A premium mandoline manufacturer wanted to understand how home chefs assemble and operate its product. For this IHUTnography, mandolines were sent to all respondents. Ten half-hour interviews were conducted with home cooks via webcam. Half were told to use the product at home for a week, and to take pictures documenting how the mandoline was used in food prep. They were then interviewed about their usage experience. The remaining participants were interviewed the moment they opened the box. Participants were asked to assemble the mandoline and then to chop various vegetables. All of this occurred live and on-camera, with the moderator interviewing the participant as clients viewed remotely. The research yielded a number of enhancements to the package design, product, and assembly instructions.
A refrigerated dough manufacturer wanted to understand a decline in sales. 15 category users were recruited to go to their supermarket and purchase the product. They were then asked to prepare the product for their family. Participants videotaped the product prep, as well as their family’s reaction to the product upon serving. After reviewing all the respondent videos, webcam IDIs were conducted. Findings indicated that participants and their families loved the product. What was thought to be a product difficulty was instead a problem with product awareness and packaging. Through this IHUTnography, the brand team was able to identify and solve the key challenges.