Plan out user experience of using laundry appliance and influence hardware design to serve best experience.
It is a proposal for one of two phases in a competition by Electrolux. First phase of the competition focused on its hardware design. The brief for second phase was to improve user experience from first phase’s winning concept, especially on the panel. The first phase winner proposed for a washing machine with one extra door where people can steam-dry one pair of clothes. I thought that is a very brilliant idea, especially for young people who live alone or with small family who has to save space.
I started researching what are the most common problems people had with washing their clothes, how our change on society affects the way they wash their clothes. People leave their parents’ home earlier than ever. One of the most common issues is most washing machine users are beginner users. Most of the washing modes are foreign to them, they don’t know every single setting to choose from.
My idea was to make it easier for users to know the settings they need by following step-by-step instructions. Using washing machine is a routine and clothing types are typically similar. Once they know which setting fits best, they can quickly choose that, without needing to go through step-by-step instructions.
Rather than bombarding the users with a lot of buttons, I tried to declutter the panel. The system flow is also simplified to reduce redundant steps. An interactive panel enables to cater both beginner users and advanced users.
I had to adjust the hardware design too, as it was hard to tell if the buttons are to operate the washing function or the dryer. I split the controls to make them distinguishable, which controllers are for washing and dryer.