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Reach recipe serendipity

September 2, 2013

Written by

Jun Huh, Chief Technology Officer

Suppose you have been invited to an upcoming event – say, the birthday dinner of a friend – and each attendee has been asked to bring one plate of food to share. With the help of Evernote Food, you’ve saved a myriad of recipes over time in an Evernote notebook, but you simply don’t know where to begin.

Suppose you have been invited to an upcoming event – say, the birthday dinner of a friend – and each attendee has been asked to bring one plate of food to share. With the help ofEvernote Food, you’ve saved a myriad of recipes over time in an Evernote notebook, but you simply don’t know where to begin.

If you search your notes with the keywords ‘party’ or ‘birthday’, the results may be too generic. You could include the name of a tag to help narrow down your search, but you may not know exactly which tag to include. As is often the case with finding a recipe, there is a degree of serendipity involved: you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for until you actually see it. This is where Mohiomap comes in.

Here’s how Mohiomap could help you find that elusive recipe in three easy steps:

1. Open your recipe notebook in Mohiomap

Example of an Evernote recipe notebook displayed in Mohiomap. Click to enlarge.

When searching for an (as of yet) undecided recipe, visualizing your recipes in a mindmap can be much more helpful than browsing it in a long list. Open your recipe notebook in Mohiomap and watch as your recipes are transformed into a mindmap. If you’ve used tags to categorize your dishes (just as in our example notebook above), notice how they visually connect the dishes together, providing them with relations and therefore more meaning.

2. Explore your recipes

Now that Mohiomap has made your recipes more visible, you can start exploring to find the one you’re looking for. One way to do this is to progressively collapse irrelevant tags, one by one, in order to narrow down into just a small subset of recipes to choose from.

Since you are preparing for a dinner party, you could collapse irrelevant tags like ‘snacks’ and ‘lunch’:

Furthermore, you know that you want to cook a main meal, rather than a salad, or a dessert. Therefore you can close those tags as well:

In our example notebook, the main tags which are left on the Map are those of different cuisines: ‘Indian’, ‘Italian’, and ‘Spanish’. Seeing these cuisines, you decide that you’re in the mood for a pasta-based dish. What recipes would be a better match than those assigned to the ‘Italian’ tag? You hide the dishes associated with all other cuisines:

By progressively hiding recipes with irrelevant or undesirable qualities, we’ve managed to alter the Map so that the only tags left are ‘Italian’, ‘dinner’, and ‘healthy’!

3. Filter irrelevant recipes

At this point, you could view the content of each of the remaining recipes in our Info box by hovering over your note and clicking on the Show Preview icon:

This may be tedious as there may still be many remaining recipes to choose from. Aside from looking at each of those recipes individually, you could instead apply the Mohiomap Relevance Filter.

As you drag the Relevance Filter upwards (shown in the image below), irrelevant nodes are hidden from the Map. In this case, relevancy is determined by the last editing date – as you drag the Relevance Filter upwards, older recipes are hidden. This is suitable for a recipe notebook because your taste in food may evolve and become more refined over time. In our example recipe notebook, one recently saved recipe stands out from all the rest:

Bon appétit!

If you have used Mohiomap to visualize and interact with your Evernote recipe collection, please let us know about your experience. We would love to hear your feedback – email us athello@moh.io today!

About the author

Jun Huh, Chief Technology Officer

Jun leads our continually growing software engineering team and has many years of experience with the development of visualization software, in both commercial and in research enviroments.

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