Best Recipes Kitchen

Time for a Change

As the second most popular food site in the country, Best Recipes was for helping Aussie home cooks find accessible, but delicious recipes to make at any meal time or occasion to feed their families and friends. It was ‘grandma’s favourite‘, but times were changing and it was time for grandma to get some pep back in her step.

This is an abridged case study. All sensitive information has been omitted. All information in this case study is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of the client.


A beloved and very popular recipe website comprised of UGC (user-generated content). Originally built by a family in Adelaide who wanted to share their recipes with friends online, it was eventually bought by a larger media company, but still retained the ‘made by us’ feel and strong community involvement.



The site was old and clunky and the brand was dated, it needed to be brought into the future.

Despite its popularity and the impressive numbers of engaged users, it was a hard sell to advertisers because of its old fashioned look and feel. 

There was also a younger audience finding the site through social media, but they were landing on content and leaving. There was no flow throughout the site with a lot of content ‘dead ends’.

The brand deserved an experience that supported its vibrant, devoted community, but would also encourage new users to get involved too and get advertisers excited about the product.

Attract and retain a younger demographic , who are interested in connecting back to their roots.



Before the project commenced, the editors sent out a survey to existing readers asking them what they would change about the site. The majority of respondents replied: ‘Nothing!’. The feeling of ownership from existing users is every brand’s dream, but can make rebrands and redesigns tricky to navigate. How do you successfully update a site without isolating existing users?


My Role

Lead product (re)designer. Presentation maker and presenter.

Best Recipes Tablet

The Questions

There were a series of issues that needed attention


  • How do we modernise the brand and site, but make existing users still feel like it’s a space for them?
  • How do we continue to foster community? 
  • What are the current ‘community cultivators’ (i.e. tools that help users engage with content and each other)?
  • How do we tap further into the *special* factor, the sentimental element that endears the audience?
  • And how do we keep users circulating through the site and decrease our drop off rate?

The Process

Comparative analyses

Brand, Product and Community Features

Who are we? And how do other recipe websites cultivate community?

We did a thorough analysis of every major recipe website and compared them feature by feature to ours. We looked at food brands across the world, from recipe websites to box meal prep companies to meal delivery services comparing overall feel, tone of voice, fonts, colours, icon usage, etc.

Wireframes, Mocks & Prototypes

After exploration and discussion of the competitors and best ways forward, wireframe sketches were made. These were presented to the stakeholders and went through a rigorous approval process with many iterations.

Once approved, the wireframes it was time for UI design, which happened in tandem with the branding process (check out the branding project). Prototypes of the mocks were made to allow stakeholders to get a real world feel for the end product.

Best Recipes Presentation


Compiled, designed, presented and revised multiple presentation decks that would best showcase first discovery findings, then wires, then branding and mocks.

The Outcome

The new website was a great success.

The final product was advertiser friendly, without alienating the established core community and encouraged more time spent on site. A few post-launch stats:

  • Average daily page views have increased 99% MoM and more than doubled YoY in the first month
  • Both unique visitors and visits have improved 18% post launch, against a forecast decline of up to 20% due to URL redirects and SEO impact
  • 6 times as many users are registering as members and nearly 3 times as many are logging in every day
Portfolio Best Recipes