HÖFER HMI Project
Project Goal
Höfer and FiveSenses teamed up to create a new product line of ovens for the residential market. We want to reinvent the Höfer cooking experience with an oven equipped with carefully handcrafted recipes and an easy to use interface to get amazing cooking results.
Partners
Team
Achim Kirsch, Hardware Developer
Dirk Hentschke, Project Manager
Fabian Repko, Engineer
Frank Mähler, Software Developer
Miriam Koster, Interactiondesign
Peter Höfer, Executive Director
Silvia Niemeyer, Sales and Marketing
Sven Held, Interactiondesign

Prototype Recipes Navigation

work in progress
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This is an early prototype of the horizontal list concept we developed last workshop. The actual navigation will be with a rotary knob, but you can navigate by pressing the key arrows. We bought some Griffin Powermates to simulate a rotary knob. We will bring them to the next workshop.

Yet we don‘t have an approval of the recipe structure from the Höfer Cooking Team, but this should give you an early idea of the concept.

Concept Workshop Recipes

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Parallel to the main navigation concept we started to draft first ideas for the recipes selection. After the presentation of the first analyse we began with the workshop. Same as last time we split up into two groups. Each group then developed concepts for the recipe navigation. After that we shared our proposed ideas. We began to selected the most promissing concepts and started to refine them.
We developed some additional feature we may include in the concept. For example a simple rating system: Once you cook a recipe, simply select whether you like or dislike it. This will allow our system to intelligently select recipes for you in the future.

Sound Explorations

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A unified visual and audible Höfer experience is a key element of this project. We teamed up with Daniel Wegner, a very talented sound designer. We had two projects in the past where he did a great job. His task is to develop a consistent sound design for this project. To get a good insight to this project he joins us on this platform.

Here are some early sound drafts that we were talking about at the last workshop. These are open for discussion and will be part of the next workshop.

Information Architecture

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The structure and organisation of functionality within the existing Höfer appliances was an issue we discovered in the initial user research. The most effective method for understanding the quantity and quality of content (i.e. functionality and information) proposed for a system is to conduct a content inventory.

Content inventories identify all of the proposed content for a system, where the content currently resides, who owns it and any existing relationships between content.

Content inventories are also commonly used to aid the process of migrating content between the old and new systems. An effective information architecture must reflect the way people think about the subject matter.

Here is an work in progress draft of the new structure. We are still wating to get the approval from the Höfer Cooking Team for the recipes structure.

Iteration Prototype Navigation

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Thanks to Fabian Repko who pointed out that the first prototype had an fallacy regarding the number of menu entries. With this new requirement we had to adjust the concept. The team of Höfer Home Cooks have selected some recipes that should be aviable via a shortcut menu.

Just choose the recipe that you would like to use, or the recipe type that you are looking for and look forward to savouring some wonderful foods.

Here you can see the new concept. We are very pleased how it turned out so far. Your feedback is valuable, so please write in the comments if something is missing or you have an additional idea.

Prototype Main Navigation

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Here is the first prototype of the main navigation. It gives an understanding of the core navigation principle. You can try out to enter the recipes menu and go back to the main navigation panel. This is an early prototype with no visual design involved. Miriam Koster already pointed out, that the menu button should not change it‘s position. The clustering of the recipes is not done yet so maybe there is one or two more menu entries.

Wireframe Main Navigation

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A key outcome of the product and design strategy we developed during the concept workshop was a navigation concept witch an omnipresent element on one side. By pressing this element, you get an overlay with the main menu entries. The FiveSenses Team developed within a methodical approach a series of interaction possibilities.

Concept Workshop Navigation

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The workshop started off with a review of the existing Höfer navigation principles. Our analysis detected some key elements that could be improved. After that we split up into two groups. Each group then developed a name and sketches of their vision for the new Höfer cooking experience. The groups shared their proposed ideas as well as throughts about the benefits, drawbacks, and impacts of their designs with the other workshop groups.

In a complex application, users may find themselves unable to answer one or more of these questions. Navigation that is clearly labeled in accordance to the user‘s task is an essential element of the transparent interface.

The success of this strategy depends on how the corresponding tasks are organized. A well-designed navigation will make it easy to find information on the program by grouping corresponding recipes around one another.

Here are the concepts with a brief explanation.

Storyboards

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We came up with a lot of promising concepts in our Ideation Workshop. After that we took some time to visualize them. We developed three storyboards of three different concepts. This will help us to get a better understanding what the core elements of the new Höfer cooking experience are. These storyboards are meant to be work in progress, so if you have an additional idea or critic, please write it in the comments.

