Level 6 — Prototype feedback

Authors — Gabriel Gaddi, Sharmaine Manalo 8/19/16 10am

Initial designs (which was due last class)

To summarize our initial design from our last post, the images below show the transition we had from the paper prototype to the interactive prototype. The interactive prototype was the one to be used for testing.

Our initial prototype. Drawn on paper then integrated to an interactive low-fi prototype. Click here to go to interactive prototype..

Insights from user feedback

On Wednesday, we performed user testing for our application and received tons of useful feedback. We had 5 people test our application, 4 students and our professor. Below is the feedback we received from our testers.

  • I’m not sure what skill to choose.
  • There needs to be an feature to choose multiple utensils
  • What does the customize thing do?
  • How do I close the hamburger menu?
  • There should be a back button after looking at the recipes
  • There should be a feature to add things to my shopping cart without needing a recipe to add it from
  • Asked where the prices in the “shopping cart” are coming from
  • Asked which store the “shopping cart” items would come from
  • Asked how to favorite/unfavorite a recipe
  • What if I don’t have any dietary restrictions.
  • I feel that there is a lot of work to get to one recipe and that you should limit how many steps it takes.
  • Make sure to minimize the number of questions presented. It was overwhelming, tedious, and repetitive
  • Amount of time should be taken into account when being asked questions. Fewer questions for limited time to cook, perhaps?
  • More options for dietary restrictions
  • Possible make it a social app. (These users have these ingredients and together they can make this recipe) Learn to cook together.
  • Maybe have a wheel for cuisine selection of a world map
  • Questions can be represented differently -> in a more fun way
  • Histogram of personal information
  • What recipes can I make with like 50% carbs, 10% protein, or whatever
  • Recipes with no more than 5000 calories, etc.
  • It’s intuitive, useful, and looks great
  • Couldn’t go back to the previous page (if I made an error)
  • Sort by: button on the top right. Button to take a picture after cooking it
  • Felt the initial questions to narrow down the search was unnecessary
  • Found the difficulty level interesting
  • Believe that the competitive leaderboard feature was unnecessary
A student that’s testing our app starting with the home screen
Another user testing our app.
User testing our app while Jason is writing down feedback.
Professor Boyle testing our app and giving us helpful feedback.

From our user feedback, we discovered many features that we should include or that were missing. Some of these features were:

  • There should be a “start over search” option
  • Make the app more fun (like set the timer with an actual clock, pick a place on a map for cuisine selection, microwave timer to represent time)
  • Add more gamification elements to help stand out.
  • Include where to get ingredients such as Costco, Trader Joes, and Whole Foods. Possibly put in cookbooks for these markets.

Design decisions, based on heuristics and user feedback

From our heuristic evaluations and user feedback, we made the design decisions listed below along with their reasoning.

  1. Reduce number of questions

Heuristic Violation: Aesthetic and minimalist design

  • A lot of users were confused by some ambiguous questions and the amount of questions. There was no way to tell where you were at in the list so it almost seemed to go on forever.
  • For example, the question “Skill level” is very relative and confused users. We will be starting each user out at level 1 or “beginner” and they can gain skill points when they cook recipes and level up. Longer recipes are usually more difficult as well (not always) so the “how much time do you have” question could make up for this ‘skill level’ filter. Another solution to this problem was to have all users start at “beginner” and their in-app level goes up as they try more and more complex recipes.


  • Got rid of unnecessary ones, combined questions when could, separating mandatory and optional questions with options to skip and go back to allow user flexibility
  • Display how many more questions are left using a graphic of maybe an actual pie being eaten to.
  • Swipe to get to next to the next question rather than having to ‘tap’ multiple times

2. Make questions more fun and interactive (gamify our app)

Heuristic Violation: Aesthetic and Minimalist Design

  • This would allow users to enjoy answering the dreaded questions more, and keep users coming back to using our app because it’s fun
  • Give users points for signing in, answering the questions for recipe lookup, finding a recipe, scrolling through popular recipes, etc. There will be daily points and streak points if you use the app in a row. Give users points for uploading a picture of a recipe they made and these pictures will be shown on the user profile. Users can also report others if it looks like they aren’t uploading actual photos. The points gained will result in badges to indicate a higher level.

3. Add an option to choose favorite grocery stores

  • One user mentioned they only shop at Trader Joe’s, which has a pretty unique set of items, so user might want to be only shown recipes you can get from Trader Joe’s

4. Make multiple profiles for people you often cook for family members, friends

  • This way you can easily choose WHO you will be cooking for, everyone already has their own profile so you won’t have to choose preferences for people you often cook for all the time
  • This will take into account other people’s diet preferences

5. Swipe for next recipe (show little animation in the very beginning?) — pretty intuitive

  • There should be a way to go back to a question that you answered a longer time ago and jump around so you don’t have to cycle through the questions again if you go back. Swiping is more aesthetically pleasing than a next button (no UI)
  • Create tabs to automatically jump to a previous question without needing to swipe multiple times

6. Update the user of how many questions are left

  • Users felt that there were a lot of questions and there was not going to be an end
  • It also violated “Visibility of system status” heuristic
  • By adding this, we allow the user know when they will finish

What changes were introduced (or justify otherwise)?

Before we got into changes made from user feedback and heuristics, as a team, we finally decided on our app name. The official name for our application is Cuisine Quest. We decided on this name since we wanted our application to sound fun and to give us a guideline of how we want to design the application.

Changes we made:

  • Reduced the number of questions since users felt there were too many and just wanted to get into the app.
  • Allow the user to skip the questions and go straight to finding a recipe
  • Made some questions mandatory and some optional. The mandatory are the bare minimal we felt was needed in order to be able to help the user find a recipe. The optional questions were used to help further filter the recipes but aren’t necessary.
  • Removed the skill level system as it was too relative to the user. No way to actually evaluate.
  • Added a status for the number of questions
  • Added some fun elements into the questions such as the timer.

Final (low-fi) iteration

Below is a screenshot of the screens from our final low-fi iteration

Screens from our final low-fi prototype interation
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