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Julie Harpring

Not Enough Cooks in the Kitchen

Many adults who are learning to cook often call relatives or friends for help, whether it be about a particular recipe or general techniques. Our prototype brings novice cooks together with more experienced relatives and friends through video conferencing specifically tailored to the kitchen environment.

My Role

User research, affinity diagram, concept generation, interface design, usability evaluation

Project Overview

Our system provides a video-conferencing mode, followed by an easy-to-use video recording, editing, and tagging interface that allows novices to build a library of previous clips or entire conversations that include helpful demonstrations and advice. This concept was created as part of a graduate-level course, Computer-Supported Cooperative Work.

My Tools & Techniques

  • Participant observation: cooking a new dish with an experienced friend during a video-recorded session that was later analyzed by the group
  • Video analysis of 2 cooking sessions with other participants. These videos gave us insight into how teaching and learning happens in the kitchen.
  • Affinity diagram using data from video analyses to organize insights. We completed the wall diagram as a group, and then I created the documentation.
  • Lots of sketching for concept generation, followed by group critique and iteration
  • Design critique of wireframes and iterative sketching
  • Acted as facilitator during usability evaluations with our paper prototype
  • Created much of our presentation and final documentation


Jason de Ruña, Moe Raffiudin, and Miaoqi Zhu

Our final presentation:
The slide show illustrates our problem space, research, prototype, usability evaluation, and post-evaluation tweaks. To see the presentation notes, which describe the prototype in more detail, you can view the slide show at Slideshare.
a scan of my sketch book with concept jottings
Working Out the Concept:
My post-affinity-diagram sketch of the system was the basis for our final concept design.