Study by Chef: User Experience Meets Psychology

How do you get to the bottom of something as fleeting and unconscious as user decisions, when users themselves often can not put into words why they made this or that click? “You can not ask the users directly about the experience or motivation, you have to act indirectly,” says Sebastian Buggert, a graduate psychologist and a member of the board of Rheingold. This particularly concerns a topic such as cooking, which is psychologically very complex.

Also from a UX perspective, it is a topic that, according to Katharina Ernst, is very personal and emotionally charged. “There is not only a clear user journey or conversion as with other products, which is usually a lot of work in product development,” said Ernst, UX Researcher at Chefkoch GmbH.

The cooking journey on the trail

For the study, real cooking courses were explored in depth interviews. They had the cooking and the use of supporting services in detail and retell step by step, “from the first thought of cooking something, up to the possible food posting on Instagram,” said Buggert.

2019 Katharina Ernst
Katharina Ernst is UX Researcher at the Chefkoch GmbH (Image: Chef)

“In addition, we have identified various situational needs along the Koch Journey, examining exactly which rational and emotional drivers are at work, which solutions are being used, how satisfied the users are, which processes the usage situations are and what potential the chef has Platform in different usage moments. “

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More on the subject: The magic of psychology in food shops

Beyond target groups and Co.

“Our aim was to understand the situational motivation for use, the psychological function of the various applications at the moment of use,” says Buggert. The aim of the company was to present comprehensively what the chef is looking for from the user’s perspective.

“In the first step, we wanted to first get an overview of the motives for use and validate our own previous assumptions,” she says. A total of 21 user motifs were identified, which bring a lot of potential. “In a second step, we quantified these 21 motives to see which motives are most important to users in using Chef, and identified the motives we will focus on in product development in the future, and who we are even more prioritize. “

Sebastian Buggert Rheingold Institute
Sebastian Buggert is a psychologist and member of the management board at Rheingold (Image: Rheingold)

According to Buggert, it was important in the study to clearly go beyond the consideration of socio-demographic target groups or mere usage data. Instead, the identification of the motifs in concrete moments of use and the mapping of these motifs, the so-called need mapping, should provide the basis for product development and marketing.

A precious tool for product and marketing

The goal for the chef was to have a database of qualitative user insights that could be used to guide every decision in product development. With success: behind every Insight, which was worked out in the study, put a lot of information – “typical behaviors, desired goals on a social and emotional level, backed by original quotations, and so on”.

A project in which the study has already played a major role is the app “Chef SmartList”, which was launched in April – a digital shopping list, in the development of which the qualitative results from the study were massively incorporated. Because only for the seemingly obvious cooking cycle phase “procure ingredients” three different motives have been identified, which have made clear where potential for improvement lies dormant for the user.

For example, because of the “shopping plan, forgetting nothing” theme, different types of planners have been identified, from pragmatic shoppers, who only write down the most important things, to meticulous planners who factor in quantity and detail for each ingredient. “We included that in the app, where you can now optionally add various features to the items, such as brand, size or fat content.”

But not only in product development, the results are used, also in marketing, they came into play. “It is important to us that marketing does not focus on features, but on the added value that we want to bring to the user,” explains Katharina Ernst. “So for new features, we’re communicating the benefits they bring, which in turn is based on the insights we have about the user, and because we know what added value means for the user, we can communicate that added value.”

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