We got handed a case from Unilever which had the following criterias
Casen: Re-imagin the experience and concept of fluid meals*
- Re-imagining: Visualising beyond today
- Experience: The involvement and interaction from first til last encounter
- Concept: The key idea of a solution, what it is and how it works
- Fluid meal: Soups, stews,, purees etc.
Unilever and its food brands are trying to reach the young nordic market. Please help us and create an aspirational fluid meal concept, that you yourself would consume once a week for the next year!
Remember to consider
The user experience of buying, preparing and consuming a new fluid meal concept. What is the aspiration in the young Nordic market? How does a new fluid meal concept look like and what do such a meal contain? How and where are they packed, sold, branded and prepared? What are important driver to buy such a product? What is the role/purpose it could have for young consumers?
Answer key questions of how the user interact:
- at the points of sale,
- in preparation and,
- when enjoying/consuming the meal
- in disposing of any waste
First week: Fieldwork and analysis.
On the first day of the week we were given our case, from Unilever,
who want to find a new recipe or product for the young nordic market. We spent the day (apart from the lectures) discussing the case and the tasks the case-partner suggested we undertake.
The case was a little bit strange because we are a part of the market that the product has to be designed towards. This means we are both of a source of direct knowledge about the market, but it also means we’re liable to design a product based on our own idiosyncrasies. Tailored to only our own specific wants and needs. The way the case-partner suggested we handle this problem is to include ourselves in the evaluation of the product: Can we design a product that we would use ourselves, once a week?
With this in mind we prepared questions and made plans for the two next days, where we went to Rema 1000 in Hasseris and Føtex near Nordkraft.
At both places we performed interviews with people who were done shopping, and asked them about their purchases and their values, habits and aspirations. We also asked shoppers if we could follow them around, as they did their shopping, where we strived to stay in the shadows, but where we’d also ask questions of clarification, more intuitively. We also scouted both locations for where they placed their products, and what kinds of products they had.
At Rema we each selected a helping hand product, which we took home and prepared by ourselves, carefully examining the products and formulating opinions on them. We also ordered a ‘måltidskasse’ from Årstiderne, which we prepared and examined in the same manner.
At Føtex we interviewed the manager of the warehouse, and got some deep insights about the behaviours and values of the customers, as well as some facts about what was being sold and what the general clientel was.
Our findings at both these places left us wondering what people really mean when they say healthy food, and how people in general view the various forms of foods (pre-packaged, pre-cooked, helping hand, frozen etc), so we made a quick and dirty questionarie which we sent out to our immediate network of friends and colleagues.
All this research left us with a lot of observations, which we delved into through the elito method. We plotted down every single observation, and then followed the method, gathering the raw data into meaning and into sketch ideas for a final product.
By the end of the week we were teetering towards ideas for final concepts. We had pinned down a fair understanding of the wicked problem of the case, and we were able to simmer this down to a few quality criteria, using the Core Design Framework model/theory (Rosenstand & Vistisen). The number one value of our informants was the health aspect, so healthiness became our number one criteria. The final product must not only BE healthy it must also APPEAR to be healthy.
Secondly, the consumers were NOT happy with the way X’s food is prepared. The attitude towards “easy” to prepare food is that it BY DEFINITION isn’t healthy, and as this is the primary concern of our informants, it’s something we must take into consideration. We discussed making a critical design, that simply had to provoke the pre-conceptions of our customers, into seeing X’s helping hand products as just as healthy, despite being “easy” to make. In the end we arrived at the quality criteria of defining the product as practical.
Tying in with the number one criteria, product transparency, is a necessity. Our informants want to have a good understanding of what exactly the products contain, and if they can’t access this information they can’t estimate whether or not the product is in fact healthy.
The last three criteria are ranked in the priority of our informants, economical being the most important, followed by the time aspect and then environmental impact.
We formulated a number of concepts based on our elito method and our quality criteria, which we would present for our case-partner the following monday.
2 Week two: Case-partner meeting and sketching and the final concept.
The first day of the second week we put some final touches on our concepts, and prepared for the case-partner meeting. During the meeting we discussed our research and our findings, and then presented our concepts one by one, in a dialogue with the partner.
Our case-partner wasn’t thrilled about any single one of our concepts, but she was pleased with our research and our findings so far, and she saw value in each of the proposals.
We explained that the primary value of our informants is that the food is healthy, and that this means that the perception of the degree of healthiness of the product is very important, and it’s something X doesn’t do that well as of right now. The perception of X is that it’s quick and easy and great for lazy days, but it isn’t as healthy as food prepared from scratch.
If we had more time to really work on this problem we would have gone out to do more research and ask specific questions about which part of the process that needs to be better explained to the users. “Health” was agreed upon as a quality criteria for the final design.
In order to combat this perception of X products as “easy (and therefore unhealthy)” we’ve decided to use the word practical. Practical has much more positive connotations, despite essentially expressing speed and ease of use. Our case partner was very pleased with this nifty wording. This became another criteria. We also discussed values as time, economy and environment.
On our list of concepts we’d jokingly added chili cheese tops, which our case partner saw actual value in. Chili cheese tops have a kind of soul. They make you smile. This became somewhat of a quality criteria as well, despite it being a very vague concept. Our case-partner also talked about keeping instagram in mind, as well as reminding us about the criteria of us wanting to use the product ourselves. Our case-partner ended on a note about not playing against other existing products, but instead staying on X “home-turf”, and designing a product which suits their established abilities. The notion of so-called super-foods also became a theme, but this was never a criteria.
