Overall, the project took a mixed ethnographic approach in order to understand both behaviour for five product categories; laundry, refrigeration, cooktop, oven and dishwashing, but also the social and cultural motivations connected to the observable actions.
To get the insights we needed we combined ethnographic methods. Through action cameras mounted on our respondents’ heads we achieved￼ +1400 self-made videos capturing people’s real-life behaviour, pain points and use cases of home appliances. The videos were analysed along with 100 hours of follow up online ethnographic interviews, where we explored the drivers and motivations of using domestic appliances. We didn’t stop there, to understand the rhythms of appliance interactions through the day and week, we hacked electrical buttons used for medical tracking and had people install them on appliances, clicking for each interaction. Through this, we achieved a profound understanding of usage patterns from +16.000 data points of interaction.
The qualitatively identified needs and pain points for each category were validated through quantitative surveys resulting in a gap analysis of needs and performance analysis of the pain points.
As a key aspect to the impact of the project, we engaged hundreds of employees across the organisation. We invited stakeholders to observe and participate in the ethnographic interviews first-hand to deep dive on important aspects of the study, while others were invited into our digital analysis machine room. Finally, ￼we facilitated an ideation process around the insights, guiding the five product teams through digital innovation workshops to generate hundreds of new ideas, based on real needs. The strongest were then developed into concepts which were evaluated internally before being taken further in the process. We were able to include more than 120 Whirlpool employees across functions and regions, ultimately populating the innovation pipeline with strong new concepts across categories.