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Foong Ling Chen

Foong Ling Chen

Akendi Alumnus

Micro-Moments with the Yummly App: Making a Holiday Dinner

Great recipe apps realize that meal planning, whether it is weekly prep or planning dinner with friends, is a multi-step process. It requires figuring out what to make, shopping for groceries and finally making the dish. To help us, we often rely on our phones during this process.

Think with Google dubbed these instances as Micro-Moments: “real time, intent driven moments when people reflexively turn to a device”.

Here’s the Story

The holidays are fast approaching and it is time to up your food game. Your friend is bringing his new girlfriend to your upcoming dinner party and informs you that his girlfriend has an allergy to gluten. Your famous pasta may not cut it, but you remember a risotto recipe you saw online that you’ve been meaning to try. Naturally you turn to your Yummly app. You can filter by dietary preferences and find that perfect risotto recipe.


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Smartphone’s Role is to be There to Support your Intentions

The Yummly app also allows you to view your Shopping List by Recipe or by Aisles. The Aisles view combines ingredients from all the recipes added to the Shopping List and groups the ingredients by aisle. Depending on who you are, this feature will either result in reducing the amount of times you run back and forth in the store or remove the necessity of doing pre-emptive calculations and conversions.

The system response between the two views differs. In the Aisles view, once you grab the item off the shelf and tick the box, the item disappears off the list. As the saying goes, ‘Out of sight, out of mind’. When you reach near the end of your shopping list, you notice the items had not in fact disappeared but were moved down below, under “Got it”.


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If you switch over to the Recipes view, you’ll find the items do not disappear but remain ticked off under their associated recipe. These subtle differences between how the two lists behave, make it easy for the user to track their progress and provide a fulfilling confirmation.

Smartphones Provide Opportunities for Contextual Experiences

Yummly understands how users interact with their app. They also understand that the Shopping List feature wouldn’t necessarily be something they would develop on their website. (I’ve tried looking for the Shopping List on their website, just to see if I can find it, and either the function is not there or it is very buried.)

Yummly understands which moments make people turn to their phones and built a product that is there for their users in the grocery store, on the go, and at home.

Thanks to Smartphones, Micro-Moments can Happen Anytime

You’ve checked your phone for new recipe ideas, used it to keep track of your grocery list while shopping, and would probably rely on it to make the risotto for your dinner party. Yummly is successful because they narrowed down on these micro-moments and supported their users throughout their whole task of cooking a recipe.

This scenario is just one of many potential situations because the new reality is that the whole decision-making process has been fragmented to hundreds of tiny decision making moments.

So ask yourself, does your product connect people to what they are looking for, and provide them with relevant information when they need it?

To learn more about Micro-Moments, check out Think with Google

Foong Ling Chen

Foong Ling Chen

Akendi Alumnus


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Akendi is a human experience design firm, leveraging equal parts experience research and creative design excellence. We provide strategic insights and analysis about customer and user behaviour and combine this knowledge with inspired design. The results enable organizations to improve effectiveness, engage users and provide remarkable customer experiences to their audiences.