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EPICURIOUS versus BIG OVEN   { A brief review of two iPad recipe apps}
The graphic interfaces of the Epicurious and Big Oven apps are very     polished, with vibrant graphics and well-organized...
EPICURIOUS Landing Screen   (Part 1)Tapping Featured shows   Epicurious’ seasonal      search categories  Users can also s...
EPICURIOUS Landing Screen    (Part 2)    Users can search by   entering text AND bytapping icons, leading to       confusi...
BIG OVEN Landing Screen     Easy search is key:better to have provided   a text search field at  the top of the pop-up
EPICURIOUS Search Results         Well organized,   easy to scan, with the           tabs providing    filters along the s...
BIG OVEN Search Results     Recipe tags are nothelpful due to repetition        (main dishes) and    confusing categories ...
EPICURIOUS Recipe   The ingredients can     only be seen in thepop-up, which obscures         the recipe text Users must r...
BIG OVEN RecipeTapping Prepare redraws   the screen with larger    text and extends the     iPad’s active-screen timer, th...
EPICURIOUS Add to Grocery List   Tapping this icon the        changes its color,            indicating ALL ingredients hav...
BIG OVEN Add to Grocery List  Sure to confuse users,  boxes can be checked......OR text can be tapped,  which highlights t...
EPICURIOUS Grocery List        No indication of   checkboxes’ functionItems cannot be deleted   on this screen, only on   ...
BIG OVEN Grocery List  Custom items can beentered here, but usersmight assume these are labels for the columnsbelow. Leadi...
In summary, both apps have appealing graphic interfaces     which take good advantage of the iPad’s amazing screen fidelit...
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Comparing Recipe iPad apps

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A quick comparison of two cooking iPad apps shows some great design practices--and some bad ones.

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Comparing Recipe iPad apps

  1. 1. EPICURIOUS versus BIG OVEN { A brief review of two iPad recipe apps}
  2. 2. The graphic interfaces of the Epicurious and Big Oven apps are very polished, with vibrant graphics and well-organized layouts. But the user interface—how people actually search and use recipes— hasn’t been as carefully considered. Let’s view each app’s landing screen, attempt a search, read a recipe, add ingredients to a grocery list and then check the list. As a quick visual cue, Epicurious screens will have a gray backgrounds, while Big Oven will have white.
  3. 3. EPICURIOUS Landing Screen (Part 1)Tapping Featured shows Epicurious’ seasonal search categories Users can also select Search or Favorites, or their shopping list
  4. 4. EPICURIOUS Landing Screen (Part 2) Users can search by entering text AND bytapping icons, leading to confusing results This pop-up search method is inefficient. Users must swipe to find the correct icons, and the complicatedinterface is hard to use.
  5. 5. BIG OVEN Landing Screen Easy search is key:better to have provided a text search field at the top of the pop-up
  6. 6. EPICURIOUS Search Results Well organized, easy to scan, with the tabs providing filters along the side Recipes can’t be rated on the iPad, diminishing positive user experience
  7. 7. BIG OVEN Search Results Recipe tags are nothelpful due to repetition (main dishes) and confusing categories (what’s the difference between ribs, roasts, steaks and chops etc?). Preparation and total cooking times would be more helpful. EPICU R IO U S ve rsu s B IG O V EN
  8. 8. EPICURIOUS Recipe The ingredients can only be seen in thepop-up, which obscures the recipe text Users must repeatedly tap between the ingredients and therecipe to make the dish
  9. 9. BIG OVEN RecipeTapping Prepare redraws the screen with larger text and extends the iPad’s active-screen timer, though few users will realize it The ingredients and recipe are shown together, making it easy to follow.
  10. 10. EPICURIOUS Add to Grocery List Tapping this icon the changes its color, indicating ALL ingredients have been added to the grocery list. Ingredients can’t be individually added
  11. 11. BIG OVEN Add to Grocery List Sure to confuse users, boxes can be checked......OR text can be tapped, which highlights the row and provides a pop-up. Neither method actually functions correctly, and ALL of the ingredients will be added to the list.
  12. 12. EPICURIOUS Grocery List No indication of checkboxes’ functionItems cannot be deleted on this screen, only on the recipe screen. Few users will discover that. The list will become too long and users will avoid this function entirely
  13. 13. BIG OVEN Grocery List Custom items can beentered here, but usersmight assume these are labels for the columnsbelow. Leading off with the word “Add” would provide a visual cue Users have to tap Edit and enter another pop-up to delete items, neither intuitive nor efficient No indication of checkboxes’ function Poor information architecture has led to two unusable entries(how big a roast? what’s missing from Other?)
  14. 14. In summary, both apps have appealing graphic interfaces which take good advantage of the iPad’s amazing screen fidelity. Unfortunately neither user interface has been planned outcarefully enough, and users will be frustrated by some overly-complicated search functions, difficult recipe usage and disastrous grocery lists.

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