Why Recipe Blogs Drive Me Nuts

Their terrible mobile experience.

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Listen, it’s more than just the fact that in order to actually get to the recipe, I have to scroll through a minimum of 1000 words on why a brisket recipe reminds the writer of her grandmother’s best friend’s orchard on a June afternoon 30 years ago.

Much more.

90% of the time when I am looking up recipes, I am doing so from my phone in the kitchen, ready to start cooking. Maybe I want to just get the measurement for something or need the spices. Or heck, maybe I need the whole recipe.

So, I open the page on my phone, usually one of the first 3 that came up from my “easy cookie recipe” Google search.

Then 6 annoying things happen

First, it takes forever to load the whole page and as I try to scroll down past all the stuff to get to the actual recipe, the page keeps skipping up and down and trying to load itself.

Secondly, at least one, if not more, video ads pop up and cover the words. My fat fingers try fruitlessly to close the ad and are successful about half the time. The other half, the stupid video ad moves for no reason and I end up either making it bigger or accidentally clicking it and a new screen coming up. THEN I have to go back and reload the whole page (and ad) again.

Third, I have to scroll through a story about how these cookies changed your life or your kid’s lives or saved someone on the brink of bankruptcy.

Fourthly, they often have a little toggle button above the ingredients list that is ALWAYS ON to tell you if a store near you has the ingredients. Listen, if I am looking up a recipe, I either have or am already planning to buy the ingredients. I need that to be toggled OFF so I can just get through to reading. Besides, refer to the first point with my fat fingers trying to toggle that off and the mobile screen glitching and moving the button up or down so that I slightly miss the first three tries (and probably accidentally hit an ad).

Fifth, I have noticed that especially with baked goods, the recipe ingredients have a serving counter that is set at a ridiculous number. I looked at 3 different cookie recipes just now and all 3 had it preset to 48 cookies. FORTY-EIGHT COOKIES. That is 3 dozen too many cookies for my household of two adults who often forget we have leftovers and let them die a sad, lonely death. Plus, how many freaking cookie sheets do they think I have? My oven fits two at a time. I own two cookie sheets.

Plus, the fat fingers thing trying to change the TINY LITTLE box and adjust the serving number.

Sixth, recipe bloggers and I have very different ideas of what a “simple” recipe is. If I am looking for something simple, I am assuming minimal ingredients, not some special $12 spice that I’ve never heard of and would need to get from a specialty store for half a teaspoon. I’m not looking to buy a new tool. I don’t own a sous vide. I have pots, pans, 2 cookie sheets, a pair of tongs, like 17 rubber spatulas, measuring spoons/cups with the numbers rubbed off, and a waffle maker.

Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

Honestly, it kinda feels like no recipe blog is really set up for a mobile user experience.

In an age where people do almost everything on their phone and most people are not bringing a laptop into the kitchen to read your recipe, you’d think that a top-notch mobile user experience would be among the top concerns for bloggers in general and especially ones having to do with food.

That is the point of this whole rant. Recipe blogs can have a story about the writer’s life and how the food reminds them of Saturday morning cartoons. That’s totally fine and I get that the writer wants to personalize it and also get better SEO.

It’s that the blogs are never really a good experience on mobile and pretty much anyone I know who looks up recipes are doing it from a phone or tablet. Being optimized for mobile users should be a top priority. And I genuinely do not understand why it isn’t!

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Entrepreneur, writer, editor, book coach, cat lover, weirdo, optimist. Author of “Write. Get Paid. Repeat.” & “Concept to Conclusion.” jyssicaschwartz.com

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