Here is a roundup of the core concept: With its combination of convection, microwave, and jets of very hot air, the Höfer oven is indeed fast, but we learned from users that speed is not always desirable (people want to leave the Thanksgiving turkey in all day). And speed has a price: The blackened biscuits that came from our first attempts at using existing speed cook ovens showed us that they‘re more like Formula 1 cars than regular ovens—very fast, but unforgiving if you’re not paying attention. People‘s typical mental model of ovens is that they‘re simple and pretty foolproof.

Ideation Workshop

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One of the best parts in a project is the first ideation workshop. Finally everyone can contribute their ideas and wishes. When we met for our first brainstorming round we started with a brief summary of the project goal definition and the findings from our user research. To have a solid basis for the workshop we developed a set of „How Might We?“ questions.
We had a lot of ideas that were very promising and inspiring discussions. We think that we found an exciting direction for further concepts. To get a better understanding for the concepts we started to visualize them with some storyboards. Here are some moods and ideas from our first ideation workshop.

Presentation User Research

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We were excited to present our findigns from the user research to the exeutive board of Höfer. Together with the team from Höfer and FiveSenses we developed and accomplished user interviews with 27 participants. We had a broad variety of users. We talked to power users, cooking in huge kitchens to occasional users without much experience.

Four follow-up questions were asked. They were:
How difficult was it to complete this task?
How certain did you feel that the name of the section would take you to the information you were looking for?
What specific information would you expect to see when you click on the recipes button?
What, if anything, would be a better name or label for this information?


You can find the whole protocoll in the attachements. We think that the results give quite good insights and provide valuable touchpoints. You can see the analyse and results in the presentation.

Competitors Analyse

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Every company has a unique set of strengths, and it‘s critical that we determine ours, as well as our competitors. This analysis helps us to see how our strengths stack up against our competitors‘ weaknesses and suggests ways to take advantage of marketplace opportunities.

Here is a brief overview of the current market situation and concepts from competitors. You can find a more extensive overview in the attachements.

General Research

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Höfer has a tradition of beautiful knobs for their interaction key element. To meet users expextations we discussed some other possibilities. Maybe a combination of touch and a hardware rotary knob is a great solution of keeping the tradition, but also proving innovation and fulfilling modern expectations. Rotary Knobs can make scrolling long lists of recipes very easy and could be a differentiator. Here is a growing collection of interface elements for inspiration.

Technical Requirements

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Achim Kirsch and me, Fabian Repko, are now responsible for finding the perfect display that meets our requirements. We have contact to several display manufacturers. Static flat panel displays rely on materials whose color states are bistable. This means that the image they hold requires no energy to maintain, but instead requires energy to change. This results in a much more energy-efficient display, but with a tendency towards slow refresh rates which are undesirable in an interactive display. Bistable flat panel displays are beginning deployment in limited applications.

Project Start Meeting

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Höfer has long been established in professional kitchens with its „recipes ready“ ovens that can cook up complex recipes independently and faster than conventional appliances. Think roast turkey with a press of a button, and chocolate soufflé in two easy steps than in 25. Höfer came to FiveSenses because they wanted to enter the home market with a bang. Being new to the consumer market, Höfer needs an in-depth understanding of how and why people cook today. Together with the FiveSenses and Höfer Team we plan to conduct in-home visits with a spectrum of people to understand how they approached cooking with their busy lives and what role the oven playes.
Miriam Köster
23 minutes ago
Here is a great article about a recent UX study .
ux study 2013
Fabian Repko
1h 33minutes ago
Just a funny little something I found. May relate to our discussion we had today at lunch :D.
kitchen song
Sven Held
6h 13minutes ago
Why can’t an inbox be a destination to decide to go to as opposed to having it immediately presented to you? By being the first thing presented.
Silvia Niemeyer
Yesterday 18:23h
Hello. I am looking for some articles about ux studies.Can someone recommend me any interesting articles?
Achim Kirsch
Yesterday 13:30 minutes ago
Does someone know anything about this display manufacturer?
tochiemen displays
Frank Mähler
Monday 04.02.2013
Why can’t an inbox be a destination to decide to go to as opposed to having it immediately presented to you? By being the first thing presented.
Dirk Hentschke
23 minutes ago
Why can’t an inbox be a destination to decide to go to as opposed to having it immediately presented to you? By being the first thing presented.
Miriam Köster
23 minutes ago
Have you ever thought about emails? Why can’t an inbox be a destination to decide to go to as opposed to having it immediately presented to you? By being the first thing presented.
Peter Höfer
23 minutes ago
Just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyd our last workshop.