The Professional guide to User Experience

Since SpeeDelight has been wowing design audiences with its user experience edge, we ask Michele Cadamuro, Head of Design, Electrolux Professional, to explain what UX means for our business.

We’ve heard of UX – but can you give us a brief intro to what it’s really all about?
The term UX (user experience) gained wider knowledge thanks to the US design guru Donald Norman in the mid-90s and refers to a person’s emotions and attitudes about using a particular product, system or service – both physical and digital.

Why is UX especially important to Electrolux Professional?
In Professional, UX focus is on product efficiency, effectiveness and safety – we design tools to improve profitability for our customers. Improving the work environment of end users is key.

There are multiple kinds of users and stakeholders, multiple domains, context of uses, countries and product categories – each one with specific needs. Good UX contributes in mapping and analyzing those specific pain points and creating solutions. All this makes UX in Professional extremely challenging and fascinating.

So, how does Professional work with UX when designing new products?
Over the last two years, we have implemented ergonomics testing in our development process and analysis. We also include usability testing to prove to our customers that our products are best in class, with statistical evidence of effectiveness and efficiency, as well as continuous lean testing for customer input on development.

Digital transformation is increasingly affecting UX today, in terms of both physical and digital products, with new technologies such as virtual reality, wearable sensors, eye tracking and emotional recognition.  Social networks are also of course a tool for us to better understand customer needs and get feedback. 

SpeeDelight recently won two prestigious Plus X Awards. Among other things, it was commended for design, ease of use and functionality. What are the specific UX design features that makes this product stand out?
With SpeeDelight, we improved the product experience by using an extremely easy-to-use control panel that can adapt complexity to the different users (end users, manager, and service).

Following extensive user observation, the opening and closing of the lid has been simplified – it opens automatically when the sandwich is ready while closing is a simple push without any movement required to fix the handle. The glass plate has been lowered to optimize ergonomics and the handle profile widely researched and verified to facilitate grip and comfort.

UX considers all kind of users; service technicians are an important user typology. The maintenance, which is key in day-to-day business, is simpler and more efficient – panels are easy to dismount, screws are easy to reach and the main components are easy to access, if necessary.

What about the UX approach to Professional’s other product launches?
The key to exceptionally great UX lies in the combination of user, business and technology understanding, connected by strong collaboration across functions and competencies.

We are just at the beginning of our journey. Many important steps towards a new way of working have been made and more will happen as we always keep our customers front of mind – spending our energy on making their lives easier to deal with.

UX for profitable growth
“Improving the experience of our customers is essential to compete and win in our business where efficiency and productivity play a key role. Design – with its new disciplines – is key in this journey and we will invest further around UX in the future in terms of tools, processes and talents to be a leading company in this field and guarantee remarkable customer experiences.”
Marco Bulgherhoni, Head of Global R&D, Electrolux Professional

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