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Young Father Cooking


Hands-Free Kitchen Companion 
Hackathon - Designer

What's been done

Year - 2017

Role - Logo Design, Copywriter, Presenter 

Links - Presentation


The internet has given us so many wonderful things, but with progress comes conflict. A minor problem I've come across is the constant dirtying of devices when referring back to recipes cooking. We sought out a fluid, conversational solution using the Amazon Echo and Alexa.

Our Toolkit

2 Designers

1 Developer

Alexa Skills Toolkit

6 Hours


Woman in Pink Hat

Lily Clark
26 - Baking Aficionado


  • Wants to have step-by-step instructions while baking

  • Needs a way to a refer back to ingredients while in the middle of the recipe. 



  • Tends to forget precise ingredient measurements while in the middle of things.

  • Likes to watch TV while baking and has to constantly switch back and forth between her programs and the recipe dirtying her device.

"I've already ruined one keyboard after an incident involving some errant flour, I wish I had an assistant sometimes!"

The Competition

To start, we checked out competing recipe skills in the Alexa marketplace. According to reviews, they were all missing key functionality such as:  


Most applications read off recipes at a rapid fire rate that no one could possibly use.


Most skills have issues with timing out when the users don't interact quickly. The main issue on that end has to do with returning to their previous spot in the recipe.


The most popular skill still needed to display the recipe on your phone which defeats it's purpose.

Armed with this information, we set out to create a superior Skill.

The Conversation

With a bit of time to spare, we finished up an interactive application that will walk the baker/chef through step-by-step instructions with the ability to ask for clarification between steps.

User: Alexa, open PopChef.

Alexa: Okay, Welcome to PopChef, the application that lets you cook like Gordon Ramsey. What would you like to make today?

User: I want to make a blueberry pie.

Alexa: Okay, Blueberry Pie. Would you like to hear about the ingredients or instructions?

User: Ingredients

Alexa: Okay (lists ingredients). Would you like to hear the list again or are you ready to start the recipe?

User: Instructions

Alexa: Okay! Step One.... 

User: Next Step

Alexa: Okay! Step Two... 

User: Alexa, can you repeat that?

Alexa: Sure! Step two... 


This interface worked well for the bakers in our group since we aren't able to progress past a step until we've completed that line of conversation. It has some bugs, and it will take some time to find the best way to enable perfect conversations, so this is an ongoing project but we had a proof of concept Skill with time to spare!


I thought that we needed something to jazz up our presentation and make it marketable to users outside of the casual chefs demographic so we took a bit of time to strategize. Game of Thrones-mania was in full swing, and I pitched a TV-based recipe guide. Building the prototype only required a bit of copywriting so we got to work!

TV Based Reciepes

In our remaining time, I wrote up a quick script for roasted chicken and a business proposal to highlight possible features and even some marketable ventures

Update Schedule

Recipes will be manually uploaded with featured recipes added on strategic days.

New Featured Recipes

When activating the PopChef app, a customized greeting will play alerting the user to new recipes from hit shows 

Possible Revenue Stream and Partnerships

If we build an improved skill, we may be able to partner with cookbook writers or networks to create a paid product. 


This was a lighthearted hackathon so I crafted our presentation to follow the mood of the room. I channeled my inner Billy Mays for our infomercial-esque slideshow, then went directly into our prototype.

And people loved it! We came away with the first place prize, a brand-new Amexa of my own that I still use in the kitchen to this day.

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