I decided to make a prototype of an immersion blender design. I chose this because this device is something I would be most likely to use myself.
OXO is known for their universal design that is comfortable and easy to use. After looking at their website and browsing through their products, I saw that their designs are very minimal and with smooth and rounded edges. Therefore, I wanted to focus my design around these characteristics. I also wanted to focus on making the design simple and the buttons easy to use with minimal unnecessary hand movements.
For my first prototype, I used newspaper, cardstock, and masking tape. The grip of the blender is narrow at the top and wider at the bottom, this allows a more firm grip for the user and so that it will not slide around. The top part of the blender sticks out a little above the index finger to prevent slipping as well.
The on/off button is in the front where your index finger would naturally be placed, making it easy for the user to turn it on and off without needed to move their hand or use another hand. I didn’t want to make the speed changing too easy to change with just one hand, to prevent the user from accidentally switching the speed. Therefore, I made it at the top of the blender which you can rotate to change the speed with the other hand.
I did my user test on two people. The video below is just from the first participant. Tasks I gave my participants was to
- Show me how you would hold the device
- Show me how you would turn the device on/off
- Show me what the current speed is set at
- Show me how you would change the speed to 3
The first person found it pretty self-explanatory and had no issues using it. The only problematic part of my test (as shown in the video), is that I did not give background on what the object was so my participant asked me what it was first. The buttons were simple and he could easily carry out the tasks that I gave him.
However, my second participant had some trouble figuring out how to use it. She said that the on/off button is placed in an odd position for the size of the device. Her fingers wrap around her thumb so it is kind of weird to have the button in the front. To fix this, she said I could make the device thicker. A mistake I made was that I designed my blender to fit in my own hand (which is pretty small…). Also, the arrow pointing to the speed number wasn’t obvious to her. This is probably just because of this rough paper prototype I made. The design for this feature was more improved and made more obvious in my second iteration below.
- Make the grip section thicker
- Make the indication of the speed more apparent by placing it on the top
- Hide the newspaper with masking tape
- Make the bottom of the blender more apparent by adding a blade