Chen Zhang Design Portfolio

Create Recipes

Design a web-based solution that enables users to create recipes with rich content. 

Problem Definition & Assumptions 

This solution has two-side target users: users who upload recipes (recipes creators) and users who read and consume recipes (recipes users). 

Recipes Creators

  • Amateur chef (housewives or other people who enjoy cooking) 
  • Professional chef (works at a restaurant or other related food business)

I assume the primary users for recipe creators are the amateur food lovers, and we can say housewife is one of our personas. Here're a few characteristics for this persona: 

  • Cook 3 meals for the whole family every day
  • Young or mid-aged women
  • Stay at home most of time when cooking

Recipes Users

  • General food lovers who want to learn and explore cooking art

Target users

Users needs/Product Values

For our target users – amateur chef, I assume there're a few different levels of user needs to upload recipes and share them to the community. 

Primary User Need: An Intuitive Experience for Recipe Creation

  • Easy-to-use and guided template-based process to upload my recipes with multiple food categories
  • A tool to edit my food photos or videos to use for instructions and final works

Secondary User Need: Social Recognition for My Recipe After Uploading

  • View comments from other food lovers
  • View food photos from other people who follow my recipe instructions and cook their own
  • Create my own recipe collections and keep track of my impact and contribution to the community 
  • Help developing a community of food lovers and get to know people with same interests (online and offline)

The requirement is a web-based solution to enable users upload rich media, so tablet and mobile devices should be easier for users to take photos and videos to upload to our product. 

  • Tablet Devices such as iPad 
  • Mobile Devices

I assume the primary form factor for our product is tablet, because the screen size is big enough for tasks such as photo editing and writing texts. 


Based on our assumptions for the target users, the user scenario for our product is mostly at home. There're 3 different stages of use cases in the overall workflow. 

  • Before starting cooking (optional): Fill in some basic information for the recipe (title, tools, ingredient, time etc)
  • While cooking: Take photos and videos
  • After cooking: Post-editing photos and videos, complete instructions and other contents for the recipe, Publish

Product Contexts

Whiteboard & Sketch


Information Architecture & Workflow 


IA Map


Workflow: Upload Recipes



Visual Design Moodboard 


In order to build a product that has a life in it for food lovers, I think we can explore and craft the visual design details, such as lovely and colorful icons, micro-interactions (Recipe Upload Complete, Error, Page transition etc). This kinds of design detail and craftsmanship can help build the emotional connection between our product and food lovers. 

The general design style can be simple and clean, with bold typography and large white space to guide users to focus on the recipe content. The design language should stay back, and content can stand out. 




We should use both quantitive and qualitative data to measure this design impact. 

Quantitive feedback from product usage tracking

How many new recipes are added to our platform every day? 
What are the top 3 recipe templates being used? 
Click-through-rate in the create recipe workflow
How many comments are created by users after reviewing recipes? 
How many food photos are uploaded by users after they follow the recipe and cook the cuisine? 

Qualitative feedback from user testing


If this is a real project with a cross-functional team, I would return to the assumptions mentioned in the initial section to verify and figure out some open questions in my proposed design solution: 

  • Verify the persona assumption and explore other new personas 
  • Verify the form factor assumption that tablet as the primary form factor
  • Explore other visual styles
  • Work with engineering to understand the development feasibility (build upload photos, photo/video editing tools)
  • Work with both PM and engineering to prioritize  
  • Monetization and business strategy