Iteration 1: Adapt Phase

For the adapt phase, I conducted interviews with my target consumer to get feedback on my product. I also created an interaction diagram to help determine how my product is used, and explain the process visually to users. In this post I will document my feedback approach, interview questions, and findings from the interviews.

Interaction Diagram:

Interview Style: For my interviews, I began by asking questions to learn about the eating habits of my interviewees kids. I then asked them what would assist them in any paint points in the process of feeding their kids. Next, I presented the interviewee with my interactive eating plate design and explained the plate’s functionality (including features). Lastly, I asked for feedback on the design.

Interview Questions:

  • Can you tell me about your kid’s eating habits?
    • In relation to frequency?
    • In relation to meals a day, snacks/snacking tendencies?
  • Where do they usually eat their meals?
  • What kinds of food do your kids like to eat?
  • How do your kids receive new foods?
  • What motivates your kids to complete tasks?
  • In a tool to assist with serving meals to your kids, what features would be helpful for you?
    • And in assisting to engage them with a meal?
  • What are your thoughts on the design form in terms of shape and size?
  • What features would you prioritize?
  • Are there features you would add that do not currently exist?

Interview 1 with Rochelle Kuyper:

  • Can you tell me about your kid’s eating habits?
    • In relation to frequency?
    • In relation to meals a day, snacks/snacking tendencies?
      • Rochelle offers her two kids 3 meals a day, the typical breakfast, lunch, and dinner. She said that her kids often don’t finish their meals and it has been hard to break the habit of snacking
      • One of her kids eats everything, buy often her older daughter will take one bite of something and say “bleh, I don’t like it” then refuse to eat it. Saylor does that and Rochelle said that Saylor has gotten pickier as she has gotten older
      • Saylor and Rosie eat small snacks 2-3 times a day, and Rochelle said she always tries to leave fruit out so that it is readily available to snack on
  • Where do they usually eat their meals?
    • They eat all their meals at the dinner table, seated in chairs
    • They are clean eaters now, but this was not always the case. Pretty much very messy as toddlers but food stays where it should now.
  • What kinds of food do your kids like to eat?
    • A few different things, main item/portion, then two to three sides.
  • How do your kids receive new foods?
    • Will often try everything I give to them, but that is no where near a guarantee they will try it again.
  • What motivates your kids to complete tasks?
    • “If you are asking me if I bribe my kids, yes, yes I do”.
    • Lollipops, candy, cake pops are good bribes for urgent things, going to the park or to target to look at toys often works well too. Sugary treats work best.
    • Rochelle said that she believes she follows through consistently when she offers a bribe to her kids.
  • In a tool to assist with serving meals to your kids, what features would be helpful for you?
    • And in assisting to engage them with a meal?
      • Some more direction on portion sizes would be nice, sometimes the age difference between my girls can be hard (little over 2 years) in knowing how much to feed them.
      • A way to come up with a schedule to keep it different and interesting, and coming up with meals for them. I often feel like I am serving them the same meals over and over.
  • What are your thoughts on the design form in terms of shape and size?
    • Biggest thing is engaging and maintaining interest in eating an entire meal. A lid would be great for cleaning and transportation purposes. A peel off one would also make cleaning easy.
  • What features would you prioritize?
    • Biggest thing is uncertainty around how much they are actually consuming. Im not sure if they’re getting enough protein, carbs, fruits and veggies. Would be great if I could get a summary at the end of the day with all of that information.
  • Are there features you would add that do not currently exist?
    • Meal recommendations and daily summaries with nutrition tracking although I’m not sure how to do that with this plate (she is unsure how I would display this information with my lack of interface).

