The Research Institute for Consumer Affairs (RICA) has a set of online resources about easy to use appliances. While this information is great for consumers, it also highlights the factors industrial designers should consider when designing kitchen appliances. Using information from Which magazine in the UK and Choice magazine in Australia they provide a good overview on appliances such as kettles, washing machines and microwaves.
The IDeA Center at Buffalo has also has an online section on Accessible Appliances and Universal Design. It covers a little history of product development and the issues involved, and regulations. Using the seven classic principles of universal design, it has details on reach range, dexterity, and size and space for approach. Some of the information is a little dated as technology and design ideas move on, but it gives another perspective on how to design products that almost everyone can use.
The links below take you directly to some of the appliances reviewed by Which and Choice:
- Easy to use kettles
- Easy to use microwaves
- Easy to use toasters
- Easy to use washing machines (Which) and washing machines by Choice
- Fridge accessibility and ease of use
- Dishwasher accessibility and ease of use
To see more, go to the RICA website