your weekly trips to any market (even if it's not Whole Foods). Whole Foods Market Recipes, iPhone, free; iPad, free'

 'Recipes4us, Student Edition - This is a series of articles offering advice to students on subjects such as cooking on a budget,  shopping for food, store-cupboard staples,  cooking tips,  kitchen equipment,  basic kitchen and food hygiene plus lots of easy, nutritious and delicious recipes which won’t break the bank. This collection of 60 recipes has been put together especially for students. Most are economical, quick, easy to make and nutritious, however we've also included some "treats" for when you've done well with your budget and have a little extra to spend. To make it even easier, you can also choose the serving amount on many of the recipes - from cooking for 1 to feeding the house (8) - and the recipes are listed in clearly defined sections in order of preparation/cooking time.  You can even email your favourite recipes to friends directly from the app.'

 'The Food Book - The most recent bit of news to come out of Australia is a new cookbook iPad app for students–and not culinary students, but all kinds of secondary education students–put out by Oxford University Press. The interactive app is part of an educational series called The Food Book suite, which was designed for secondary students. You have to be a student at a registered university (with a username and password to log in) to see all the content on the website, although one recipe per day is available for anyone to preview; see Even without access to the full recipes, the photo carousel on the homepage provides a glimpse of  how much Australia’s culinary profile is influenced by the flavors of Southeast Asian countries and the techniques of Western Europe.'

After looking through these current examples I have found that a lot are mostly aimed towards older audiences that are maybe already quite comfortable with cooking, the menu choices are also not as suitable for students skills and tastes. The 'Recipes4us' app seems the most appropriate for my chosen audience but the design aspect I feel is very inappropriate and uninspiring which is something I could develop further for my product.