To Top Building a better cookbook

I came across today which is a new cooking site that just launched. It’s simple design isn’t revolutionary but if you look beneath the deceptively simple design you see it has a powerful and well thought out user experience.

The overall design direction borrows from so many photography sites we have all seen in recent years with full screen images that slowly scroll but almost betray some of innovative thinking hidden under the surface. But the real power of the site is in the main navigation which is simply made up of three fields – ‘I crave’, ‘I have’ and ‘I dislike’. ‘I crave’ which is an open suggestive search field where you can enter what you are in the mood for and it will return corresponding topics the site has content for. ‘I have’ lets your enter ingredients you have in your fridge and ‘I dislike’ lets you add foods you are allergic to or just don’t like to eat. When you look at these three fields individually they don’t seem very remarkable but when you look at them together you see they are really powerful. They combine an open search field that sets direction of the search while the other two fields are used as content filters to refine the search to the most relevant results. So you get a powerful and targeted search that combines search with filtering system all done through three deceptively simple navigation options.

Another really nice feature is hidden in the ‘I have” menu where you can link your grocery store rewards card to the site and it will automatically add your purchases to your “I have” list. Right now you can only do this with a D’Agostino card but since there is one right round the corner from I office I tried it out and it worked perfectly. You can see how more grocery stores will be trying to build this link between their virtual real estate and their brick and mortar store because it makes cooking easier for everyone and they can easily up-sell products and drive suggestive purchasing. Obviously if they could also extend this type of strategy into a mobile app that would completely tie the web site browsing experience with the in-store shopping experience then they would have something really powerful that would had the potential to drive a huge increase in sales.

So while still needs more content and stronger visual design opinion you can see a lot of good thinking here that is probably a good indicator of the digital strategy many grocery stores will be adopting in the near future.

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