Creating a culinary vision


  • Exploring the relationship between following a recipe and the cooking experience
  • Establishing where voice technology could enhance the user experience
  • Creating a vision for the potential role of voice in home cooking

The digital cookbook

We all know what it’s like, trying to turn the page of a recipe book when your hands are covered in cake mix - not the easiest of tasks! The rise of VUIs (voice user interfaces) has transformed the experience of following a recipe by essentially creating a ‘hands free’ recipe tool. The BBC Food team wanted to explore other potential routes to the voice design process that would improve the user journey, working with us to identify opportunities for an improved experience.

More than words on a page and figures in a spreadsheet

Following the discovery phase we were able to create an experience map that displayed the qualitative data findings from both ours and the BBC’s research. Having a visual representation of each layer of the cooking experience (when guided by a voice device) allowed us to see the whole offering clearly. The analysis phase followed, which set out to remove any friction from the device-led cooking experience by identifying gaps in the journey.

Testing the water

Our VUI prototype allowed us to verify the most beneficial opportunities and test their compatibility with our added-benefit feature. As part of the project we needed to identify a trait that would set the BBC aside from other foodie offerings, and that came in the form of advice. So, along with suggestions for an improved user journey, we identified the potential for knowledge gain too. Who would say no to a helpful cookery tip?

Invest and improve

Through the visualisation of the findings and prototype testing we were able to devise a VUI vision for BBC Food, based on their existing recipe content. Cooking can be a way of winding down after a busy day, or a relaxing hobby at the weekend, and we can help to enhance that experience through voice design. With the huge potential of VUI envisioned and validated, the BBC founded a Voice & AI team to implement the strategy.

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