Introduction to Research Questions and Methods Used

1. Map out what you know so far

First, our team wanted to identify the important parts of our Part 1 research that we needed to keep in mind while completing Part 2. To do this, the team used the Affinity Diagramming method to recognize important stakeholders, context/relevant activities, laws/policies, and tools/artifacts of the coffee making process. Our first iteration of our Affinity Diagram can be found below, in which the team grouped notes in the same color representing the same category.

The team then made a second iteration of the Affinity Diagram, in which notes that were related to each other were grouped together to form similar groupings. This iteration of the diagram can be found below.

Next, our team identified some parts of our research that emerged as conflicting concepts in which he had to discuss and keep in the back of our minds while completing the rest of the project. The list is as follows:

  • Choosing a new more recyclable material could impact current manufacturing processes
  • Selling disposable K-cups makes Keurig money, will hurt profits if making recyclable k-cups costs more
  • Consumers won’t want to recycle k-cups if they have to take time to disassemble and clean them
  • Consumer purchase k-cups for their convenience and efficiency, which leads to the design of k-cups being how they are. Keurig must find a way to keep this convenience while also making the process more environmentally friendly.
  • Consumers will buy fewer k-cups if they are more expensive


2. Dig deeper via user-focused research

Research Questions

Our group came up with 10 research questions in order to kickstart our research and allow the group to choose appropriate research methods to answer the questions. The questions are as follows:

  1. Why do people choose to use the specific type of coffee maker that they do on the daily basis?
  2. What are the important factors that people consider when determining how they want to go about making their coffee?
  3. What does the daily coffee making routine look like for both Keurig users and non-Keurig users?
  4. What causes people to change their coffee making method that they currently use and why?
  5. How much quicker is using a Keurig over competing coffee brewing methods?
  6. What solutions currently exist to make the Keurig machine more sustainable?
  7. How often do people make full pots of coffee as opposed to individual cups? What challenges do they face depending on their coffee making process?
  8. What are the differences in Keurig use at an office vs a home setting?
  9. What steps are required to make a cup of coffee with a Keurig?
  10. What are more sustainable coffee making processes?

Research Methods

To meet the desired research questions, each group member performed a different type of research method:

Doug: Interview with daily user

Andrew: Interview non-Keurig coffee drinker

Ben: Cognitive Walkthrough

Matt: Love Letter/Breakup Letter 

Individual website pages detail the documentation created from these research methods, as well as a brief summary of the take-aways from each method.

Stakeholders to Research

With our different research methods, our team intended to gain perspectives on the following stakeholders:

  1. Keurig User
  2. Non-Keurig Users
  3. People who have used multiple coffee making processes including Keurig
  4. Keurig users in an office space