What’s the dishwasher doing? An example of design for the user experience in a physical space

Think of all the times you’ve accidentally opened a dishwasher partway through its cycle… unlike washing machines or other appliances where you can easily see if it’s on or not, with dishwashers, it’s pretty often – “pull the door and hope for the best” – especially if it’s in a built-in kitchen.

A colleague and I noticed a neat little innovation on the dishwasher at work. The dishwasher projects its status discreetly on the floor, telling users if it’s in use or not, how long it has left in its cycle and what its current status is.

It seems a neat little way of keeping a user informed of the status of something they may otherwise not know, and not knowing could result in:

1. slowing down the process

2. causing a mess

3. annoying its user