Washing machine UI/UX
There is a big portion of people that are not able to wash their clothes in their apartment, so they use public laundry shops to satisfy this need. The target group is not a specific group of people, for instance women having a household. The majority of people using these shops are students, travelers, tourists and non-permanent residents in general.
The optimization of the use of those shops will make the users’ lives easier and is also necessary for the owners to gain an advantage in the competition in field that is already growing.
It is up to the designer to think of simplified ways that will turn a public washing machine into an easy task, avoiding a lot of explanation and endless instructions. In order to do so, the way users behave and their needs have to be analyzed.
A small survey was conducted, in which 20 people participated. The participants interacted with two interfaces for a minute each and were given no explanation whatsoever. The first one included words describing functions and the second one only symbols. They were asked to run two different hypothetical washing cycles using the two interfaces in 20 seconds. After observing both programming cases, it was evident that their anxiety levels and frustration arose when they were asked to use the symbol interface. They then answered questions about their experience and their misconceptions.
Their responses varied, but the most important observations were that they could not understand at first glance what the programs were and which one should they choose to start with, even if they knew more or less what it was all about. They made it clear that they would prefer some fixed choices, which would give them an idea of how it worked and how they should have acted, and then they would change some settings manually.
Using a natural language system instead of overcomplicated technical numbers and symbols, the design is meant to allow a fluid and seamless interaction. Both analog and digital ways are used in this interface, as analog is very convenient for technology-unfamiliar people, and the display will help users interact with the machine.
Hierarchical Task Analysis
User Interface Flow Chart