The main reason I joined BUG in 2012 was the work they did for Nigella, and who knows, maybe I’d get to meet her in person


(Spoiler alert: I never did meet Nigella — it’s OK, the day when it was meant to happen I got to meet my daughter for the first time instead).


One of the first Nigella projects was a redesign to make the site responsive, and improve the usability, and value, of the recipe search and (user) account management systems.


To do this the UX team* first surveyed users to find out why and how they used the site, followed by more in-depth interviews with ‘core’ users.


From the survey results, we defined three archetype users of the site:

Casual — those that used Google to find a recipe, any recipe.

Viewers — the ones who visited the site after Nigella’s TV show aired.

Followers — the core users, the ones who created user accounts to bookmark recipes, engage with the community and enter competitions etc.


We often used a small cohort of Followers to test the usability (and desirability) of early concepts and prototypes, gaining great feedback and occasionally surprising insights with each iteration — like the one that led to a companion shopping app in partnership with Waitrose.


*The UX team consisted of myself and a developer.