Cooking For Instagram
An integrated experience for culinary creators and their followers to connect and interact on a deeper level over recipe sharing.
Responsibilities: User research, testing, UX and UI Design
Disclaimer: I do not work at Instagram, and this project is not
affiliated with Instagram. All views are strictly my own.
Ready to skip to the final designs?
Instagram currently does not have an in-app experience that supports culinary creators as they build their brand through recipe sharing. As a baker who utilizes the Instagram app for recipe discovery, I knew there was an untapped opportunity to increase engagement within the culinary community.
A feature built into Instagram that allows culinary creators to easily share their recipes as a whole and gives followers an opportunity to discover, shop ingredients, and cook recipes without exiting the app.
I interviewed 6 people for this study, 3 creators and 3 followers as well as auditing popular food and recipe apps. The qualitative data I gathered helped me understand how culinary creators and followers currently use the app to communicate and where they experience friction when it comes to recipe sharing and supporting each other.
Key User Takeaways
with the Audience
Typical pain points on Instagram include:
Constantly redirecting followers to their website
for a recipe by adding links to their stories
Manually typing ingredients and cooking steps
in the captions of their posts
Reminding people that the link to their website is
available in their bio
Real Life Cooking Behaviors
When people discover or are given a recipe, common behaviors include:
Reviewing the ingredients and listing items that
need to be purchased
Reading through the instructions to understand the step and equipment needed to complete the recipe
Cooking along with the recipe steps until completed
Saving the recipes for later in a drawer
How creators currently share
The Ideal Culinary Community Experience
Defining the MVP
Make the full recipe and ingredient list accessible
within the app
Shop ingredients directly from the app
Cook alongside the recipe without leaving the app
Save recipes into a specified collection for later
Tagging Recipes in Posts
When introducing new recipes, creators relied on stories and lives which disappear if not saved in highlights.
By using posts, creators can prolong the presence of recipes, the original way people communicated on Instagram.
Currently posts support shopping and donation related tasks through tags.
What if these tags also created an entry point to a recipe page?
Instagram is limited in the amount of text in the captions (2,200 characters) and recipes contain a lot of information.
Links in bio redirect followers out of the app
Captions lack scannability and accessibility
Excess information must be continued in comments
The Culinary Creators Experience
Tagging Recipes in Posts
A new feature in posts for culinary creators to parse a recipe from their website and to integrate the ingredients and cooking steps into a fluid in-app experience.
The Followers Experience
The Recipe Detail Page
All Recipe tags redirect followers to the recipe detail page
that offers all relevant information to the recipe and is the
entry point to the Cooking with Instagram experience.
This new experience for followers is split into two modes.
1. Shop Ingredient Mode
2. Start Cooking Mode
The User Flows
An Easy Way to
The Ingredient List is an interactive shopping cart that is also partnered with grocery providers.
With all the ingredients on hand, the follower
can now cook along with the recipe in the app.
How Would I Measure Success?
IIf this integrated feature were to ship, I would look to measure these metrics:
The number of linked posts
made by creators
Users' time on the app
The number of posts being saved
Instagram is always striving to support the sub-creative communities within the app. Exploring next steps could include how to financially support these creatives.