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Recipes: Instructional design and interactional design


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Poster presented at Workshop on Food and Interaction design at CHI 2012, Austin, Texas. May 2012

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Recipes: Instructional design and interactional design

  1. 1. Recipes: Instructional Design and Interactional Design Lucy Buykx, Human-Computer Interaction Group, Department of Computer Science Recipes are instruction sets Recipes provide concise procedural instructions for a cook to follow to recreate a dish. Even confident cooks can become confused by recipes when they contain unfamiliar techniques and ingredients. The recipe instructions can also be confusing to follow, especially when instructions are split between the method section and the ingredient sections. Earlier HCI researchers have proposed interactive recipe systems to help cooks follow recipes. They have embedded systems into the kitchen, added multi-media and transformed the written recipes into simple step-by-step formats [e.g. Mennicken 2010]. The systems were fun to use but few evaluations explored how effective they were. In my research I investigate how cooks interact with recipe at the instruction level. Instructional design research shows us that the best way to present procedural instructions is linear and segmented with illustrations [Ganier 2004]. The findings can inform the design of an interactive recipe system using everyday technology that can transform traditional recipes into more usable and effective forms. Research supervised by Helen Petrie Funded by White Rose University Consortium References Ganier F. Factors Affecting the Processing of Procedural Instructions: Implications for Document Design. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication. 2004 Mar;47(1):15-26. Mennicken S, Karrer T, Russell P, Borchers J. Firstperson cooking: a dual-perspective interactive kitchen counter. In: Proceedings of CHI2010. CHI EA '10. ACM; 2010. p. 3403-3408 Investigating how instructional design effects ease of use Method 24 cooks were asked to prepare 3 recipes presented in 3 different conditions and to think aloud their activity. All the cooking activities and the cooks’ interactions with the recipe were videoed for later analysis. Recipe method instructions Condition 1: as published with long paragraphs Recipes were presented on an iPad. Each step was presented on a separate screen. This enabled the step to be displayed in large text and be seen from a distance, reduced distraction for the cook and enabled easy tracking of the recipe step being read. In condition 1 (control condition) the recipe was presented as published with preparation instructions in the ingredients section and long paragraph steps in the method section. In condition 2 the steps in the method were segmented into short steps, one task per step. We hypothesised that short, simple steps would be easier to follow than long, paragraph steps. In condition 3 all recipe instructions were linearised. The preparation instructions moved to the method section and the quantity of each ingredient was added to the recipe step. We hypothesised the recipe would be easier to use if the cook did not have to switch to the ingredient section to look up information to supplement the recipe step. Condition 2: Segmented intro short steps Cooks' comments Cooks preferred segmented text "Some bits had lots of text in one massive paragraph - means that you have to read through it a number of times to find the bit you need” Cooks looked at upcoming recipe steps to interpret the current step.... “What are we aiming at? Sort of breadcrumbs or… I’ll just have a look at what it wants me to do with them” Condition 3: Linearised, preparation instruction and ingredient quantity in method steps ...and to plan work in parallel “I’ll just go on forward a step to see if I can do something while I am waiting” Discussion By comparing a control condition recipe with segmented and linearised versions we found that cooks switch attention around recipe instructions in order to look up ingredient quantities, interpret instructions and to plan parallel activities. In segmenting the method section, cooks found the instructions easier to track progress through the recipe but we observed a need to see upcoming instructions to interpret the current instruction. This behaviour and potential design solutions will be explored further in future research. In linearising the instructions the cooks were able to follow the instructions without switching attention to the ingredients section. The findings support inserting ingredient quantities and preparation instructions into the method section of the recipe for interactive recipe systems. This study focused on the structure of textual instructions only. Some cooks expressed interest in pictures of the interim stages of the recipe making process to help them understand and interpret the textual instructions. Future research will investigate the effect of adding pictures to the interactive recipe format.