James McQuarrie is a UK based Senior Product Manager who helps teams design, build and deliver digital products and services that delight their users.


Cookpad is a tech company building a community platform for people to share recipe ideas and cooking tips. Because they believe that cooking is the key to a happier and healthier life for people, communities and the planet

I worked in the global team in Bristol UK as a Product Manager, helping to “make everyday cooking fun” for the over 100 million users who use the service each month globally.

During my time with the company I lead a number of different teams and projects delivering;

  • insights into how people consume recipes and food related content via online video
  • an increase of 3x the number of people having conversations about recipes on the platform
  • an increase of 10x the number of people sharing Cookpad recipes via WhatsApp (with one extremely simple design change in the Cookpad apps)

At the time I left Cookpad I was leading a team of remote engineers (3 in Spain, 2 in Indonesia and 1 in Hungary) working to improve the internal tools that the 100+ Community Managers spread all around the World use daily to engage with Cookpad users.

We focused on improving workflow processes to reduce the time and effort required to manually review user content and provide better information design to help Community Managers communicate more effectively with users.

We piloted our redesigns as a Beta available to the Community Management teams in Spain and Latin America.

To measure the impact of our work we monitored the both the volume and the quality of the output of the review processes, had regular conversations with the team to get their feedback and ran weekly satisfaction surveys asking the teams to rate ease of use, overall satisfaction and if it met their needs.

Over the course of the project we used their feedback and the data we monitored to inform the prioritisation of features and to correct any mistakes we’d made in the design based on assumptions.

During the project we were able to:

  • reduce the number of steps needed to review and approve user content from 6 screens to 1
  • redesign user profiles to allow Community Managers to see the user’s last 12 month’s activity at a glance
  • redesign workflow to allow Community Managers who worked in teams to work together, sharing workload more efficiently
  • introduce “ambient analytics” that highlighted activity across the Cookpad service so that Community Managers were able to respond more quickly and completely to spikes in activity or problems with the service
  • increase Community Manager’s satisfaction with their tools from “good” to “very good”
  • increase Community Manager’s feedback about the tools meeting their needs from “they sometimes meet my needs” to “they always meet my needs”.

At the time I left we were in the planning stages of rolling the Beta out to other Countries to make sure what we’d been building would work for other teams around the World as well as our Spanish & Latam colleagues.