working and baking from home

I really dislike online focus groups. It’s hard to stay awake, it’s hard to keep my eyes focused on the screen for 5 hours, and you miss the facial expressions and interactions between participants that make focus groups interesting. BUT… I can decorate cookies during online focus groups! These cookies are brought to you by 15 hours of focus groups (and a few house of staff meetings… shhh!)

This was honestly one of my best experiences with focus groups. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to bring cookies and icing to focus groups in the future. When (if?) we ever go back to in-person research, I have decided to enjoy a lap craft (knitting?) during the groups. The pandemic has forced us all to figure out where and how we work best. I work best while baking 🙂

One of the benefits of my new cookie decorating environment was that I needed to create a design that was easy to do while participating/talking/engaging. Something simple and easy- a design that didn’t require much focus on my part. The designs below are made up of a series of lines and dots. They aren’t perfect (I can see where I had to stop mid-stream to look up or typed a message to a colleague.) But- not bad for This is the simple lines and dots fair isle pattern I invented during the groups:

These simple designs can be made more complex by adding elements. This one just added more complicated lines.

This one adds an element from the Nordic-style designs I have been doing for years:

Finally, I also recycled/updated a bunch of the Nordic and botanical-style cookies that I have used in previous years:

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