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Planning to Eat Should be Pretty Too

It’s been almost two years since we launched Plan to Eat back in June 2009. Starting our own family business on the side and keeping an advanced web application like Plan to Eat running 24/7 has been quite an adventure to say the least! Over the past two years we have added hundreds of new features and most of them have been from your feedback. In the next few days we will be launching a completely redesigned Plan to Eat. And because we think that great design is incredibly important (from the art to the interface and usability) we decided to have a professional branding and design company cook up something really great. With this new design almost all of the features and functionality that you are familiar with are staying the same. Of course we will continue to add new features, especially now that this new visual framework is in place. As always we welcome your feeback.


Say hello to our new logo!

 

Our goal for the new Plan to Eat logo (and brand) is about sophistication and beauty. It’s about creating a place you enjoy visiting and being in. A place where you can happily and successfully answer one of the most important questions we are all confronted with every day. What should I eat and how am I going to make that happen?

The Home Page

Home-page-welcome

With the home page we have tried to focus on what you can accomplish with Plan to Eat and why it is important, instead of detailed feature lists and screen shots (that’s what the tour is for). We have also made the subscription plans more obvious and given the testimonials the attention they deserve.


The Meal Planner


We have decided to visually simplify the meal planner by reducing the use of multiple colors for each meal time and replacing them with letters for (B)reakfast, (L)unch, and (S)upper. I’m guessing we will receive some push back on this change and we may tweak it a little based on your feedback. However the positive is that this makes it easier to eventually add custom colors for multiple meal plans or people in your family displayed on one calendar.

 

The Recipe Book and the Shopping List

Recipes-Share-Import-Search-Plan

The Recipe Book has not changed much other than moving the left menu to the top and making the recipe filters more obvious and hopefully easier to use. We also emphasized the course categories so it should be easier to quickly scan your recipes. Oh, and we have ditched the old serif font for a more modern and easier to read sans-serif font (thank you Google Fonts).


The Shopping List has also been updated with the new brand and we’ve tightening up the top navigation and button layout saving a few pixels here and there.

 

The Mobile Site


We think the new mobile site looks really great. The new logo reads well at a smaller size so we were able to shrink the top navigation and focus on the content. While the mobile site is not an official app it works on all mobile devices with an internet connection and can really save time at the grocery store because every item you check off on your phone is automatically moved to your pantry inventory on plantoeat.com. And for those of you that are extremely hungry for a real mobile app for the iPhone and Droid, hang in there, we’re working on it and we hear you loud and clear. =)

 

We really hope you like the changes and now that we  have upgraded the Plan to Eat brand we’ll be hard at work again on the long and exciting feature list that many of you have graciously provided us through all of your valuable feedback! Oh, and as always, as we launch the new site over the next few days please let us know if you notice any problems or areas that just don’t look quite right.

 

 

Show Comments


 

  • Looks good! Lots of hard work getting this all together I am sure. Looking forward to using the redesign when it rolls out! Reply
    Abbie March 15, 2011 AT 9:02 am
     
  • How exciting! Congratulations to you! I look forward to the changes and updates! Reply
    Amanda March 15, 2011 AT 9:24 am
     
  • Looking great so far! Nobody does it better than Plan to Eat! Reply
    julie March 15, 2011 AT 9:26 am
     
  • I look forward to seeing it, but I'll be one of the sad ones about the color change on the meal planner. I love being able to quickly look for the color for each meal. (And I love the soft green on the current website.) Reply
    Courtney March 15, 2011 AT 10:04 am
     
  • Oh I love the new clean, bright look. Looking forward to seeing it in the coming days. Reply
    Shannon March 15, 2011 AT 11:06 am
     
  • very cool! I'm excited about all of this - the new logo looks fabulous! I really liked it when you hinted at this on facebook! And as always, you guys think of things I never knew I needed! It's amazing... Thanks!! Reply
    Leigh - lmilla March 15, 2011 AT 11:48 am
     
  • congrats. love the new color palette. Reply
    Darla March 15, 2011 AT 2:35 pm
     
