* DESIGN OF
THE YEAR 2016
Samsung Electronics Pte Ltd Product Innovation Team - Singapore (SEA + Oceania)
Samsung's AddWash feature is the world's first distinctive access door on front-load washing machines that allows users to add items during a wash cycle without opening the main door. Typically, this is not possible in front-loading machines as the door locks once the cycle has begun. By creating a second door that can be opened throughout the washing process, users can intervene at any time to add fabric conditioner, extra cleaning agents or other pieces of laundry.READ MORE
ABOUT THE DESIGNER
"Our customers are at the heart of our business. Understanding the evolving needs and wants of customers is fundamental to our design process. It fuels our ability to create thoughtful innovations that enhance their daily lives."
Samsung Electronics is a global leader in technology. It is transforming the world of consumer electronics, spanning televisions and digital appliances to smartphones and computers. With an aspiration to create new technologies that inspire the world, the company operates more than 30 research and development innovation centres internationally.READ MORE
Samsung Electronics Pte Ltd
Product Innovation Team - Singapore (SEA + Oceania)
Wong Kok Keong
DIGITAL APPLIANCE STRATEGY PLANNING SALES AND MARKETING SOUTH KOREA
DA ADVANCE R AND D
Dongyoung Kim (S. Korea)
DA R AND D
Hankyu Choi (S. Korea)
Dong Won Chun (S. Korea)
The second door provides easy access for adding softener or additional garments at any time during the wash cycle.
(Photo by: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd)
AddWash's distinctive access door has revolutionised the washing process.
(Photo by: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd)
(Photo by: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd)
An early AddWash concept rendering.
(Render by: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd)
‘‘Our customers are at the heart of our business. Understanding the evolving needs and wants of consumers is fundamental to our design process. It fuels our ability to create thoughtful innovations that enhance their daily lives.’’
Insights from the Recipient
What was the brief and objective?
Ken Ding: The objective was to innovate with new features that would help increase the adoption of front-load washers over top-load washers in Southeast Asia. Front-load washing machines are important as they consume less water and are more energy efficient.
What 'problem' does this design solve?
Ken: When it comes to doing laundry in Southeast Asia, there is a strong trend of interacting with the wash cycle. For example, in Thailand, housewives like to add fabric conditioner at their own particular time in the wash cycle to maximise the fragrance. People also like to add extra detergent or other cleaning agents during the wash cycle.
This interaction is not possible in front-loading machines as the door locks once the cycle has begun and the user cannot intervene with the process. By having a second door that can be opened during the washing process, people can intervene at any time during the wash cycle. The design includes a child safety feature, which prevents the drum from rotating whenever the door needs to be opened.
What challenges did you encounter during the design/manufacturing process?
Ken: The biggest challenge was the manufacturing of the moulded glass door with an opening, to meet the desired product quality and cost. We had to source for new external manufacturing partners outside our region with the right capability, to work together with the research and development team in our headquarters. To ensure the intent of the design was kept, the design team had to constantly communicate and ensure alignment across key functional stakeholders. This included having our team members working at the headquarters in South Korea during the development process.
What is your design philosophy?
Ken: At Samsung, "inspired by humans, creating the future" is our design philosophy. We believe that design should be intuitive, attractive and simple. Above all, it must bring value and joy to people's lives.
We also believe that everyone is different, with different requirements. Therefore, when we innovate, we don't take a one-size-fits-all approach. We keep innovating in every product category and in every region around the world, trying to offer people the products and services that are just right for them. In other words, we design the experience around humans, not around technology.
How does the end-user experience motivate you as a designer?
Ken: The core value driving Samsung's products has always been thoughtful design, which translates into functional innovation. By taking the time to understand what matters most to consumers, we strive to create products that will have a meaningful impact on the way we live. We believe that great innovation begins with understanding the needs and wants of people. This understanding is the first step in our design process. Research and insights allows us to consider every possibility and aspect that could improve consumers' daily lives.
What impact does design have on innovation and the economy?
Ken: Thoughtful design paves the way for successful innovation that solves problem and delivers value. Samsung is powered by a vision – we want to understand what people need and want; then we push the limits of what technology can do; and finally, we add design that makes our innovation more relevant everybody's lives, so that we can give people new experiences through aspirational products and services.
We believe these innovative products enhance and tailor experiences to people's lifestyles. The ability to create a desire and preference for products and services is central in innovation, and stimulating buying behaviour is one of the key factors contributing to the growth of an economy. On the supply side, we recognise that in today's knowledge-based economy, intangible assets such as skills and know-how have a growing importance in the ability to meet the sophisticated needs and ants of consumers. This is why we constantly invest in training all our staff around the world. After all, it is the skills, expertise, insight, inventiveness and drive of our people that underpin our success.
What existing design do you think has a positive impact on society?
Ken: Successful product design consists of both aesthetic and functional appeals, and also considers the broader environmental and social impact in the product development process. With today's increasingly discerning and sophisticated consumers who are influenced by various buying factors, it is essential to deliver products that provide true consumer value. For instance, the internet and smart phones have given consumers the freedom to stay connected inspiring a world of possibilities and making their lives better.
AddWash is an innovative feature in a range of Samsung front-load washing machines. It enables users to add articles of clothing mid-cycle via a secondary door within the main one - a convenient advantage that, until now, has been limited to top-load washers.
Based on a seemingly simple insight gleaned from customer research, the design team at Samsung Consumer Insight Group successfully exploited a common customer pain-point that has long been overlooked. The result is a product feature that has effectively engendered a new category in washing machines that has the potential to sway buyers towards front-load washers. In addition to the advantage of using less water while providing superior wash quality, from a commercial perspective, this design innovation will result in better margins for Samsung, proving, once again, the aphorism that good design is good business.
This is an exemplary case of how insights generated from an astute observation of Southeast Asian domestic habits were used to create an innovation that has global application and commercial relevance.VIEW JURORS
VICE PRESIDENT MARKETING
SAMSUNG ASIA PTE LTD
The product is a world's first in terms of innovation and design. Its design is based on deep consumer insights gathered from across all of Samsung's Southeast Asian markets. Clearly differentiated with a unique selling point, the product has been very well-received in South Korea since its launch last December.
The AddWash is nominated for Design of the Year because it offers a unique design and innovation that enhances the user experience in front-load washers. It is a synthesis of in-depth consumer insights in Southeast Asia and globally, intuitive ergonomics, and thoughtful design that streamlines the assembly and manufacturing process.
AddWash also addresses the desire among regional Southeast Asian consumers to interact with the laundry process, as well as the broader global frustration with front-loading washing machines. By having a second door that can be opened during the washing process, the consumer can intervene at any time to add fabric conditioner or extra cleaning agents, as well as overlooked items of laundry. The design includes a child safety feature, which prevents the drum from rotating whenever the door is opened.