information design
  • Adobe Illustrator

I've been frustrated with recipe layouts for a while. Frankly, most recipes make me never want to attempt cooking or baking anything. I frequently feel like I'm tricked into over-multitasking, though I think it's mainly because I fail to separate prep and the actual process of cooking. After watching a few seasons of "Worst Chefs in America," I learned how important it is to practice "mise en place," which means putting everything you need in its proper place. This insight is a fundamental aspect of this recipe redesign, which very opinionatedly makes the chef put everything in place first.

The other pain I addressed is the multitasking I mentioned above. In this case, I decided to both separate the cooking process into stages (set up, break, cooking, instagramming) and separate the work into different streams.

On top of this, I thought about the context of cooking -- your hands are dirty and there are man tools to keep track of. The first contextual factor is what led to putting the recipe all on one page. If this was intended to the iPad or a website, I think it's important to minimize scrolling, especially scrolling back and forth -- hence, the implementation of a vertical timeline; once you've finished the top section of the recipe, there should be no need to scroll up until you're completely done. The second contextual factor is why I opted for laying out all the tools one needs at the top of the recipe with pictures (much like IKEA). I think experienced chefs expect everybody to just already know what are all the tools necessary and so only list the ingredients. Most inexperienced cooks most certainly do not know what all the tools are, much less to have them all ready from the beginning.

One other consideration I thought about is how to keep the cook motivated. Hence the top "Instagram goal" and the break in the middle. Finally, I thought about how to make such an infographic-like recipe more easily scalable across different recipes. For this goal, I decided against including illustrations of each of the ingredients and used standardized, easily recognizable ones for common tools.