Gorenje Group’s innovative approach increasingly important in user-centred design
Innovation is a buzzword these days, especially when it comes to technological advancements as state-of-theart technology is built into home appliances in order for them to work better, faster and more energy-efficiently. For Gorenje Group, innovation is an important part of all aspects of design in order to simplify the users’ lives.
What the users need are not only smarter technologies integrated into their appliances, but also smarter and easier ways to use them – here is where innovation in user experience centred design comes in. Gorenje has fully embraced this way of thinking and Gorenje’s ‘Life Simplified’ motto has become a driving force behind their most recent user experience innovations.
Making a customer happy by simplifying their life is important and for Gorenje this process starts already before a purchase has been made. With that in mind, Gorenje developed a chatbot called Anna that functions as a personal shopping assistant. Anna’s job is to interact with visitors of Gorenje websites in a human-to-humanlike conversation, with her responses and reactions based on user’s answers. She guides the customers through the home appliance browsing or purchase process, and makes it simpler, quicker and easier.
The plans for innovation in user experience by using bots are big and far-reaching. Next in line for Gorenje is the further development of the cooking bot that will help users prepare healthy, fast and easy meals. Vladimir Nardin, Head of Digital Marketing, said: “The main purpose of chatbots is to simplify things for our customers. We envision the future where every step of the process, from choosing a product to the actual everyday use, will be simple, clear and precise – and by using chatbots we are making that happen.”
In many households, the kitchen is the heart of the home and as such it should be pleasant and simple to use. Gorenje has designed the new IQ induction hob, a smart and flexible hob that does not need any human control other than a single touch on the easyto-control interface. Boštjan Pečnik, Executive Vice President, responsible for the cooking programme, said: “We believe cooking should be an experience that is always enjoyable, so our three main requirements while designing the IQ induction hob were simplicity, speed and, most importantly, safety.”
The hob with an XXL cooking surface uses the IQ intelligent sensors to automatically adjust its operation, while the AutoDetect technology adapts the cooking zone according to the cookware used. IQ induction hob is fully automated and reliable, and most importantly, made to deliver tastier results faster, more efficiently and in a more userfriendly manner.
Yet the idea of Life Simplified is not something that would only be applied to the use of Gorenje’s appliances. Rather, it plays a crucial role in the design process as well. In order to make every step of designing and constructing a new product more efficient and intuitive, Gorenje’s experts also use augmented reality technology. It enables them to easily adapt, change, and analyse the construction and design of a product – a process that makes sure that the final product is exactly as it should be.
Besides simplifying the design process, it enables faster and better co-operation of key departments in developing new products. With the introduction of the Microsoft HoloLens in its product development process, Gorenje is taking decisive steps towards a more digital future in order to design the best possible results.
Shifting some of the focus on user experience innovation has enabled Gorenje to more thoroughly address the needs and wishes of their consumers.
Dušan Zupančič, Lead of Gorenje’s Digital Services & Connected Appliances Software Development Team, said: “Innovation is important both in user experience design where we try to make products that will be easier and safer to use, and in the production process itself to reduce time and costs. In the future, the customer will therefore get better quality for a lower price”.
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