Table of Contents

  1. 1. Vision
  2. 2. User Research
  3. 3. Designing Solutions
  4. 4. Learnings

Case Study: The Dish

Reimagining how dietary restricted home cooks discover, search, and save healthy recipes online.

The Idea

The Dish began as an idea inspired by “Digg.” The home page would act as a portal for inspiring, mouthwatering, deliciously well-photographed, healthy recipes. When a recipe was selected, it would open in a new tab to the host website.

This is a personal project and my role was the entire ideation through to live beta, including user experience and user interface. I collaborated with a full-stack developer on this project as a team of two.


  • Goal: create the best repertoire of healthy recipes on the Internet & make finding and saving them easy for users.
  • Competitive analysis: There are several websites offering aggregated recipes, however, the quality of the content is sacrificed by the inevitabilities of scraping content.
  • Constraints: There were only two of us, and no startup capital, so time and resources were limited.

User Needs

After observing and talking to target users in Facebook groups, I made persona groups in order to understand how different users may use the app.

Based on our primary persona, I defined red routes in order to narrow down the must-have user journeys. I kept the features very minimal to begin with, so that we could launch quickly.

Understanding that recipe search is a primary goal of users, I ran a card sort to define our filter categories.
Filter categories stored in Trello

Designing Solutions

To begin the designs, I sketched paper wireframes to quickly sort through design ideas for each set of user journeys.

I settled on a StumbleUpon-style iframe for quickly scrolling through and discovering recipes, allowing the user to see the recipe in its entirety without leaving The Dish.
Iterating ideas quickly with paper wireframes
I then designed a high fidelity prototype and style guide for handoff to development to build it, launch a beta, and test the idea.
Mobile user journey


Through beta testing on both the primary user side, and the backend business side, we gained valuable insights:
  • We need to add the ability to edit filters to “feed me” recipe scrolling iframe so users can refine search.
  • Not clear that the strawberry is how you save - we’re adding an onboarding tutorial and text prompts.
  • Need the ability to create folders in the cookbook.
  • The process for uploading a recipe is too long, in order to get the size of recipe library we need, we’ll have to make them user generated, and create a front-end app for users to add their own recipes they find and add filter tags to them. This would need to be moderated to retain the quality of content expected from this app.


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