chef profile screenshot contact chef screenshot contact message sent confirmation screenshot

A chef & portfolio recipe aggregator

Spicing up the culinary industry

In the current e-career climate, there is no dedicated space for a chef to set up their own portfolio unless they use sites like 'Wix' or Squarespace.
Hearth & Steel hopes to create a culinary community by showcasing chef portfolios and recipe collections in one big melting pot.
clipart of man barbequing

The 'chefs' behind the project

I was the UX Designer for Hearth & Steel. I worked with five web developers to actualize the project over the course of one month after spending one month of research and design preparation as a class assignment.
clipart of a chef

The plights of a culinary artist

Most professional chefs do not have an efficient way to showcase their talent nor do they have a reliable way to craft their recipes.
clipart of a man with a glass of wine

Presenting the winning dish

The goals of Hearth & Steele were to provide culinary artists with a community to showcase tried and true recipes, as well as provide culinary artists with a platform to display their portfolios.
As part of the class project parameters, developing a mobile version of the site took priority. Once a mobile version was completed it was easily converted into a desktop site.
clipart of a hamburger

Concocting research

I interviewed and polled both amateur and professional chefs. Polling potential users on how they would use the site to their advantages and if they wanted to be all-inclusive of different types of culinary artists.
If you have any dietary restrictions, would you want to search for recipes meeting that criteria?
pie chart of users who want to search using dietary restrictions
Our design features chef portfolios, would you want to include bakers and mixologists as well?
pie chart of users who want to include bakers and mixologists

Key research ingredients

  • 2/3 cup* of chefs interviewed use Twitter or Instagram to showcase their culinary feats.
  • 1/4 cup* of chefs utilized a notebook or journal to keep notes on recipes.
  • 1/8 cup* of chefs have culinary tutorialson Vimeo and YouTube.
  • 1 cup* of chfes would be open to all types of culinary artists.
Preheat oven to 350F and note that no chef interviewed had an actual portfolio on the internet. With these take-aways in mind, it was clear that Hearth & Steel would be more than just a portfolio site. Hearth & Steel would become an inclusive community where chefs can share recipes and experiences. *(1 cup = 20 chefs; 2/3 cup = 17 chefs; 1/4 cup = 5 chefs; 1/8 cup = 3 chefs. Chefs provide no nutritional value and therefore should not be consumed.)
clipart of a hamburger

Preparing the dish

hand design screenshot of preparations pic 1 hand design screenshot of preparations pic 2 hand design screenshot of preparations pic 3
When I sketched these screens, I felt the most important feature would be to contact a chef featured on the Hearth & Steel site.
screenshot of first draft from sketches pic 1 screenshot of first draft from sketches pic 2 screenshot of first draft from sketches pic 3
These screens took some inspiration from the sketches.

Now we're cooking

screenshot of rough drafts of app pic 1 screenshot of rough drafts of app pic 2 screenshot of rough drafts of app pic 3
Utilizing the chosen designs, I started to actualize the application.
screenshot of updated drafts of app pic 1 screenshot of updated drafts of app pic 2 screenshot of updated drafts of app pic 3
Some of the system colors made the design feel dated. So I envisoned a more modern approach to the site.

Onto the second course

screenshot of desktop version of app pic 1 screenshot of desktop version of app pic 2
The desktop version was more easily realized as a marriage of two mobile screens.
screenshot of desktop version of app pic 3 screenshot of desktop version of app pic 4
The desktop version received the modern treatment as well.

Wrapping up the meal

What started as a simple portfolio site quickly grew into a massive culinary community. By working with developers, I've learned that there are some limitations in how quickly and app can be developed. I have also taken away from this project that my desire to solve many problems can debilitate the design process. For Hearth & Steel's future, I would like to see more support for culinary students.