Easy Bake

Celebrating birthdays together, yet physically distant

COVID-19 has greatly affected the way we socialize and interact with friends, including moments of celebration, or lack-there-of. Since birthdays are typically an event that’s shared with friends and family, these celebrations have taken the back-seat since the pandemic. One way to add some spark back to birthdays is to use Easy Bake: a fun alternative to celebrating a birthday when physically distant.

Easy Bake is a platform that allows anyone to customize a personalized cake for their friend or loved one who is about to turn another year…wiser. The best part is that the birthday person can also blow out their candles! The ‘baker’ has a panel of options to customize the cake: the cake shape, icing color, placement and color of sprinkles, as well as placement of candles. For the cherry on top, a message can be entered to generate a birthday banner. Finally, the baker can view their masterpiece before baking and sending it off to the special birthday person. When clicked ‘Send’ a unique URL is generated for the birthday person to view the specific creation. Once the URL is opened, they can blow their candles out by simply blowing into their computer’s mic. Let the celebrations begin!  

During the project, the team focused on giving the baker options to personalize the cake in order to make the interaction with the programme more enjoyable for both parties. Several interactions were iterated upon, such as the buttons, the sliders, and the personalized message box. On the receiving end, the team focused on polishing the key interaction of blowing the candles by adjusting the audio input so that the flame would disappear when reaching a certain threshold (when the user blew into their mic). The team’s intent during the project was to make things a bit more familiar during times of uncertainty, and to celebrate each other even when social distancing is commonplace.

Time to celebrate! It’s a piece of cake (pun fully intended).