If the explosion of internet-powered social media websites in the last several years is characterized by giant corporations such as Facebook and Youtube, then it is made unique by the number of small, independent, and flexible startups that come up with intuitive and unconventional solutions to everyday problems.
A site that exemplifies this kind of startup is Dvour. It’s a social, beautiful, and personalized way to share and discover recipes for all kinds of foods: some of the more scrumptious-sounding recipes include peanut butter fudge, Hawaiian ham and swiss rolls, and buttermilk waffles.
Dvour was designed to not only be efficient but also look great. The site uses a clean white, pink and brown color scheme with some cool transparency effects and wood textures thrown in. Even the background of the site includes various vegetables or cookie cutters and the like to make things interesting. The layout of the site is reminiscent of an iPad-inclined webapp, yet works quite nicely on desktops and laptops as well.
The homepage is filled with content to get you started right away. In the center of everything is the all-important search bar for finding recipes – since Dvour just launched, there aren’t too many recipes yet, but I expect the number of recipes to grow in the coming months (In fact, if you’ve got a favorite recipe, share it with the world!) The homepage includes a nice intro video, a link to the about page, and a handy slider of featured recipes on the bottom. In addition, the top right corner has a button that’ll allow you to browse all recipes.
Navigating to the “browse recipes” page will lead you to a beautiful full page screen of recipes. You can sort through all the recipes by when they were created, or by popularity.
While you browse through all the recipes, I’m sure you’ll notice the emphasis on visuals. There’s nothing that describes food better than a picture, and Dvour does a good job putting images front and center so you can know exactly what the final recipe looks like. In addition to a nice thumbnail, you’ll see the name of each recipe, the person who created the recipe, and a like button.
The Recipe Page
So a recipe caught your eye? Clicking it will lead (obviously) to the recipe page – again, the developers did a good job emphasizing the important content. Too many times have a visited a recipe site to find the recipe in a skinny column in the center, surrounded by ads and distracting links. Dvour puts an image of the recipe up top so you know what the food will look like, and the recipe is right beneath.
Hitting the heart up top will add the recipe to your cookbook: this requires you to create an account, but signing up is quick and easy. Beneath the picture you’ll find a short description, and a list of all ingredients you’ll need to follow the recipe correctly.
At the bottom of the recipe is the actual directions. I really enjoy the stylized-card look and the green leaves in the corner, they’re a nice touch.
There are a few things I think could be improved in the recipe page. Firstly, the black bars on the sides of central photo should be removed – resizing the photo to fill the content area would work. Also, if you scroll over the photo a bar will slide in from the right that allows you to select other photos from a slideshow – I’d love to see more recipes with multiple pictures, but if there’s a recipe with only one photo, the slider shouldn’t be shown.
Secondly, depending on several factors (such as how long the description or how many ingredients are in a recipe), there can be a lot of unused blank space under and next to the main photo, which looks quite odd considering the proportions of the rest of the site are spot on. This should be minimized.
Thirdly, whether intentional or not, this site looks great on iPad or other tablets. However, navigation was hindered greatly because the scrollbars didn’t work the way they would on a computer: you can’t hold and drag them. Finding a workaround or creating a tablet-friendly version of the site would be a welcome addition.
And lastly, the text entry box for comments beneath the recipe is not quite centered and looks a little off compared to the positioning of the other elements.
Dvour is definitely one of the best recipe sharing sites I’ve seen in awhile. There are still a few rough points here and there, but they are to be expected for such a new site and I’m confident the developers will listen to their user’s requests and improve the site accordingly. But right now, the one thing Dvour needs the most is…you! As a newly launched site, Dvour needs a community of users that comment on recipes and upload their own recipes, so all you food fanatics and cooks out there, go for it! Dvour is meant for you and it’s awesome.
A beautiful web app to share and discover recipes you'll want to devour!8
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