Interview 2 with Alexis Morris:

  • Can you tell me about your kid’s eating habits?
    • In relation to frequency?
    • In relation to meals a day, snacks/snacking tendencies?
      • Cayden eats three meals a day, but does not always eat the whole meal. He always eats a really big breakfast, but lunch and dinner is hit or miss (he always eats one or the other real well).
      • Cayden snacks through the whole day and wakes up sometimes at night asking for one too
  • Where do they usually eat their meals?
    • At nanna and poppas, they make him eat in a high chair that he gets in and out of himself. At home, he eats at the table and rarely in the living room. Usually he eats snacks in the living room.
  • What kinds of food do your kids like to eat?
    • Cayden loves fruit, eggs, pancakes, sandwiches, yogurt and smoothies
  • How do your kids receive new foods?
    • He is currently in an “ew thats disgusting” phase. He was not really like that before and I am not sure what happened
  • What motivates your kids to complete tasks?
    • Food, candy, hot wheels, dessert
    • When asked if Cayden will do things on his own initiative when asked to do something
      • “Yeah right, you got to bribe him or he has to be in a good mood”
  • In a tool to assist with serving meals to your kids, what features would be helpful for you?
    • And in assisting to engage them with a meal?
      • A way to incorporate youtube because he is distracted and eats his whole meal without any struggle or help
      • If he eats he gets dessert
  • What are your thoughts on the design form in terms of shape and size?
    • The plate looks too big as far as portions for Cayden
  • What features would you prioritize?
    • It would be nice to hone in portion sizing for the age group and portion control
    • It would be nicer if the stars were on the front of the plate instead of being a separate item itself. I don’t think it should be two parts, one piece would make it easier and more portable.
  • Are there features you would add that do not currently exist?
    • Would be nice to incorporate sound somehow but I don’t want it to be annoying. He already has enough things that make annoying sounds
    • Ideally would all be a silicone material and kid proof.
    • The ability to set a timer to make it more of a game, timer in the form of a progress bar, use + and – signs to set a clock.
    • Initially I thought stars for each portion would be a better idea, but I like the idea of only having one set of stars for all three

Questions to Summarize Findings From Feedback:

  • Based on the feedback, what did you learn?
    • I learned a lot about feature prioritization and my overall design. As a college student, I don’t have a lot of interactions with young children so it was helpful to learn that my plate was large in terms of portion sizes for my demographic (5-10). I will re-prototype at a smaller scale and will also do some more research about nutritional information related to children. I will research portion sizing for my demographic as well as general nutritional information related to macronutrients as this could be useful information for my target consumer. This information could also be useful in future iterations of the product that could use an app.
  • What was unexpected / what lessons did you learn?
    • What was unexpected was how although I am trying to solve pain points for parents with picky eaters, a common problem seems to be keeping kids engaged through a meal. Also, portion control and sizing was more important to parents that I believed it to be. It seems they would like to be more conscious of it and would like assistance in doing so.
    • I also learned a bit more about interviewing for feedback. It helped I drafted questions before my interviews and revised them for bias. But while conducting interviews, I could be better at waiting and giving my interviewees time to respond. If they don’t have an answer, I asked improvised related questions which was both good and bad. In the future I would like to prepare more questions to ask based on general questions.
  • What worked, what didn’t work?
    • Through this first iteration, prioritizing work that could result in getting meaningful feedback and hardware development worked best. This was because having a tangible item to show my users made it easier for them to conceptualize how the product would be used compared to when I did not have one. Also, focusing on hardware was good because I learned that I need to be slightly more prepared when using items I have not used before. Due to COVID, missing one small piece can be a major set-back due to delivery times, where as before I could’ve picked items up easier. Also making sure I have alternative hardware in case something breaks.
  • What did you accomplish? Reflect on your time management.
    • I got meaningful user feedback, have a good start on hardware development and am ready to to hopefully have all of my hardware wired by the end of the next explore phase. I know how I will change my next prototype to get feedback, and I will continue to meet with my sponsor to get feedback from them conceptually and technically. I effectively managed my time, but like I said above, I need to plan more in relation to hardware. I have definitely adapted here as I have already begun setting up my hardware for explore phase iteration 2.
  • Changes to be made
    • My future prototypes will be overall smaller, especially after I do some more research on portion sizes for younger kids. Also, I am going to explore moving my star tracker board into the housing of the plate design. One other thing I will began to iterate is the incorporation of a like. Will it snap on top like a tubberware lid? Lift up like a pencil case lid? Or could I have some poof that stretches over the top of the container? All of the above will be explored.

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