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Turning User Insights into a Product Idea


Our challenge was to utilize a design thinking approach to uncover a product need and then complete a low-fidelity prototype of our specific product. The problem we identified is that users often feel burdened by cooking even though they say they enjoy it.


We created a solution to empower users with cooking insights and relaxation resources with the impact of increasing users’ sense of control in the kitchen.

My Role

UX researcher


3 weeks

Design Process









• Final Presentation

• LoFi Prototype
• User Testing

• Persona
• User Insight
• Problem Statement

• Value Proposition
• Storyboard
• User Journey Map

• User Interviews
• User Survey
• Proto-persona
• Competitor Analysis

• Affinity Diagram
• Empathy Map

Learning To Understand Demand

As part of our research, we wanted to make sure that there was a demand for our solution, that the demand was in our target demographic, and that there was a demand for the solution to be mobile.

76 Million
People in the U.S.
between 18-34

Only 64%
of 25-34-year-olds consider
themselves somewhat good or good
at cooking
(NBD Group)

Increase in watch time for
cooking skills videos in 2018
(google data)

of 25-34 year olds
use their device as a cooking aid
(google data)

of people conduct food-related searches only on their phones
(google data)

Learning To Understand The User




Conduct Primary Survey

We collected data from 59 respondents to
help target our survey questions to users’ current lifestyle

Qualitative Research

We conducted 5 qualitative interviews with
young professionals who cook mostly for themselves

Secondary Survey:

To support observations we made during our interviews we
collected data from
57 additional respondents

Survey Results


Multitask while cooking


Cook to feel better after a bad day


Listen to audio content while cooking


Said cooking makes them feel stressed


Cook several times a week


Like or love cooking

Interview Response Themes


• I’m too busy to cook

• It takes too long to prep and clean

• I don’t know how to cook or for how long


• I cook the same things with the same ingredients

• I would like to try
new things but
don’t feel confident

• I don’t really know how to cook with the equipment I have


• I watch videos to learn new cooking skills

• I like trying recipes I find online

• I listen to music or podcasts to relax while cooking

Developing A User Persona

With the information, we gained from our user research we created a user persona to help inform our decisions for the rest of the design process.

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Identifying Opportunities

The next step in our process was to translate the quantitative and qualitative user data into specific user problems. 

Affinity Diagram Catagory

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We sorted individual user pain points into an affinity diagram as a way to structure and record multiple user perspectives into a single artifact.

Existing User Gains

With the pain point categorized we created an empathy map that allowed us to isolate a set of pains and gains for our user.

  • Cooking is stressful when under time pressure

  • Users carry stress from the day into cooking

  • Clean up

  • What to listen to while cooking

  • Tired by day’s end

  • Feel in control when cooking

  • Cooking is therapeutic

  • Cooking  gives an energy boost

  • Cooking is one of the only times for self-reflection

  • Have control over health

Existing User Pains

User Insight

We then looked to create a single insight about our user that would animate the pains and gains we identified.  

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Olivia is a busy young professional who loves to cook but often finds the process stressful. She is in search of ways to feel inspired and encouraged to cook for a healthy lifestyle. When Olivia enjoys the cooking process, it makes her feel grounded and powerful. 

Defining The Problem

How might we help home cooks feel more relaxed in the kitchen so that they can get the most out of the activity they love?

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We began prototyping our app with the goal of making an intuitive resource with both mental health and cooking activities. 

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The more we tested the more uncertain we became about how users should initiate their interaction with the app.  The transition between choices related to mental health and the options related to cooking was confusing to our users. 


We tried many different versions of our initial concept but users did not understand the correlation between our starting point of selecting a desired mood and the subsequent recipes and cooking tips that the app provided.

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Low Fidelity Prototype

After reviewing our user feedback we had to decide about how to proceed. Should we keep our original idea or be responsive to the feedback we received and change our direction? Ultimately we went back and reviewed our problem statement. We realized that providing ways to make cooking easier was central to our goal and that improving mental health would require much more testing to incorporate successfully into a cooking app. We eliminated the content and layouts related to achieving desired moods and focused on cooking tips. 

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Lessons Learned

  • You learn more by asking what people don't like: User interview questions that focus on peoples' likes can cause you to jump to solutions too quickly.

  • Don't fall in love with a solution: It is easy to spend more time than you should on an idea just because you like it.

  • Trust the prototype: The version of a product that other people see is more valuable than the one in your head.

  • Teams work: Multiple points of view can help keep you focused on the user's needs. 

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