Great day, our seasonal food recipe search app, or just “Recipe app” for short, is in public beta… or maybe only a late alpha release. Anyway, it’s mature enough so you can get an idea of how it will look and work. Seeing others use it, I’m inclined to call it a recipe discovery engine.
Recipe app link: recipe.comperiosearch.com
We have gotten a lot of knowledge, both tech and UX. Latest of many findings was the custom scoring function in elasticsearch. Hopefully, we’ll learn something within the business of food recipes, and we’ve received a lot of info from Christopher Sjuve at Klikk.no, the site we crawl for content to our search index. All blog posts on the app available under the “recipe app” tag.
The main intent of the app, when the idea was born back in 2011 or 2010, was to discover recipes or more general: To make a real content discovery engine based on search. Recipes that you didn’t know of or think of when planning a meal. And recipes that uses ingredients in season, thus making it relevant. In other words, the best, cheapest and most tasteful ingredients. While we continue to discover a lot of issues with how we thought the app should work technically, it really seems it can work for the end user.
A general and common issue with search solved
Mostly, with search, you get no real discovery. You rediscover stuff you already knew where there, or you find stuff you anticipated where there. But what with all the content unknown or not anticipated by the user? Nowhere in that process will regular search find stuff suitable for you that you initially didn’t think of. That’s a problem because you never touch a vast majority of possibly valuable content in your search index.
A real content discovery engine
So, what does this have to do with our recipe app? By picking the app, we know two facts upfront: The user wants food recipes, or make/serve food, to be more specific. And we know the time of year. This puts us in the position to make do a real instant search. The first screen you see is a search query already executed. The questions (search query) asked by the app to the index are then “recipes with the most in season ingredients for this month found on i.e. a farm”. We choose the farm since this is what resembles a supermarket the most. After that we let the user play with known constraints like type of meals and preparation time in addition to change place where ingredients are found and time of year.
More playfull approach. People swipe (when they understand that they can swipe, yes one of the UX issues) a lot from what we have seen. We’ll add some Google Analytics to the app soon, so we can track actual use.
We’d love your feedback!
So, what do you think of our recipe discovery engine? Is it just that, a discovery engine? Are we on to something? Do you think it would work? What should we change? Don’t be shy, give us a real uppercut feedback in the comment field below!