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Some Usability Improvements

January 4, 2014 in Features

I have not updated the site for a while and decided to apply some responsive web design techniques I’m learning for another project here.

I’ve made a couple tweaks.

First the recipe search function now uses a horizontal scrolling “card” list. I think this makes it easier to evaluate whether you want to cook a recipe or not. This looks better, of course, if there are images associated with the recipe (few have them).

If you click on the recipe you get a preview, that will often be sufficient, without needing to use the full link to the detailed recipe.

The other tweak I made was to create a new planning page, which will eventually replace the old one once I’ve worked all the bugs out. This meal planning page allows a menu plan to be built without reloading the page between each operation. To use, just enter a new name for a plan, press “ADD NEW PLAN” and then start selecting menu options from the right-hand side. These will appear as you add them. This page still needs work, to match the responsive items, with what you see when you do a full page reload, but it should make menu planning easier.

Copying Recipes

October 30, 2012 in Features

If you ever find a recipe that you really like but want to tweak and you don’t own the recipe there’s now a solution.

You’ll notice that there’s a “Copy This Recipe” link in the top left corner of every recipe. Simply copy it and it will create a new version of the recipe, that belongs to you. Your cookbook will also remember which recipes were copied from which other ones too.

The Homegrid

June 9, 2012 in Features

The Homegrid is simply a list of up to six websites you can have appear on this one page. Every user can have their own homegrid. The six links can be adjusted through the profile page, choosing the edit profile option. Any pages can be put here. I find this useful to have the local weather along with links into the task program I use to manage my workflow.
Additionally I’ve code one ‘helper link’, that I find useful when using the Lazy Cookbook:

Clicking this link will show you what you are suppose to be cooking today (assuming you’ve setup a proper meal plan).

BuddyPress Integration Complete

June 9, 2012 in Features

The core integration is finished so users are welcome to join and test things out. It won’t be pretty for a long time and layout is going to change as I continue modifying the less-than-wonderful initial version so it is more useable.

Key things that have changed already:

  • Core functionality that was buried before is now available in the menu (i.e., recipe backing up, quick access to the recipe list, to the list of recipes you have created et cetera)
  • You can now see which recipes your friends have created too
  • The search bar on top of every page is now a recipe search… simply type in the name, or part name, of a recipe and hit enter. You will be brought to the search page.

The Freezer

May 26, 2011 in FAQ, Features

I often make double, triple batches of meals and freeze the rest but while developing the Lazy Cookbook I ran into the a problem. Basically I often had frozen meals available for a scheduled dinner but still went out and bought the ingredients again because my meal plan told me to do so.

So I decided to add a freezer, or inventory, component.

It is pretty simple.

Adding the Freezer

There’s a link on the main recipe header of any recipe to add a serving for this particular meal, which basically means that there’s a serving available.

Editing Freezer List

When you build a shopping list, any recipe that has a serving in the freezer will indicate this, so you know before going out shopping that you already have a serving available. From the Shopping List page you can click the Freezer link to see the contents of your freezer and edit the list.


You’ll note that when you add a serving it is adding an individual serving (not a full family meal). You can set the ‘size’ of your family by pressing Edit Profile … on your profile page you’ll find a place for setting the ‘Family Size’. Basically if this is four (the default) and you add four servings, then the Lazy Cookbook records this as a family serving.

Shopping Lists

April 23, 2011 in FAQ, Features

One of my main goals in developing the Lazy Cookbook was that my various devices could easily pull the information that I needed, when I needed it.

From any device users have full access to most of the Lazy Cookbook features. However I will also streamline the user experience based on the device.

For example when I access the Lazy Cookbook on my iPod Touch (and not the iPad or a computer) I am generally wanting to go to the Shopping List (i.e., I bring the iPod Touch with me while shopping).

So when a user logs into the Lazy Cookbook now from a ‘smaller screen’ device they are taken to the Shopping List directly. As well the Shopping List interface is adjusted slightly for smaller screens, removing unneeded features at the store (like adding recipes to the list) andĀ focusingĀ more on checking items off your list. As well there is scratch pad to quickly type notes (in case you just remembered you needed something on the way into the store and did not want to forget).

Over time more streamlining will go into place though I’ll also try (when possible) to make sure users can access the full site from any device, if they want.

Questions or suggestions? Please let me know.