Cooking Study

Using cognitive empathy to understand people's mental models as they cook. 



A home appliance design team from a large technology corporation came to gotoresearch [a design consultancy in San Francisco] wanting to understand people's thought process as they cook or prepare a meal.  Our client wanted to develop a deeper understanding of how people approach cooking and identify groups of people with similar thinking styles.



Gotoresearch partnered with a leading research consultant to conduct field visits in the Bay area.  Using a cognitive emapthy technique in the form of listening sessions, our team shadowed 8 different people as they prepared meals.  



  • Field visits

  • Listenning sessions

  • Informal mental model diagram

  • Interpretation sessions

Informal Mental Model 

Informal Mental Model 


We delivered universal thinking concepts, audience segments, and an informal mental model diagram to our client.  These deliverables provided our client with an understanding of the opportunities about ways to meet the needs of customers during key moments in their cooking journeys.