Automatic Laundry Ball-"Babble" [Read more]
Automatic Laundry Ball
Babble is a laundry ball for personal use in public washing machines. It aims to provide a function that can replace traditional dispensers, placing different laundry products in three separate compartments and automatically
releasing detergent that acts on the clothes according to the washing cycle.
Due to the lack of regular cleaning and the inappropriate washing habits of some users, the poor hygiene of public washing machines has become obvious. Especially, the dirt and mould stick to the surface and gap of the drawer. As a result, target users who maintain high self-requirements for personal hygiene and will to enjoy a healthy laundry experience begin to have negative feelings about using public washing machines.
Based on above, the proposal is to design a product to help users reduce their resistance to using public washing machine. The solution will focus on rethink how the dispenser is used and design a new interactive product to
finishing washing clothes better in shared washing machines.
I displayed sketches of four concepts and simple paper models to introduce interaction methods to users and observed their interactive behaviours and experience. At the same time, users chose their favourite styles through exhibition boards showing different button and handle. The results of the test will help me optimize interaction methods and user experience, and provide a reference for future product appearance.
Through the user trials and the conclusion table of evaluation, it could be found that the user wanted to separate the three different detergents and release them in the correct order, because the chemical reaction caused by the liquid compatibility will reduce the cleaning efficiency. At the same time, users might worry that the liquid cannot be added smoothly because the diameter of compartment is not large enough.
Regarding the design of the buttons, users preferred simple round buttons because they match the shape of the entire product and have better waterproof performance.
For users who don't use a laundry basket, a soft, finger-through strap will make it easier to carry the laundry ball to the laundry area.
After the user evaluation, the original one compartment placing three different types of laundry detergent were changed to three separate compartments that could be released liquids into the water in different time sequences due to washing cycle.
In the final self-assistance prototype, in order to enhance the tightness and cleanness of the product, I eliminated the use of additional lids as the main entrance of detergents. Instead, three valves on one side could be opened at the same time, allowing the user to add laundry liquids directly to the corresponding compartment. After discs were repositioned, three closed spaces can be formed.
After the user pressing the button for adding detergent, the larger diameter valve will automatically open, and the user can add detergent according to the instructions. After resetting, all the liquid will be temporarily stored in compartments, waiting to be released.
Convenient and Portable
Users no longer need to carry heavy bottles to the laundry room. After adding different detergent in their own rooms, users can directly take the light laundry ball and use it directly with the clothes in the washing machine, which reduces the burden of washing process.
The material of compartment is used Antimicrobial technology which demonstrate the ability to reduce the presence of microbes, such as bacteria and mould.
When the valve is fully open, water will flow through the compartment to dissolve the detergent. Under the continuous scouring of water, the compartment will become as clean as before use, thus achieving the self-cleaning function.
Good design comes from the real needs of users and the rational decision of the designer
I come from China and I have a first degree in Industrial Design from Huaqiao University and also studied at Taiwan Tunghai university as exchange student.
Design is not confined to objects, and the more important thing is to design ourselves. Postgraduate study in Loughborough University enables me to shape my design abilities and philosophy. The wonderful curriculum system gives me opportunities to learn Design research methods, Digital fabrication skills, Advanced 3D CAD and various courses.
A more important thing to me is that the experience of learning design for the past one year has changed my point of view on “design”, from designing functions previously to designing for users’ needs and emotion presently. This is not only a change in my design thinking, but also a self-designing sublimation.
Automatic Laundry Ball-"Babble"
In October 2017, I participated in a two-day event – “Cross-strait” Design Challenge for Undergraduates. In group of five we were five a brief where we had to developed ideas for the design scheme, and used industrial waste and related processing equipment to produce an unpowered car. We won the “Humane Care Award”.
In October 2017, I was awarded the Silver Award as the first designer for a creative kitchen supply set by Fujian Channel Cup Industrial Design Competition.