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Slides from Ignite session "The Culinary Experience", UPA2012 Las Vegas. Here is a shortened version of the script:
What we could learn from professional kitchens - if we wanted to.
[...] I'd like to use this as an example to talk about my understanding of the difference between Usability and User Experience. The canteen kitchen was optimized for usability. My home kitchen is more about User Experience.
We had 5 main rules in the canteen kitchen that I want to go through to illustrate the differences.
1. Analyse, standardize and optimize your workflows continuously. The process description for setting the tables at the canteen kitchen was 11 pages long and had an appendix for references. Apparently, books have been written about setting tables. One of my favourite lines was "always use both hands in rhythmic succession".
At home, I do standardize and optimize to a certain degree. It just happens naturally when I do things over and over again, but I don't analyse, and I don't write books about it.
2. Plan and prepare.
c. Use precise recipes. Only cook what you know.
d. Efficient usage of kitchen utensils, technology and personnel.
At home, I like to improvise. I rarely use recipes and I don’t really have a budget or any fancy kitchen technology. Some of my best meals emerge from improvising with what’s left in the fridge.
3. De-clutter and get organized. Standardize your crockery and cutlery. Only have kitchen utensils and food supplies around that you’ll actually use.
At home, I don’t care about standardized cutlery. Each item tells a story and has memories attached to it that I value.
4. Be clean, safe and hygienic. You can imagine that there are more guidelines and books about this one in a professional kitchen than about anything else. Most of these rules are common sense, like clean up after yourself. Wash your hands. First in, first out. Wrap, seal and pack. Keep your cleaning agents away from the baby food.
I guess the difference here is just in the degree to which I follow these rules.
5. Teamwork. Every person in a professional kitchen has a clearly defined set of tasks and responsibilities; there is the chef de cuisine, the sous-chef, the patissier, the saucier... Teams are managed hierarchically by shouting and swearing.
At home, I don’t have a team. I don’t want a team either. I treat every helping hand as an intruder. There is only one way of cooking and that’s my way.
A professional kitchen is about being usable. It’s all about eliminating problems, standardization, and optimization of typical tasks. My kitchen is usable too, but I add three main ingredients for User Experience. For me, it has to be:
— Positive – I want to have fun, enjoy myself and be well
— Holistic – every action and every touch point counts, it’s not just about the typical tasks
— Subjective – It’s about me and my personal culinary experience