Utilizing data science and version control for recipes.

MyDish is a mobile app to finally organize and keep track of your recipes without any hassle.

Home cooks have forever been scribbling in cookbooks, often handed down through generations.

Many family dishes have gone the way of the dodo because of a lack of reliable, and legible, recipe versions.

How might we help all cooks manage their recipes?

Not very appetizing.

In its initial stages, the functionality of the app was minimal.

Users could not upload photos, inputting recipes was a tedious process, and the navigation felt clunky and unfinished.

Big questions:

  • What keeps cooks coming back to certain recipe apps?
  • What’s the best approach to easy editing, copying, and saving of recipes?
  • What are the best ways that cooks can possibly enter recipes?

Client concerns:

  • Inputting a whole recipe piece by piece sucks and takes a lot of time.
  • Home cooks have a lot of options, how do we ensure they come back to MyDish?
  • Are we missing something that home cooks already do?       
Revised flow for creating recipes.

How might we make recipe input pleasurable?

First approach:

Having parsed through the research of the previous teams, I had a good idea of what the users wanted, but didn’t see much in the way of why it was designed how it was. I took a critical eye to the designs and decided it needed an almost complete overhaul.

The Client’s vision included features to make adding information so easy that home cooks would love documenting their recipes and keeping track of each modification and version of them.

The people spoke:

Our key finding was that people really do scribble in the margins of old cookbooks often, and the main reason that they haven't digitized their recipes is because it sucks typing recipes, and there is no good way to keep notes on variations of their family favorites.

We conducted several rounds of simple testing to validate the design solution.


  • The large cards didn’t make a lot of sense for seeing all of the recipes.
  • The in-line editing that the client wanted was not obvious to cooks.
  • Pill button suggested ingredients didn’t test well.


  • List view for most recipes, but dymanic homepage with cards.
  • Traded in-line editing of recipes to an editing mode with button.
  • I designed a list with add and cancel buttons for suggested ingredients.

Refining MyDish:

I took the time to build a consistent design system for MyDish from bones.

I also made sure to test often for feedback on the directions that I was taking the design to ensure that home cooks would like warm colors, pill buttons, how suggested ingredients appeared, and especially the navigation.

The client really wanted in-line recipe editing and the developers had a framework for it set up, however, that function was not validated.

Testing revealed that most home cooks would not know to simply click on an ingredient or step to edit without some indication or tutorial.

The result was two edit buttons on each recipe page that, when tapped, took the cook to a page that was just like they were creating a new recipe.

The home cooks were then prompted to make notes on their revisions and another version was saved on the “Previous versions” page.

Key Findings:

  • Building onto a project that has already had the groundwork laid out presents different exciting challenges than a start from scratch.
  • The team is everything, because without the other incredible people working on this project, the results would not have been quite as amazing.
  • Simple, straightforward, and clean design helps to convey information as effectively as possible to any user base.
Let's make something awesome together!
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