(1) To understand consumer behavior and un-met needs around dinner-time to identify target areas for product development  

(2)  As the new Innovation team within a large corporation new to the design process, this was the first internal ethnographic project completed and an opportunity to expose a multi-functional team to design thinking and allow the team to see first hand how products were being used by consumers.

Defining the problem & gathering data.  Analyzed a quantitative dinner landscape study to identify target meal types to recruit and designed a research study to observe different aspects of the dinner time experience with and without our presence to be able to track and understand behavior over time.  We visited 12 families twice in their homes.  For the week in between out visits I designed an organized a photo diary for respondents to record their leftover usage and meal types over the course of a week.

Discovering what it means & why it matters.  In analyzing our research we developed a framework to segment trends in the contradictions we heard and saw, attitudes, menus and meal types.  This framework allowed us to create customer personas and correlate trends across these groups.  

Developing directions & solutions.  By tailoring opportunity areas to internal business units and showing the overlap in opportunities across business units, we were able to improve cross-unit business collaboration and consolidate budgets.  With each insight and opportunity area that was presented, we also paired potential low resolution concepts that allowed teams to begin brainstorming new product offerings and updating current products.  Armed with an understanding of the varied weight in importance of these insights and opportunities, new product development concepts were able to be evaluated as to what concepts were easily reachable with current capabilities and strengths versus those that would take additional resources to develop.


A final presentation to the product development division was focused on,

  1. Reiterating the framing of an ethnographic research approach and our study's process
  2. A summary of respondent contradictions, attitudes, menus and meal types
  3. Insights and opportunities, always targeting an insight & opportunity pair to appropriate internal business units (Four total internal business units). 


(1) Areas identified for new product offerings, enhancements to existing products and new communication channels for product messaging.  

(2) The project also helped to increase cross-business unit communication and streamline goals and business unit budgets.


Design Research, Design Strategy, In-home Visits, Photo Diaries, Analysis & Synthesis, Brainstorming, Ideation