Through my HCDE coursework, I had the chance to develop my qualitative research skills through a study of hobbyist cooks. This class really piqued my interest in qualitative methods, and I enjoyed all steps of the process, from conducting interviews and observations, to qualitatively coding findings, to reading existing research and composing a final report.
Conducting interviews and qualitatively coding the results is exciting to me for several reasons. Firstly, I must set aside my own biases in order to ask the right questions and see patterns in the results. The more that I am able to tune out my preconceptions, the more I learn from the interviewee. This has taught me to recognize where my prejudices lie and to push beyond them. Secondly, I see capturing someone's story as a privilege. I love to learn how interviewees see the world, and I always come away from an interview with a new perspective.
For this project, I used interviews, contextual inquiry, and a literature review to learn about how hobbyist cooks build their skills and transition to cooking alone. My findings indicated that for many cooks,