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Arlington Man Creates ‘Recipe Box’ App

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Editor’s Note: Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

Mobile version of Chef's Hat (Courtesy of Jeff Jones)

A Courthouse resident has created an app to help people save recipes they find online.

John Jones developed Chef’s Hat, a mobile and web app that works like an online recipe box. Users sign in through Facebook or Twitter and then start electronically clipping recipes.

All clipped recipes are saved to the app and can be accessed on phones, tablets or the computer. The app is available for free on both iTunes and Android markets.

“It’s your mom’s recipe book that always has the right recipe,” Jones said.

The idea came from personal experience, he said. Jones enjoys cooking with his wife, but he found recipe saving websites, like Pinterest, inadequate. So he decided to build an app that would make it easier to clip recipes. The app was released late in July and it has been downloaded a couple hundred times, Jones said.

Jeff Jones (Courtesy of Jeff Jones)

The app reformats each clipped recipe with a clean font face and easy-to-read layout instead of linking to or taking a screenshot of the original recipe webpage. The app was designed with the user in mind, Jones said.

“There are so many apps in the marketplace so it drives developers to be creative and think about what their users want,” he said.

With a focus on user experience — or UX — developers are constantly focused on improving the app to fit what people want, Jones said.

“It’s always about what’s best for the users,” he said.

Thinking about user preferences is why he created a mobile and web version of the app, he said. When developing the app, he was thinking about where people browse for recipes.

Jones is already thinking about updates he will make. One idea is the ability to create an account and log in with an email address instead of using Facebook or Twitter. Another is making the sharing of recipes easier. He is also playing with the idea of creating a recommended recipe addition, where the app would recommend recipes for users to try based on the recipes they have saved.

Web version of Chef's Hat (Courtesy of John Jones)“I think there are a lot of possibilities with this app,” he said.

Another potential addition is advertising. He prefers to use “purpose driven advertising,” instead of the “annoying” banner ads, he said.

While Jones says he will not use banner ads, he did say that he consider options for publishing promoted posts, such as partnering with a food blog or company that could promote recipes on the app. He is also considering premium features for the app, he said.

“I see this potentially as an app for cooks and amateur cooks,” Jones said.

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