With my advisor on board and a couple of meetings already stowed away, it’s time to really focus on what I can do to better understand my chosen space and where I can make improvements. My previous concept statement, which did an okay job of describing high-level values, is far too vauge for me to actually use to come up with my next steps.
Stefani encouraged me to reconsider the statement from the point of view of what I’m making, why I’m making it, and who it’s for in a way that made me specifically describe the solutions and their importance. Unpacking the statement made it clearer what problem I’m pursuing so I can begin building, rather than trying to design the system for it first.
Decision Making Criteria
One of the suggested exercises in preparing us for this next (and potentially finaly) prototype is to develop two lists of criteria to help us evaluate our ideas. This has been tweaked a little bit as I’ve tried to update it while developing new ideas, and have gotten good feedback from classmates to add to this.
The big pieces of the matrix from my personal and user criteria are to build a physical thing and to provide confidence in the home cook, respectively. Though I think the flash cards of my last idea check some of those boxes, trying to change it into an idea that checks more of them off muddles it in with competition like Nourish.
The newest idea, which makes me a lot more excited about the possibilities, checks off those along with a few other boxes for things like better understanding the cooking process.
Concept Statement, Take Two
Now that we’ve changed things up, it’s time to take a second crack at my concept statement, with something that’s much more specific.
- For home cooks that know how to do basic things in the kitchen like chop, but don’t consider themselves to have mastered fine cooking skills;
- Who want to make their cooking experience more efficient and less stressful;
- TK Kitchen is two things: a basic set of culinary equipment for food preparation before cooking, along with a redesigned recipe experience
- That give less experienced cooks solid tools and clear instructions for the equipment needed so they can work through the prep stage.
- Unlike traditional cooking classes, meal delivery services and recipe books/sites,
- TK Kitchen highlights the prep stage of the cooking process and makes it more navigable and less prone to error or stress.
The reason I’ve chosen to attack both of these, rather than just one of them, is because I believe there is a notable gap in how most people who craft recipes treat the stages before making a meal. Despite the way people put emphasis on meal planning or spending time making food, prep is still a foreign concept to most. Mise en place is a vital aspect of what can change the ability for a cook to execute on a recipe, and my hope is to bring light to this and improve it.
Prototype Three, Revisited
Based on this change of heart and reframing of the concept, it ends up being a form of the first prototype that edits down the tool list, and while testing has to include the cooking experience for reference, I’m no longer looking all the way through, so this should make testing in-situ for prospective users.
It also introduces the recipe as a new element. Comparisons to meal-prep services—I certainly like Blue Apron’s design—are going to abound, but there are plenty of missing pieces that can be improved in this method.
For a Proof of Concept, my plan is to take a few recipes and convert them from their typical format to this new format, and test them with regular folks to see how they do, and provide my kit as an optional component.