Tina Yu Lu

See it On Campus: Level 2

Visitor Info

Next to the Reliance theatre on the second floor. Free stickers available!

Cooking can also be a meditation. It should be accessible and enjoyable. PlateMate will help you to connect positive emotions with cooking. You can choose recipes that work the best for you, and start the journey from there. Feeling panic or depressed with the dish you made? Don’t worry, there’s always a digital friend to support you!



The problem

Cooking is a long journey.There needs to be motivations and satisfactions to start and continue. It’s a tough journey, for some people who have years of experience in cooking, obstacles are still very common along the way.


Cooking can also be a meditation. It should be accessible and enjoyable. I wish my design can help people to connect positive emotions with cooking.


Understand the problem

Once the problem is identified, I proceeded to carry out some formative studies in order to gain a deeper understanding of the problem and our home chefs.


A list of words that people use to describe their relationship with cooking:

  • Tiring
  • Fun
  • Unnecessary
  • Random
  • Strained
  • Experimental
  • Curious

What motivates you to cook?

  • Explore
  • Share
  • Save money
  • Hobby
  • Surviving
  • Relax
  • Memory
  • Healthy

The opportunity

Based on people’s answer from the survey, the experience varies according to the cooking stages. Therefore I divided the cooking process into 4 stages, and then I listed out the common struggles that happen within each stage. So when I design the app, I should consider to solve the issues at all stages, not just at cooking alone.

Competitive analysis

There are so many cooking apps in the market, they have all kinds of feature in a single app that helps user to cook. However, the graph suggests that a more convenient and simplified approach may be a better direction to take, since my goal is not trying to teach users to become professional chef, but to reduce frustrations in cooking and promote enjoyment.

Feature analysis

I mapped out the features from some popular cooking app and evaluated the potential for my own app.


Form the solution

After analyzing the research findings, I started the design process, which will transform problem definitions to ideation and prototyping.


In addition to a traditional persona profile, creating a vivid persona story can provide a more comprehensive understanding of our users.

“Ahhh the meeting is too long and there is no time to eat. Fortunately, I have 50 red bean buns in the refrigerator. I hope I will never get tired of red bean buns.”

“It’s the end of the term, I am so burned out every day, I hardly have time to cook, and it is too extravagant to order takeaway every day. I started to randomly throw the ingredients into the pot together, and sometimes I can accidentally make eatable and delicious things! “

Journey Map

The cooking process is devided into different stages amd consider the pain points and opportunities within each stage.

User flow

A simple user flow for how users find recipes and prepare for cooking

Promo video

Tina Yu Lu

I'm seeking opportunities
Contact Me

Hi, I am Tina! As an UX designer, my passion lies in creatively solving problems and crafting visually engaging experiences that seamlessly guide the user journey.
I am currently located in Vancouver, BC.

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