Human-Food Interaction Framework: A New Design Tool Used to Understand Amateur Home Cooks’ Needs

Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 1032)


Our present research focuses on gaining a better understanding of the relationships between food and different human stakeholders in order to develop our Human-Food Interaction framework. This paper focuses on the key stakeholders of people new to the kitchen called “amateur cooks.” We noticed there is a gap in research on this group regarding how they transition between taking stored food and choosing how and what to cook. We discovered from initial interviews that more amateur home cooks initially strictly follow recipes and therefore create food waste on the niche ingredients they buy for each recipe. More advanced cooks see recipes as composed of an essential base (like pasta or salad) and extras which are added on to that base (like nuts, sauces or cheese). As a result, we sought to develop a tool to help amateur cooks unleash their creativity and gain confidence while cooking. Our research led us to develop a prototype called Flavor Explorer, a new algorithm and corresponding interface that allows amateur cooks to find the best ingredient pairings depending on what they have stored in their kitchens. With this tool and our research, we thus hope to highlight the importance of the needs of this user group while proposing a novel tool that could actually help amateur cooks around the world.


Food design Ingredients Confidence Home cooks Design thinking 


  1. 1.
    Grimes, A., Harper, R.: Celebratory technology: new directions for food research in HCI. In: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 467–476. ACM, April 2008Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Park, S.Y., Kim, S., Leifer, L.: “Human Chef” to “Computer Chef”: culinary interactions framework for understanding HCI in the Food Industry. In: Kurosu, M. (ed.) HCI 2017. LNCS, vol. 10271, pp. 214–233. Springer, Cham (2017). Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ericksen, P.J.: Conceptualizing food systems for global environmental change research. Glob. Environ. Change 18(1), 234–245 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Utter, J., Larson, N., Laska, M.N., Winkler, M., Neumark-Sztainer, D.: Self-perceived cooking skills in emerging adulthood predict better dietary behaviors and intake 10 years later: a longitudinal study. J. Nutr. Educ. Behav. (2018). Scholar
  5. 5.
    Dym, C.L., Agogino, A.M., Eris, O., Frey, D.D., Leifer, L.J.: Engineering design thinking, teaching, and learning. J. Eng. Educ. 94(1), 103–120 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Von Hippel, E.: Democratizing Innovation. MIT Press, Cambridge (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Asp, E.H.: Factors affecting food decisions made by individual consumers. Food Policy 24(2–3), 287–294 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Carroll, M., Goldman, S., Britos, L., Koh, J., Royalty, A., Hornstein, M.: Destination, imagination and the fires within: Design thinking in a middle school classroom. Int. J. Art Des. Educ. 29(1), 37–53 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Design ResearchStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

Personalised recommendations