Breadbox

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Project

An iOS app called Breadbox

Background

Breadbox is an all-in-one cooking iOS app that helps users cook recipes they love using the ingredients they have on-hand. Find new recipes using on-hand ingredients, make grocery lists, view your on-hand ingredients in the Pantry and follow recipes to make meals.

My role

End-to-end Design, User Research, Product and Brand Strategy, UX/UI, Prototyping and Testing

*This project is in progress. High-fidelity designs are on the way.

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This is how we came up with the concept:

We were sitting around talking about product ideas.

I can’t remember how we got on the subjecting of cooking apps exactly, but there were essentially 2 concepts we landed on:

Problem A: Following a recipe from a TikTok or Instagram Reel requires a lot of effort. You have to rewatch the entire video to revisit a single step, yet it’s an overwhelmingly popular way to share recipes.

Solution A: We could design a web app that would allow influencer chefs to create a sort of digital cookbook, then share those links in the descriptions of their TikTok or Instagram Reels videos.

Problem B: Shopping for the necessary ingredients to make a recipe requires too much effort.

Solution B: We could design an iOS app that allows users to access curated recipes and instantly shop for the required ingredients online

This is how we defined the project:

We figured out that we would be able to provide more value by designing the iOS app.

This is because we questioned whether it was worth trying to convince TikTok and Instagram users to visit external links to our web app.

And if users wanted to save those recipes using the web app, which is the point, that would require an account. And we knew that would cause a steep drop-off in usage.

So we spent some time discussing whether social features could have a place in the iOS app.

I performed some research on a few competitors that orient themselves as a social cooking app. I identified key features and visualized them on this matrix to share with my team.

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Pepper was the only competitor with an Instacart integration, a feature we wanted to differentiate our app.

Pepper is a social platform for sharing recipes, but the recipes were often poorly photographed and unappetizing.

The Instacart integration worked well, but we decided to limit the social aspect of our app to reviews and ratings due to the risks of user-generated content.

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Next, we needed to learn more about people’s behavior around finding recipes and shopping for groceries.

This is how we validated our idea:

I launched a survey that included 20 participants.

These were the survey questions:

  1. (Quant) How many times do you cook at home each week?
  2. (Quant) How often do you like to try a new recipe each month?
  3. (Qual) How do you find new recipes to try?
  4. (Qual) Why do you choose to find recipes that way?
  5. (Qual) What makes you want to try a new recipe?
  6. (Quant) How many times per month do you buy groceries?
  7. (Quant) How much do you spend at the grocery store each month?
  8. (Qual) What makes you decide it’s time to buy groceries?
  9. (Qual) What do you do to keep track of which groceries you need to buy?
  10. (Qual) Why do you choose to keep track that way?

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This is how we analyzed and synthesized the results:

I determined which of my hypotheses I could consider validated, and which ones I couldn’t at this point in the process.

✅ Validated
⚠️ Not yet validated
People have trouble keeping track of which ingredients they purchased
People will trust the quality of our recipes
People have trouble using all the ingredients they purchase
People will use an app to manage the food in their kitchen
People have trouble finding recipes that use on-hand ingredients
People will value being able to shop for groceries online
People will value a shopping list with only the ingredients they need to cook their planned recipes
People will value being able to have their groceries delivered
People will use an app to find and cook recipes
People want to know which ingredients they need to use up before they spoil
People will value being able to save their favorite recipes

What I found was that hardly anybody relied on grocery delivery services to get their groceries.

I had to consider whether I could reasonably ask my users to not only change the way they keep track of their grocery shopping, but also change the way they complete their grocery shopping (and pay more for it).

I decided to shift Grocery Delivery from a P0 down to a P2.

For the sake of maintaining momentum, I decided that this was sufficient validation to continue designing this product, but with a healthy respect for the possibility that the needs of my users could change dramatically depending on future feedback.

This is how we adapted:

I began looking for other opportunities that could make this product uniquely valuable. That's when I had my eureka moment: What if I could see recipes that use the ingredients I have available right now?

An issue I noticed with popular recipe apps and websites is that they lack tools to help you find something you're already prepared to cook. Their recipes often require specialty or conventional ingredients that can only be bought in quantities that leave awkward amounts behind in the pantry, on the counter, or in the refrigerator. These ingredients often go unused, occupying space until they expire.

With these things in mind, I performed more research and included these considerations in how I approached the UX.

I listed out some Pains and Gains.

Pains
Gains
Difficulty in discovering new and appealing recipes.
Ease in discovering new and appealing recipes that you’re prepared to cook.
Hassle of grocery shopping and keeping track of what ingredients have been purchased.
Convenient grocery shopping lists that add purchases to your in-app Pantry.
Time-consuming and overwhelming process of cooking a meal.
Streamlined cooking process with step-by-step recipe instructions.
Overpaying for groceries due to buying ingredients that go unused.
Ability to save money on groceries by using more of what is being purchased.
Unhealthy and costly meal options, such as eating out, due to lack of recipe options and time constraints.
Improved meal options with a wider range of recipe options to choose from.

And so I noticed that not only was there an opportunity to improve lives by eliminating some of the friction between you and getting started on a recipe, but also to make a social impact by reducing food waste in your home.

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The most current style guide

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