After the meeting we briefly talked things over in the group, and began working on concepts that took the case-partners input and feedback into consideration. We knew we had to ignore our critical design idea, and that took us slightly back. It was evident that the case-partner wanted a specific recipe design. We knew that people didn’t want a X product for their evening dinner meal, as general consensus was that making an easy or quick evening dinner meal would inevitably be perceived as unhealthy.
In the end we arrived at designing a healthy and practical breakfast food. We arrived at this concept through a series of reasonings and arguments, that all come together. X excels at giving helping hands in the kitchen, but these are unwanted for the evening meal. Designing a product which offers a wanted helping hand ticks the box of playing on X’s home-turf. A breakfast product can be made very healthy, and ecological, ticking those boxes as well. Using the word practical instead of quick and easy is easily implemented, ticking its own box. This was a very promising design in our experience, ticking all the necessary boxes.
Just before the end of the day we settled on making healthy pancakes for people, which also has potential for ticking the box of a ‘soul’. Pancakes make people smile.
On Tuesday and Wednesday some Tuesday was sketching and preparations. Wednesday was more sketching and finalizing preliminary sketch videos.
On Thursday we put some finishing touches on the sketch videos, and presented them for our colleagues. Generally the feedback was very positive, and our peers agreed that no soup product would be good enough for them to eat it once a week. The pancakes were essentially appreciated, but elements like practicality and healthiness wasn’t portrayed as well as it could have been.
On Friday we worked on our final concept video. We presented the problem of healthy breakfast food being a bothersome thing to get through, both the preparation and consumption. We then show a number of healthy and good ingredients be blended together, coming together to be a package from X, filled with goodness and ready for practical usage. This element supports our own criteria of making the product transparent to the consumer. They MUST be able to assess the healthiness of the product, and showing the nutritious ingredients come together into the package is essential to the product itself.
We also shot footage of the entire consumer journey and put it into the final video, showing how impractical it is to shop for many different products, compared to just a single product.
The casepartnermeeting (detailed):
At the beginning of our meeting we briefly went through our findings and discussed some generalities and our key insights. We discussed the primary values and conditions and constraints for our customers, and then we went through a list of our preliminary ideas and pathways for continuing the design-process. The meeting went fairly well, and we received some critical feedback, and managed to find the following quality criterias: Our final product must be healthy, and our final product should be practical, rather than easy (Subtle distinction). Another criteria was that we would use the product at least once a week.
Our case-partner advised us to design a product based on X’s strengths and advantages, rather than attempting to design rival products. She helped open up our thinking, which had become somewhat narrowed into what we saw as the main problem. A forced analogy we found helpful was to think about the soul of the product, and to make it something that puts a smile on peoples faces.
Furthermore, the values of our customers guide us towards designing a more economically viable product, rather than focusing on saving time.
Current core design (detailed):
After our casepartnermeeting we got to the conclusion that our previously design didn’t fulfill our partners criterias. This wasn’t a ‘marketing’ problem – it’s a product problem. With this in mind, the group went back into the design process, figuring out what we could create with the current established Values. The conclusion; a super-healthy easy to make-and-bake prepacked pancake combined with a super-healthy easy-to-make prepacked porridge. The products will be delivered with different ‘basic/main’ ingredients and the consumer will then be able to buy super-healthy-side-products from X, which they can add to the products.
The concept was now clear and we started to sketch different scenarios were the product was useable – it ended up with three sketches.
First we created a stop-motion video (Scenario 1), were the guy called ‘kenneth’ had forgotten all about his breakfast the following morning. Luckily he had a X porridge cup lying around! He just adds milk (or water), puts it into the fridge and then goes to bed. The following morning Kenneths has a healthy breakfast filled with all the minerals, vitamins and calories he needs for the perfect day!
Sketch number two were another stop-motion video where the product itself were in focus. We simply took the core design and descriped the product through different drawings. Through this sktech the consumer got a clear idea of the products origin, ingredients and products generel concept.
In the third sketch we made a greenscreen movie production were our group member “Henrik” played as actor. The movie showed how the pancake-product could be used as an easy-to-make everyday product were you would get satisfied satiated feeling after eating them.
The final sketch and final concept:
We came to the conclusion that the three different sketches didn’t manage to show the entire concept and idea behind our product, so we decided to make a fourth and final sketch which combined the ideas from sketch 1, 2 and 3. The final sketch wont include any technical solutions from sketch 1 and 2, but will only be based on normal video recordings combined with greenscreen. In the beginning of the movie, we aim to frame our problem – that healthy breakfast today is boring and doll to eat. Afterwards we frame some more problems and shows a solution to all these problems. We then move into making the solution and how easy it is to make it. Watch our movie – it’s amazing! We also came to the conclusion that the super-healthy easy to make-and-bake prepacked pancake combined with a super-healthy easy-to-make prepacked porridge didn’t hold. We simply didn’t think that people would like the ‘2 in 1’ idea and instead of thinking of it as a smart and easy way to make either the one or the other product, they would be discussed by the idea that it were able to be both. So we thought about it and came to the conclusion that it should be two seperate products and choosed to focus on the super-healthy-easy-to-make-and-bake-pancakes.