Brava is a smart countertop oven that uses light to cook food in a precise way. It speeds up the cooking process by 2.5 times on average than a regular oven. It has a built in LCD screen, an app and a website, having hundreds of pretested recipes.
Brava is looking to improve user retention by introducing social elements into the product experience. User profile, being the foundation of all social features, comes first in the roadmap.
I was tasked to design the profile feature from 0 to 1 while keeping the engineering scope under control.
Feature level lead product design
PM, design director
We have a facebook community that is quite active. Brava users organically talk about what they've cooked, what new custom cooks they've created, as well as their personal stories with Brava. However, not all users are on Facebook. We want to keep users engaged in the native product, so they can discover more value within it, without leaving to another platform.
Also, according to the IKEA effect, customers place high value in products that they partially created. Social features, in reality is something that the product and the users create together.
An engaged, curious user who uses one custom cook created by another user would like to also learn more about that user, and browse other custom cooks the he has created.
A user who's reading the comments of a recipe program would like to learn more about a person who commented.
An engaged user would like to showcase her custom cooks, because she want to be seen and recognized.
Countertop Oven: Users are in different modes when they're on the three platforms. A typical user interacts with the physical product--the Brava oven the most, but it requires users to stand still and be very focused on the cooking task at hand. The interactions that are most suitable for this standing mode, are tasks that are short in time.
Mobile app: While users are siting or on the move, mobile app is quite handy for them to casually browse inspirations & check out recipe programs refreshed each week. An engaged user who is adventurous enough to try out new recipes every now and then use the app more often, and is our main target for the new social features.
Website: Though not many existing users use website after they purchased the oven, a lot of potential buyers would go online and check available recipe programs/custom cooks and get a sense of how much quality content there is on the platform. Social feature would be a nice to have for website.
So, we quickly decides to focus our efforts on mobile app and the website.
When Profile feature is in development, a few other features are being conceived at the same time, e.g. Collections & Search. So I mapped the system out with this conceptual model diagram to reflect how Profile and other features would affect the big picture. When everything is mapped, it's easier to get everyone in the product team aligned on the high level thinking.
Previous: we have a very basic skeleton of the account page in the app. User generated content like Custom Cooks were stacked in the same lists as settings.
Now: Spotlighting user's profile, user generated content and activities, making the profile page more salient. It also makes others' profiles a more meaningful place to visit.
Since users seldom interact with their Wallet and General settings, I proposed to hide these infrequently visited items into a hamburger menu, so that the user profile page could be simplified and also decrease cognitive load.
Users can discover featured profiles at the bottom in the homepage of the app. This encourages users to check out others' profiles and follow other users.
Users can follow users when browsing custom cooks created by another user. After following happens, the Following tab in Custom Cook Search page will be populated with custom cooks created by people that one is currently following.
User can tap to view another users profile from Comments.
Since this is a new feature, we have two user groups that will be introduced to Profile feature differently, new users and existing users. Depending on which platform user's on first, they could be introduced to "Profile" for the first time, either on their Brava oven LCD screen displays, the mobile app, or the web.
According to our usage data analysis, on a weekly basis ~65% logged in users use the Brava oven only . About 19% logged in users uses both the app and the oven every week. Only ~2% uses all three platforms. This data maps to our assumptions, since users are not always in the mood of exploring. One thing they do often is to go to favorites or recents, and cook a previously cooked dish.
However, typing on a keyboard on a fixed 5' X 7' horizontal screen poses a lot of friction, also there's not an easy way to add a photo from the oven screen. While we're expecting someone who's a more engaged user(who typically uses the app) to adopt the profile feature the earliest, we want to lower the friction for oven only users so that they could create profiles as effortless as more engaged app users.
This is the reason why we want to focus on getting the app feature introduction flow solidified, and create a pathway between the oven to the app, so that users can create profile with less physical effort.
A new user creates an account for the first time:
An existing user is prompted to create profile:
I use the notification on the Brava oven LCD screen to educate and direct users to edit their profile further in the mobile app.
There were two main ideas explored for default profile photos before they're modified by users.
Randomly assigned profile photos. The icons are geometric shape based, food ingredient themed, with colors we currently use. Visually this option looks more interesting, but we fear that it could hold back users from uploading their own profile images.
Simple and basic, a light grey chef hat icon.
According to The Zeigarnik Effect, users tend to feel bad when things are left in an unfinished state. So leaving things in a clear default state actually motivate users to finish the task, which is replacing it with their own profile images.
Since we do want to encourage users to use their own profile images (user research has proven that personalization is a huge factor in increasing product engagement), we ended up choosing option 2.
The project is still on going, and a large part of it is still pending implementation(e.g. following).
What I gained the most from this project, is the experience of learning to build a product feature and its discovery flow across different platforms with the least amount of friction.
For measuring success, we set out to measure these few things below:
Feature level adoption:
How many % of existing user have updated their profile name/bio/photo after User Profile is released?
How many % of new users create their profile with name/bio/photos?
By measuring adoption, we can tell if this feature is providing value to our users.
Feature level engagement:
How many times does a user visits their own Profile page?
How many times does a user visits another user's profile?
How many times does an average user follow someone?
How does weekly active user count change on the app & oven, after we released Profile?