2018

IXDS moments with… Gerhard Nüssler, Head of Global Design, BSH Home Appliances

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Through our work, we build up close relationships with our clients, which allows us to get to know and be inspired by a range of interesting, creative people. People who take a unique approach to what they do, and are driven by passions and interests far beyond the boardroom. Through our ‘IXDS moments with…’ series, we’re telling the stories of our community of collaborators, because we want you to have the opportunity to get to know them too. Even if it is only for a few short video minutes.
IXDS moments with… Gerhard Nüssler, Head of Global Design, BSH Home Appliances, Brand Siemens
Meet Gerhard Nüssler

Gerhard is a connoisseur, that’s for sure. And charmingly disarming, too. He enjoys the finer things in life – good design, a nice wine, cooking – and applies this enthusiasm to his work. 

As he says himself: it’s what makes the home appliance field exciting for him. 

Our work with Siemens Household Appliances

As one of the largest manufacturers of home appliances in Europe, Siemens Household Appliances had a big job ahead when it set out to digitize its products and expand into the smart home space. This not only involved looking at design beyond its industrial traditions, but experimenting with emerging technologies, understanding changing user behavior, forming new partnerships, and setting out a future vision that would differentiate it from competitors. 

We’ve been on board with Siemens Household Appliances since 2013, working in close collaboration with Design Departement, to support with this digital transition. And over the past five years, we’ve built up a close, transparent relationship that has enabled us to provide unique, multi-layered support to make its smart home visions tangible, and bring a new era of products to the market.

We have a very cooperative partnership with IXDS; it feels like they are a part of the team. And we grew close over the years. In the end, that‘s what makes the quality of our work together so great – because we have a common understanding.

Gerhard Nüssler

In addition to working hands-on, laying foundations to design and implement digital interfaces into its products in a uniform way, our collaboration has always involved looking at the bigger picture. Beyond designing interfaces, together we’ve been designing the future — using our knowledge of technologies and user research expertise, we’ve helped the BSH team map scenarios for the next generation the smart kitchen. And, like many good discussions, this has centered around the kitchen.

The kitchen vision

Although we have worked on all kinds of home appliances, designing user interfaces for household appliances has always been a priority. And with the opportunities posed by IoT, it’s become an ever more exciting space to explore. But integrating technology — be it voice controlled device interaction or new ways of preparing food — has required an in-depth understanding of user needs through qualitative research. 

So as the kitchen has increasingly become a primary target for those in the business of IoT, we have been working closely with Siemens Household Appliances to ensure that its next generation of products and services not only differentiates from its competitors but ensures its kitchen innovations retain that all important personal touch.  

Beyond the kitchen

As home appliances that are used on a regular – if not daily – basis, designing different interfaces for things like washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, cooktops, and ovens brings with it its own set of challenges: The design needs to be virtually bulletproof, and easy to use universally from the get-go – irrespective of age or cultural background. 

We approach the design of each interface from the user’s perspective and prioritize functionality. In close cooperation with Siemens Home Appliances Design and usability department, we created intuitive designs to ensure there are no dead ends where the user could potentially get stuck. To approach this goal we provide prototypes of the interfaces which will be used in user tests.

Together with Siemens Home Appliances Design, we also extended the core of the brand to its interfaces and developed how UI should look as well as how to implement it consistently throughout all product and appliance categories. 

The avantgarde washing machine and dryer series is one of the first Siemens home appliances to use a touch interface. Another new feature is the light ring around the door, for which we designed the light concept to depict how far along the washing/drying process is. 

Still going strong

Given the complexity of the market, our five-year partnership with Siemens Home Appliances informing, designing and executing their vision for the future smart home, has required a unique multi-layered approach. We’ve combined our expertise in trend and user research — gaining insights from user groups across various international markets — with everything from interface and UI designand development, enabling them to successfully rollout new ranges of appliances and services that seamlessly integrate the latest emerging technologies for more efficient and worthwhile connected experiences. 

And our joint work with Siemens Home Appliances Design isn’t going unnoticed.

Awards

 

German Design Award[1]– Winner 2018 – Siemens avantgarde washing machine 

Red Dot 2017[2]– 2017 – Siemens avantgarde tumble dryer

iF Design Award[3]– 2017– Siemens avantgarde washing machine