Gaining people’s insights and experiences: developing sustainable design considerations for small household appliances

Small household appliances as an expanding product category involves wide-ranging and ever-increasing products, and their acceptance grows incrementally in domestic environments. Yet, sustainable design considerations for this product group have not emerged from the perspective of users involving their use and post-use patterns. Consequently, this paper focuses on developing these considerations in the areas of effective use of resources (i.e. electricity and water), and product maintenance and repair based on people's everyday experiences, needs and preferences. As a part of a long-term design research, the study presented in this paper includes the findings from seven exploratory Generative Focus Group (GFG) sessions, on five diverse product types (i.e. electric coffee makers, electric tea makers, contact grills, vacuum cleaners, and hand blenders/choppers) conducted with 30 users in total. The GFG is a generative and participatory research method which incorporates two diverse and complementary tools which are timelines (i.e. individual and inclusive) to get information about the use phases of a selected product, and product diagrams to identify issues about product maintenance and repair in relation to product parts. The GFG sessions were analysed, and the findings and insights from these sessions were interpreted based on the evolving sustainability considerations (e.g. accessibility of product parts for cleaning, visibility of resource consumption, ease of dismantling product parts, etc.) for small household appliances on the selected product types. The exploratory GFG sessions have helped the research team focus on the particulars of these product types in line with the sustainability considerations through understanding people's awareness and opinions on the research topics, and gaining their insights on use and post-use experiences.
Citation Formats
D. Oğur, Y. Bakırlıoğlu, Ç. Doğan, and S. Turhan, “Gaining people’s insights and experiences: developing sustainable design considerations for small household appliances,” presented at the Transforming Production and Consumption in Time and Place International Conference,( 22 - 24 Mayıs 2015), Adelaide, Avustralya, 2015, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: