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Critique my Side Project

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Software Engineer at Taro Community8 days ago

I'm trying to build a side project that gets at least 1000+ users.

I'm building a recipe suggestion app to suggest easy recipes. I got the idea from here: https://github.com/Gear61/Software-Project-Ideas?tab=readme-ov-file

I love the idea because I love cooking as well and I'm always trying to find easy recipes.

Live Website Link: https://easy-recipe-finder.onrender.com

Code: https://github.com/b-sai/easy-recipe-finder

Things I'd love to hear:

  • UX -- is it good/bad/what can be improved?
  • Feature requests
  • What do I need to add for you to actually use it?

Note: this is my first time making frontend projects

P.S. the api has a limit of 10 queries/min. If the screen is white then the API limit has exceeded and you need to wait a minute



  • 0
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    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    8 days ago

    The #1 thing I'd need to make this usable is a filter for vegan recipes. And I imagine others would want filters for other dietary restrictions or cuisine preferences.

    Better yet, I wonder if the filter could become the identity of the product. If your goal is a 1,000 users (and not a mass-market product), I strongly recommend reframing the product around this decision. Some ideas:

    • Vegan recipes under 10 minutes (this would be my preference 😅)
    • High-protein Instapot recipes
    • Bento Box recipes

    (By the way, if you start with a niche product, you can always broaden the vision later on when you find success. It's much harder to go the other direction.)

    With this approach, it becomes obvious why you're better than huge apps with millions of users like the NYTimes Cooking app. You should easily be able to find 1K vegan people who want to cook quickly! Make this the header/title of the website so it's obvious who would benefit from this product.

    Think about being "distribution-first" instead of "product-first":

    • If you niche down, you can post in the appropriate subreddit and actually gain traction. If you post a general-purpose recipe finder like what you have now, no one will really care.
    • This domain is particularly well-suited for niching down since people's particular preferences are unlikely to change. If I care about high-protein Instapot recipes, I'll likely care about that a few months from now too.

    In terms of usability, I'd want more info about each recipe:

    • How long does it take to make?
    • How much prep and cook time?
    • More/additional pictures
    • Star rating or popularity

    Nice job making the site mobile friendly!

    the api has a limit of 10 queries/min. So if you refresh it a bunch i dont know whats gonna happen

    LOL I love this honesty. When/if you post on reddit, keep this level of authenticity

    • 0
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      Software Engineer [OP]
      Taro Community
      8 days ago

      Thank you so much for the feedback! In my mind it was already "niched down" given that I'm targeting "easy/fast" recipes. But your point makes sense.

      I'll make a V2 tailored towards vegans and update here.

      Any other tips on distribution? I saw someone make a really cool app and share on a bunch of subreddits and hackernews as well so that seems like a good approach

    • 0
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      Software Engineer [OP]
      Taro Community
      7 days ago


      It's now tailored for easy vegan main course. "easy" is defined as recipe taking less than 60 minutes and less than 10 ingredients

      Turns out determining if a recipe is vegan or not is surprisingly non trivial algorithmically. If you have an ingredient like "crackers" there's no database to just check against for ingredients that are not raw/whole foods. What this means is I'm still using the API because they have a vegan filter but I want to stop using that API because it's kinda silly to have a 10 request/min limit

    • 0
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      Engineering Manager at Mistplay
      6 days ago

      60 minutes is still pretty intense - I think that complete meals that take <20 min if not 10 would be more approachable. I’m seeing sides as well which would be good for a dinner party but not just a week night dinner or a lunch.

      On the flip side I could also see this for 30-90 dinners and sides, but I’d want to filter for those separately - and as Rahul mentions it makes sense to go in one direction or the other, not all. And personally I’m not in the market for intense dinners as opposed to what Rahul is suggesting, I might actually try a few recipes if it was dead simple to get a healthy 15 min recipe in 3 minutes of scrolling.

      Small UX comment is the ingredients are in a scroll view that I accidentally click on instead of the page itself which leads to a sub optimal scrolling experience on mobile.

    • 0
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      Engineering Manager at Mistplay
      5 days ago

      Complete meal could be defined as contains

      • grains, beans/legumes, or tofu
      • 1 or more vegetables

      (should be able to hard code a list based on Wikipedia or something for all the options here)