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Cooking for Kids

Image Credit: Professor Mary Boyle's Syllabus

This summer I took one of my Design Electives COGS 187a: Usability and Information Architecture. The major goals of this 5 week course is to work as a team to walk through the design process and to examine the cognitive basis of successful web and multimedia design. Some of the topics covered included information architecture, navigation, usability, graphic layout, transaction design, and how to understand user interaction

After dealing with the burst of projects that were COVID themed, Professor Boyle opted to shift away from the pandemic for this quarter. Our theme was to create a digital product whose primary users are children

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Image Credit: Seoyoung Lim

The restriction of designing for children brought about many interesting constraints such as privacy issues, parental guidance, safety involving social connections, and the type of content they were viewing. My team opted to go for an older age group of 12-14 year olds (middle school) since this is a key developmental time and the users are starting to learn key life skills. With this concept of 'adulting' in mind we came up with the idea of creating a cooking app named Cinnamonster.

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Image Credit: Nia Page, also contains images from Fox Corp's show: Bob's Burgers

While we liked the idea of an app that encourages kids to be independent through cooking, we also fully recognized the fact that kids in the kitchen could be a safety issue. That's why I designed a joint parent/guardian account that sends text notifications of the child's activity for when they are operating dangerous tools and looking at a recipe that has ingredients they are allergic to

Our final design curates a custom feed based on an initial survey. Once completed users are brought to a home page where they can see recipe ideas from friends, daily/weekly challenges and random themes that correlate with their interests. From here they go to their profile page on the top left, to add friends with QR code scanning, which ensures they only are able to connect with people they know. On the bottom left they can navigate to their favorited recipes with the heart icon and the bottom right's star icon allows them to see the full list of challenges appropriate for their comfort level.

Interact with the full prototype here: Cinnamonster