Breakdowns as Pleasurable Experiences


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Concept that unifies user’s task flows with eco-friendly options on washing machine interfaces. This was in response to the ask: “create a design solution that encourages and persuades people to adopt more energy-saving behavior instead of just informing."

This project was done in collaboration with Whirlpool.

My teammates for this project were Dennis Ellis and Vamsi Chaitanya. This is one of the projects for Marty Siegel's Rapid Design for Slow Change course at Indiana University Bloomington.

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Breakdowns as Pleasurable Experiences

  1. 1. Breakdowns as Pleasurable Experiences Dennis Ellis | Vamsi Pasupuleti | Angélica Rosenzweig
  2. 2. Predispositions - Some people don’t want to continually check on their appliances. - Interactions with appliances in themselves can be pleasurable. - Slow change in behavior can be attained through repetitive actions.
  3. 3. Target Users 2nd or 3rd generation (late) adopters They may know about the energy-saving capabilities but cannot be bothered with lots of information about use. In-and-out users Getting the job done is most important, doesn’t want to spend too much time messing with controls.
  4. 4. Research Primary Research: Artifact Analysis - Identify interaction points with appliances at home for 3 individuals - Breakdown existing workflow when interacting with appliances
  5. 5. Research Insight: Complex appliance controllers are often ignored. Interaction with coffee machine: plug-in, start, plug-off when done
  6. 6. Research Insight: Immediate feedback is expected from fine-tuning Interaction with stove: Increase/decrease heat intensity
  7. 7. Research Primary Research: Ethnography (Appliance section, Sears) - Played around with different appliances - Identified points of interaction - Viewed competitor solutions
  8. 8. Research Insight: The first and main form of interaction with any appliance is either a handle or a nob.
  9. 9. Research Insight: There is a finite number of output modes currently used in Appliances. These modes are lights, sounds, and textures.
  10. 10. Existing Interface The energy-saving functions on washer and dryer units are disconnected with the first interaction a person has, which is with the nob. Connecting parts of the interface that perform similar tasks can help clarify task flows for people.
  11. 11. Secondary Research 1.Present-at-hand attitude towards appliances 2. Take advantage of possible “breakdowns” that occur when the appliance becomes present-at-hand. Present-at-hand is an idea taken from Martin Heidegger. Present-at-hand is an attitude that is adopted towards an object. This attitude occurs when breakdowns in the user journey happen. We understand breakdowns as moments in an interaction where attention is called to the interaction. These moments need not be jarring, but can be simple moments of reflection and discovery with an object. We use the present-at-hand attitude to call attention to energy-saving behaviors and reward people with smooth and pleasurable interactions.
  12. 12. Design Core Make the appliance a more meaningful part of the home by increasing the capabilities for interaction. - Do this by creating pleasurable breakdowns to make eco-friendly attitudes present-at-hand
  13. 13. Concept Unifying different task flows on washer and dryer interfaces with lights.
  14. 14. The static “home” state of the washer interface. The knob starts to glow when approached. In this way, the washer unit greets each person.
  15. 15. Here, the person has selected the “Normal” setting. Notice that the Start button illuminates in the same color that illuminates the knob. Here, the person has selected the “Permanent Press” setting. Notice that the Start button illuminates in the same color that illuminates the knob.
  16. 16. Now the person decides to try the “Eco” setting. Notice that the color call outs are different and more elaborate for the Eco setting. These call outs help guide each person to the appropriate controls on the washer.
  17. 17. Experiential Prototype A washing machine user interface to test and learn how simple changes can lead to changes in user’s actions. - Tested 4 users, all said the blue eco-friendly light mode was more appealing, and seemed surprised to see the change in color.
  18. 18. Conclusion - Simple changes in can fit in a user’s workflow, and make frequently unused modes of operation present-to-hand. - Our concept maintain’s user’s mental models while creating a window of opportunity to affect change. - Similar approaches can be taken with other appliances without big changes in modes of operation.
  19. 19. Thank you Whirlpool UX team Marty Siegel Chung-Ching Huang