  • Thank you for all of your feedback so far. Keep it coming! We are about 95% live now so I hope you enjoy the new site! Reply
    Plan to Eat March 15, 2011 AT 7:50 pm
     
  • Definitely a nice clean look...but I have to agree with Courtney -- I will very much miss the color coordinated meals. The new format is almost TOO clean, and almost overwhelming from an organizational standpoint. I loved being able to quickly pick out which meal was which, and I actually have a hard time seeing the "B", "L", and "S" on screen (and when I print this weeks menu out from my inkjet, you can't read those letters at all)... :( Please consider some slight color changes to add in quick-referencing meals? Pretty please? :) Reply
    Amy March 17, 2011 AT 12:50 am
     
  • Looks good! Just a heads up -- "haven't" is misspelled in "If you havn’t noticed, Plan to Eat looks a bit different. " ;) Reply
    K March 17, 2011 AT 7:39 am
     
  • Thanks for the misspelling heads up. I hadn't noticed. :) Reply
    Plan to Eat March 17, 2011 AT 8:05 am
     
  • Thanks for constantly making tweaks to increase the useability. I love plan to eat and it just keeps getting better. Reply
    Kaitlin March 17, 2011 AT 9:34 am
     
  • Love it too! And I think the coloring issue could be resolved with different shades of blue. Light for breakfast, medium for lunch and dark for dinner. Just my 2 cents. :) Keep up the good work. You guys are such a blessing! Reply
    Kim March 17, 2011 AT 10:06 am
     
  • Kim, I like the idea of using a variation of value to differentiate the meal times (my wife just suggested the same thing this morning). That would still allow for using hue (or color) to use for planning for different people or events. However I already do this with the ingredients so I need to think of a way tof deal with that as well. Maybe the value of the ingredients should look the same as the meals? I also may make the meal time letters a little bigger, not sure yet. Thanks for the constructive feedback. Reply
    Plan to Eat March 17, 2011 AT 10:13 am
     
  • LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT! I really liked the whole app before and use it regularly. This new look is icing on the cake. BRAVO!!!! Reply
    Lisa in NH March 18, 2011 AT 9:03 am
     
  • so first of all, let me say I just love, love, love your site. Now for the bad news. I use PTE on a laptop in my kitchen so I don't have ato waste paper... the new color scheme is pretty, but it's super hard to read. it's like the words are a type of grey where not as many pixels come through? and this is a high quality laptop so I don't think that's the issue. also, something seems to be broken with the recipe search. I typed in "corned beef soup" and got 64 entries! okay, beef is common, soup is common, but corned is not... not sure what's up with that. I love you guys and truly hate to complain but wanted you to know. wishing you continued success. Reply
    Trish March 18, 2011 AT 6:53 pm
     
  • Trish, we've started using web fonts so that may be part of the problem with readability. Which browser and version are you using, or can you send me the same information and a screen capture to our support site? Just click the help link at the top right while logged into Plan to Eat to submit a support claim. The search currently searches for "corned" OR "beef" instead of "corned" AND "beef" so you may be better off searching for [ "corned beef" soup ]. If you include quotes around two keywords it will search for them as one phrase. Reply
    Plan to Eat March 19, 2011 AT 9:05 am
     
  • Congratulations on the new look! You asked for opinions so here's mine. The good stuff first! Love the new logo. It's very vintage diner-esque. The new look is less technical so will probably appeal to those of a less technical nature and be less intimidating to use. I didn't mine the techy look, myself. Everything looks neat and clean and well organized. Now the not so good. The color scheme is rather icky (sorry!). Maybe you could eventually add themes so we could change it to our liking? Ickiness aside, I find white text on a medium value background very hard to read. I'm not big on white text at all, except as large headings. I could live with not having the different colors for meals on screen, but I mind very much not having it on my printed menu. It's now very hard to tell which recipe I need for a meal at a glance. The last dislike is possibly an error? When I printed my weekly menu at medium size (what I always use) it was much smaller. Very hard to read. I tried printing it at the large size, which I normally don't use because it cuts the bottom of the menu off (been meaning to mention that). The large size also printed tiny! The font is still too small and it is all smooshed together. I can't read it. The squares in the grid are only about an inch big now, even on the large setting. Could we have an option to print the menu landscape format so the grid could be larger? And I definitely need a larger font here. Pretty might be important but usability is much, much more important to me. I do love the new logo, though! Reply
    Melisa March 19, 2011 AT 9:29 am
     
