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Peter Schmidt


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| A Man A Can A Plan Cookbook | 
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A Man A Can A Plan

50 Great Guy Meals
Even You Can Make

(Full Document)



The document is a “Dummies Guide to Cooking” for men. The cookbook provides simple, nutritious and healthy recipes for people who are novice cooks or are intimidated by cooking. The document provides a detailed listing of ingredients, assuming that if you do not cook you do not, or have not, gone grocery shopping often.


The audience for the document is huge. The target audience is men, who do not know how to cook or are too busy to find the time to cook. The document is not intended for people living on their own as at a minimum the recipes provide four servings. The document assumes the user is old enough to cook safely (avoid touching a hot surface or cutting one’s self with a knife) and has the need to cook.


The primary place the document is used is in the kitchen while preparing one of the recipes. The document fails in this regard because the binding of the book does not allow it to lie flat on counter or table. The document would also be used while the potential cook is compiling a shopping list.


All the text in the document is a Sans-Serif typeface which promotes the book as an authority. This tone is needed to reassure a novice cook to let him know he is following the directions correctly.

The only text in a Serif typeface is the chapter headings. This provides a nice contrast to the rest of the Sans-Serif text throughout the cookbook.

The text used for the subheadings is given a red colour which allows it to standout from the rest of the text. However, a bold treatment of the text and out-denting the subheadings along with the colour treatment would have been much more effective.  


The document is very sweet, providing at least four high resolution photographs per page. The photographs provide reassurance to the user, letting him know that it is possible to make all of the recipes. The photos say. “Look, if you follow the recipe this is what you will get.”

As well, the high contrast, full colour photos give the document a personal touch instead of a cold, mechanical assembly line feeling which would intimidate the user.


Most of the pages in the document are formulaic – photos and text appear in the same place on each page - providing a single recipe on both the recto and verso side of the page. This provides a reasonable amount of space so the user does not feel overwhelmed with information. However, there are a number of pages in the document that have two recipes on a single page creating too much noise.

This cluttering of information serves only to intimidate and confuse the user. The reasoning for such a decision is unknown, yet one can safely assume space was limited to fit production costs. The selection criteria for the recipes that are doubled up appear to have no coherent reason. A number of the recipes that are doubled-up contain five pictures, whereas some if the recipes on a single page only contain four photos. This creates excessive, confusing noise.

Navigation & Orientation

The document is poorly designed for the user to navigate through. The table of contents (TOC) provides the main ingredients of each dish in a variety of colours, (five of which are all from the ‘red family’) in a font that does not jump off the page – the text seems lost amongst the photos (which are at least in a grid spacing pattern). The colours of the text in the TOC correspond to the colour of the chapter headings but these are not visible unless the book is open and the reader is scanning the pages.

As well, the document lacks an index of any sort – always a valued navigation tool in a cookbook.

However the document does a decent job of orientation by providing clearly labelled page numbers and chapter headings (main ingredient) in a white font on a background of the chapter’s designated colour from the TOC.


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