Level 4 — Personas & Storyboarding
Author: Jason Davies
After interviewing several different people, we came together to discuss the information that we gathered. As it turns out, not many of our interviewees faced the issue of over-purchasing foods due to a lack of knowing what they had at home. The people that did face this problem disclosed that it was a minor issue; one that needn’t deserve an entire application to resolve. Therefore, a “virtual fridge,” seemed like a big solution to a small problem. A set of much bigger issues discussed were the following:
- Finding recipes that take into consideration a limited amount of time to cook
- Not being able to easily access the nutritional facts or directions for a recipe
- Not having the tools, like pots and pans, needed to make certain recipes
- Having too many options for recipes whose ingredients you may or may not have
With this on the table, we decided that the focus of our application should be recipe recommendations based on the criteria above. We also tossed around the idea of having a feature that allowed for 20-questions to be asked of the user that narrow down the recipes presented. Doing so would significantly reduce the number of negative experiences users face when selecting something they don’t have the ingredients or tools to make. Following that, we took some more time to identify the flaws in our competitor’s solutions.
- Yummly, directs users to 3rd party websites for the recipes, rather than showing the directions inside the application. This can be a problem if the sites remove their directions, as it would create a dead link and a poor user experience.
- Carrot, solves all these issues, but their business model is such that they restrict recipes from their users and offer them as premium content. This is a problem to those who want to eat healthier or have dietary restrictions.
Persona and Storyboard Development
From here, we each tasked ourselves with developing a persona based on the collection of interviews we conducted. Using these personas, we will each then developed three separate storyboards that capture situations in which our application will accomplish the original set of problems above. Here is what we put together:
The importance of drawing by hand often goes unappreciated when a technological solution is available. Not only is it faster to flush out ideas when drawing by hand, it helps us focus on the idea rather than the details. “Pencils Before Pixels,” an article by Mark Baskinger, goes into great detail about these concepts. I, personally, made the mistake of reading this article AFTER drawing out my storyboards on the computer. Drawing by hand would have been much quicker!
- Single, fulltime, middleaged working male
- Age: 35
- Gender: Male
- Occupation: IT Specialist
- Background: Works full time 8am 4pm, commutes to and from work
- Simple Living
- Eats out a lot Likes to travel
- Main Goals: Wants to be healthier, (have more control as to what’s going in his body)
- Also healthier as in lose a little weight/maintain physique
- Saving money is secondary because full time worker, but has feelings of saving money to save for fun vacations and trips
- Behaviors: Likes to play video games
- Likes photography, collecting shoes
- Spends a lot of money on random things but is also very stingy
- late 20s — early 30s
- fresh out of college
- has a stable income
- Often cycles through a small menu of quick and easy meals
- Has approximately 10 go to recipes
- Wants to keep costs down
- Tries to limit clean-up for after meals
- Has a limited cooking skill set
After meeting again, we all feel quite insightful about the problems our users face. We took this information and shared it with our colleagues.
In the next few days we will be putting together prototypes for our application!