Brava pain-point study

Remote User interviews research study


It's been a while since holistic user research was done at Brava(about 2 years). In order to understand how users think of the current user experience, I planned, recruited, and facilitated 35 remote user interview sessions with another part-time researcher and presented the findings at the company level.


UX researcher


Design director/researcher


1 month, 2020

High level Research questions

What are the key pain points that brava users tend to face that discourage them to use Brava over time?

A few hypotheses we started with:
1. Not enough flexibility in Recipes presets
2. Learning curve with how to use Brava to cook
3. Too many Recipes --making it hard to choose.


The primary research method used in this project is a 30min user interview, using a template script, conducted via Zoom. The interviews are recorded if the user has given permission for us to do so (most have.)

The research script was developed around hypotheses that the product team and I worked together on. We started by asking general information about the participant, then recalling their last brava cook and what that experience was like, how they typically use the brava, then some additional questions regarding the app/web usage as well as competitor products they use. In the end, the "magic wand" question. In the middle, when the topic comes up that relates to the hypotheses we developed, we probe more to get details. However, we tried to keep the conversation as open-ended as possible.

Me and another researcher took turns to interview and take notes.

Recruiting participants that are representative

• 11 users from our post purchase survey (email list)
• 16 users from Brava Facebook community (screener post)
• 8 users from NPS survey email respondents (email list)
• Users are told they will receive a $15 Amazon card for completing an interview, as a thanks for their time (a few were $30- to select for low NPS because participation is low) 

Selecting participants by Brava Persona

I used a screener survey for email and FB groups to select for core persona (DINK, Busy Family, Empty Nester)
DINK: 12 (34.3%) Busy Family with kids: 11 (31.4%) Empty Nester: 10 (28.6%) Other: 2 (5.7%)

Selecting participants by demographics, attitude&aptitude

In the screener I also filtered applicants by geographic area, culinary enthusiasm, and tech savviness to try to have even coverage for each of these attributes.

Selecting participants by NPS

At first there're a lot of participants who signed up and have a high NPS score. In order to avoid biased NPS in the sample group, I reviewed the most current NPS responses and found the ratio of promoters and detractors, and try to balance that across all research participants.

Research Synthesis and Analysis

I formatted all the observations in a rainbow spreadsheet and collaborated with the peer researcher on another data table with other metrics coming from the screener survey. Patterns and themes start to appear.

Learnings and Impact

A few key takeaways are identified during the research study. Many of them confirmed our hypothesis, but we learned more about the nuances. The statements are also much more powerful, coming from the users directly. To make it more visible and memorable, I made a "greatest hits of all time" style 1min video from the interview recordings. I wrote a report then presented the research findings at the company level.

One of the ideas that came up during the follow-up brainstorming session is to consolidate all the brava related educational material into one place and make it easy to browse and search. I continued to lead the support site redesign project in Q1 2021 in collaboration with our customer success team, and now it is shipped and live.

It inspires the culinary team to develop the type of content in the future. E.g., combinations, protein cooks that don't need the temp sensor, creating international Recipes that are more diversified, etc.

It also inspires the business team to consider wireless temp sensor more seriously.

Closing Thoughts

In this project, I expanded my skillset in generative user research a great deal. I come to know that recruiting itself in user research is not an easy job, seriously.

Due to the unique situation that we're a hardware company and shipping fee is costly for a big and heavy product like us, we couldn't ship our products to non-customers and get their feedback. So we went with existing users who already have a brava.

In the end, this research inspired future design projects and helped shape the product roadmap. There's nothing more rewarding than knowing that my work has a meaningful impact.