Conceptualize and prototype a mobile application that addresses a problem


prototyper, researcher, visual designer


mobile application


Fall 2014

Problem: Cooking is a chore

We’ve all experience the agony of post-cooking problems: a mountain of greasy dishes, ingredients haphzardly scattered over every possible surface, and worst of all—a food coma that just won’t quit. These are a few excuses why many people avoid cooking at home.


People between 18–25 years old who are interested in cooking and are budget-conscious.



  • Users
  • Grocery Store Owners
  • Nuritionists
  • Professional chefs/cooks
  • Software Engineers
  • Farmers
  • Food bloggers
  • Food manufactuers
  • Economists
  • Kitchen utensil manufacturers



We interviewed two San José State University Nutrition professors in order to gain an academic perspective on food-related subjects, and we interviewed a professor chef to gain insight on the occupation.
“Eat with your eyes.”

— Richard Larson, SJSU Nutrition Professor


Less than ⅓ of Americans
are cooking their evening dinners from scratch, which is a 7% reduction over the past two years according to a new survey by the Institute of Food Technologists.

50% of dinners eaten at home are fast food, delivery, or takeout from restaurants or grocery delis. Americans spent more on fast food than on education in the previous year.

— Astonishing Statistics on American Eating Habits (Feb 25, 2006)

User Survey

We conducted an anonymous survey among 56 participants ranging from age 16 to over 40 years old. Participants ranged in skill level from complete novice to experienced cook.

If you don’t enjoy cooking, why do you dislike it?

  • 36%Takes too much time to prep
  • 30% Cleaning up
  • 13% Too many tasks to do at once
  • 11%Other
  • 5% Afraid of burning the house down

If you enjoy cooking, what keeps you motivated to learn?

  • 64% To cook tasty meals for myself
  • 61% I enjoy it
  • 34% Impressing people
  • 21% Budget reasons
  • 13% Other
  • 5% Parents encourage me

What kind of resources do you use when you want to cook?

  • 73% Online (food blogs, Pinterest, YouTube, etc.)
  • 59% Family
  • 45% Friends
  • 39% Cookbooks
  • 32% Food Network and other cooking shows
  • 18% Other
  • 5% School (cooking class, home economics)


We created three personas and discovered that user levels were most calm when they were confident in what they needed to accomplish, and were most restless when faced with uncertainty or doubt.


Knows how to cook


Occasionally cooks


Hasn’t cooked much before

Research Findings

There are different types of learners: some students like to be hands-on, and some like to observe and watch. From our interviews, we discovered that cooking students should learn knife skills and how to determine when ingredients are cooked just right. We also discovered the awareness and organization are important traits to have in the kitchen.

We kept in mind four key parts in designing the enjoyable cooking experience of our application:
  • Get Inspired
  • Preparation is key
  • Gesture control
  • Start simple
  • Learn by doing

Solution: Reimagine the cooking experience with Savour.


Information Architecture

Competitive UI Analysis


In our initial stage, the application was designed to utilize voice control. The voice control feature allows the user to use our app without needing to interact with it physically. However, we ended up removing this feature, after receiving feedback that using voice control might not be the ideal solution because of noise pollution in the kitchen.

The app also initially included a timer feature that aimed to aid the user in determining when to check on things so that they could easily multitask in their food preparation. However, we received feedback that we would not be able to determine exactly how long each step would take because cooking time varies from appliance to appliance.

Based on user testing, we changed the UI palette and moved around actionable buttons such a bookmarking a recipe for meal planning.

Savour is a cooking application that

  • features a rich recipe database 
  • teaches the user cooking techniques
  • assists in meal planning
  • creates a hands-free experience in the kitchen using gesture control

Check out Savour prototype!

Experience Savour