November 2019 - December 2019
Baking is a fantastic stress reliever—but for many young people, it’s a tough hobby to sustain. Ingredients get expensive. Bake times last hours. And recipes often yield far more food than a single person can eat. Bargain Baking is an app designed to make baking accessible to anyone, regardless of their circumstances.
In my User Experience Design class at the University of North Carolina, our final asked us to create a digital experience that addresses an everyday problem. I knew it was time for my amateur baker flag to fly. Too often I had come across “quick and easy” recipes that called for twenty different ingredients and yielded enough food to feed my extended family. After talking with friends and classmates, I realized that I wasn’t the only person who felt this way—so I wanted to see if there might be a digital solution.
This project required me to work through every step of the design process—from identifying a problem to researching an audience to creating a prototype. After creating a concept for my work, I began talking with other amateur bakers, attempting to understand their frustrations with recipes and potential solutions. I created personas of potential Bargain Baking users to further identify the app’s potential functionality and pitfalls. Once I had an idea thoroughly established, I got to work on the prototype, starting with wireframes and gradually adding colors, typography, and illustrations.
The Bargain Baking prototype prioritizes affordable, flexible baking. Users can browse lists of recipes organized by number of ingredients, bake time, and rating. On each recipe, users can select individual ingredients to find prices at local groceries stores, and they can even create shopping lists that track what they need to buy, where they can get it, and how much they can expect to pay. The app includes other features designed for bakers on a budget, such as the ability to scale recipes up or down and lists of ingredient substitutes.