Design Matters (4): a recipe for trouble

How you prefer recipes to be organised is probably a matter of taste, but there seem to be a lot of badly designed ones out there.

I suppose the information architecture of a recipe depends a bit on how you’re going to use it. Is it primarily a shopping list or a guide to how to cook something? (clue here)

Criteria

No marks for random arrangements of ingredients.
Quarter marks for arranging ingredients alphabetically, by colour or quantity – at least you tried.
Half marks for a categorisation by fresh / dry / dairy etc – you tried and had a reason that made sense.
Full marks for arranging ingredients in procedural order, so that (say) if you mix wet and dry ingredients separately they are grouped accordingly.

Contenders

Nigella’s American Pancakes: no marks.
BBC Good Food Chili Con Carne: full marks.
Fucshia Dunlop’s Fish Fragrant Aubergines: full marks.
Delia Smith’s Irish Stew with Parsley Dumplings: full marks.
Nigel Slater’s recipe for brown basmati, courgettes and tomatoes: three-quarter marks (no recipe list, good order).
All Recipes Carrot Cake: full marks.
Ottolenghi Slow-Cooked Chicken with a Crisp Corn Crust: full marks.
BBC’s Madhur Jaffrey’s Kheer (Indian Rice Pudding): no marks.
Jamie Oliver’s Scruffy Aubergine Lasagne: full marks.

Conclusion

Reports of terrible recipe information architecture have been greatly exaggerated. Internet, I have wronged you.

Nigella and the BBC should feel free to justify their decisions in the comments.


I'd love to hear your thoughts and recommended resources...