  • Oh, about the blog - On Firefox, I see a welcome link at the top and only the tip top of some letters that I think spell tour. Most of the word is chopped off. I'm not sure if there are supposed to be other links as well. Let me know if you need a screenshot. Reply
    Melisa March 19, 2011 AT 9:31 am
     
  • Thanks for the feedback Melisa. The small font on the planner is a bug. I should have some time this afternoon to fix it and make it larger. Reply
    Plan to Eat March 19, 2011 AT 9:40 am
     
  • I love the new look and I love how easy it is to use Plan to eat. Keep up the great work! Reply
    Rana March 19, 2011 AT 2:56 pm
     
  • I love PTE, love the new look, and love that you work so hard to improve it. Just back from vacation, so I'm about to test drive the new site. Keep up the great work! Reply
    momtess March 21, 2011 AT 12:10 pm
     
  • I am using my trial and I noticed with the new layout that when you are entering ingredients, sometimes tab works just fine and other times when you hit tab, you end up in very weird places--like at the calorie part. I can't seem to recognize a pattern yet! Reply
    Mary March 21, 2011 AT 1:54 pm
     
  • Rana and momtess, thanks! Mary, This is a bug that has been haunting me for a while. I thought I had fixed it a month ago and it seems to just keep coming back. Reply
    Plan to Eat March 21, 2011 AT 3:12 pm
     
  • Nice. I look forward to exploring the new interface. Reply
    Rebecca March 22, 2011 AT 3:05 pm
     
  • Just out of curiosity, when do you think you'll add the custom colors for multiple meal plans? No offense, but the lack of color difference between meals is KILLING me for planning. I often used to drag a recipe to the calendar and it wouldn't always drop into the correct meal, and I would instantly know it was in the wrong place because of the color. Now I have to triple check everything before printing it off, because lunch items will sometimes slip into the dinner area, and I won't catch it. Perhaps with the custom colors, I can set a different "faux family member" for each meal and solve my issue?? :) Reply
    Amy March 22, 2011 AT 5:51 pm
     
  • I notice you got the shades of blue thing happening! Lunch is a little difficult to distinguish from supper, though. Can supper be darker? If so, I think it will work really well. Also, I used to be able to click the add recipe button on the weekly planner at the bottom of the page to add the large recipe on the screen to the planner, and now there is no add recipe button. I have to go to the planner page to search, click and drag, which is okay, but not optimal. Sorry to be a whiner. :( Reply
    Kim March 24, 2011 AT 8:52 pm
     
  • Kim, In general I think the color shades are more aesthetic than functional which is why I want to stay away from stronger color variations and force the focus to a unique symbol (or letter in this case). The problem with using shades of color to differentiate meal times is that it is relative. It is only helpful in relation to the other shades and does not communicate location alone. However the letters immediately indicate the meal time and can also be quickly scanned based on the shape of the letters, especially with more use. This is similar to the way we quickly read words using the shape of the letters instead of reading the individual letters. Reply
    Plan to Eat March 25, 2011 AT 10:15 am
     
  • Not all of my recipies have the "key" letter next to it on my shopping list. Also, I have all dinners on my weekly planner but I have ingredients like malt o meal and oatmeal and vanilla appering on my shopping list...... Reply
    Nicolette April 3, 2011 AT 11:55 am
     
  • Nicolette, So we can help you can you in more detail can you contact us on our support site by clicking the help link at the top right when logged in to Plan to Eat? Reply
    Plan to Eat April 4, 2011 AT 8:37 am
     
 
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Plan to Eat is an online menu planner that uses your recipes, scheduled for the days you want them. It automatically makes your grocery list, organized the way you like to shop, using the recipes you’ve selected. Plan to Eat makes it easier to eat real food, prepared at home, with your family gathered around your own table.

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