Assess usability and consumer experience of new home appliance feature

A consumer products manufacturer wanted to evaluate multiple designs of a new feature for small home appliance.

Challenge

A consumer products manufacturer sought to test the usability of a new feature for a currently available product. The manufacturer hoped to gain insight into customers’ first impressions at the shelf and to understand which of four proposed designs led to a more successful and intuitive experience.

Approach

We asked current product owners and new users to react to high-quality renderings and use the product prototypes in a consumer kitchen lab environment. We gave participants access to all tools and ingredients they have in a home kitchen and we observed them navigating the process.

Outcome

Our research uncovered that while the level of intuitiveness varied between prototypes, the product did not match the users’ mental model overall. We found that users ultimately felt successful, even if they did not prepare the product according to the company’s specifications. With our insights, the manufacturer opted to continue development and redesign to better match users’ expectations.