Hypothesis Testing 01_Assumption mapping

For my hypothesis, I want to share what I’ve conducted with assumption mapping and validating my hypothesis with a prototype. Assumption mapping is writing down all the assumptions, questions, and ideas about my thesis topic “baby food and nutrition”, and picking the most critical one I want to validate. Then lastly,I test it.


As I mentioned earlier, my topic is about baby food and nutrition. The ultimate goal of my thesis project is bringing a happy baby food experience to family table. I wrote all my assumptions down.

1. Picky eating: Making a child less picky eater is the main issue I want to solve through this project. I wrote what I found from my research and my own ideas down. For example, as I mentioned in previous blog post, the weaning food period will greatly affect babies into becoming picky or non-picky eaters.

2. Enjoying moment: In terms of feeding a child, it’s the best if the child and the parents can enjoy the experience. For example, letting a child explore and play with colorful foods.

3. Nutrition: Parents care about nutrition. But are they really checking nutrition when they provide food for their babies? These kind of questions were included in this topic.

Assumptions mapping on Risk Metrics

For the next step, I mapped my assumptions on risk metrics. There are two criteria for risk metrics, high risk/low risk and known/unknown. Risky assumption means that if the assumption turned out to be false, my thesis topic or direction will be shaken. Unknown assumption means that I am not sure whether the assumption is true or not. By making these metrics, I found 4assumptions that are unknown and high risk.

• Providing various alternative foods for picky eaters

• Learning the color, aroma, texture of foods is very helpful

• Parents considering nutrition balance in baby food

• Other various types of weaning food are good for making babies less picky

Hypothesis statements

I transformed each assumption statement into a format that is easier to test: a hypothesis statement.

I will pick one (or more) to validate with a prototype/experiment I can build in three weeks. The key to writing a good hypothesis is to be as specific on outcomes as possible. Here’s an enhanced hypothesis format:

We believe that [doing this/building this feature/creating this experience] for [these people/personas] will achieve [this outcome]. We will know this is true when we see [this market feedback, quantitative measure, or qualitative insight].

Iteration of the two hypotheses

The key to making a hypothesis testable is to simplify. The way to do this is to make one element an operational factor and all the others controlled factors. It is to test only one factor objectively so that making the result of test/experiment clear.

First of all, I made a hypothesis out of the two assumptions below.

• Parents consider nutrition balance in baby food

• Providing various alternative foods for picky eaters

Hypothesis 1.

(Version 1) I believe that if parents understand nutrition-balanced alternatives to foods that toddlers refuse, it will provide toddlers food they like.

This hypothesis tests two things. Parents should know how to measure Nutrition balance, and they also need to know what alternative food means. This needs to be simplified into one thing to test. I am going to test only one, how parents will feel if they have a better measuring tool for nutrition balance. So here’s the next version of this hypothesis.

(Final Version) I believe that if parents have an *easy way to measure balance in nutrition, it will help parents feel more relieved with health issue for their baby.

* Easy way to measure balance in nutrition = Satisfy daily amount of each food group(Fruit, Vegetable, Dairy, Protein, Grain) based on calorie needs

I clarified what the easy way means in this hypothesis so that it will be more clear to test with a prototype.

Hypothesis 2.

Secondly, I made a hypothesis out of the two assumptions below.

• Providing other various foods when providing weaning food is good for making babies less picky

(Version 1) I believe that if parents provide various, kinds of food to toddler when they start to eat weaning food, it will make them less picky in eating.

I wanted to test a method that I had heard was effective for making a child become less picky at eating. The hypothesis above had such a big problem that it needed long time to test than usual. But I only had three weeks to test. So I decided to go with the assumption below.

• Learning the color, aroma, and a texture of foods will be helpful

And here is a hypothesis for the assumption.

(Final Version) I believe that a *one bite experience with the *same ingredients prepared many different ways will help a child enjoy eating by discovering different colors, textures and aromas.

* One bite experience = Letting a child try a bite of food. Parents should keep proposing the food and talk about its feeling, taste, color.

* Same ingredients prepared many different ways(Optional: steamed, baked, grilled, seasoned with sauce).

Next Step

Now, I have two hypothesis completed for testing. The next step will be making a prototype for hypothesis 1. Planning user research and validating the hypothesis will be implemented. After this, I will start testing hypothesis 2.

(Updated 26th January)