Blum manufactures thousands of kitchen hardware products, which are sold in over 120 countries. To ensure innovation suits each market, the company undertakes a rigorous programme of user experience studies.
Ten typical New Zealand households were selected to take part in Blum’s Kitchen Observation studies. First, each kitchen was measured and the contents of its drawers and cupboards were documented. Then homeowners were asked to perform common tasks such as making a meal. Each session was recorded on video and the results were analysed. Finally, follow-up interviews were conducted with users to explore the findings.
The resulting data confirmed some unique features of local kitchen usage. Kiwis have large kitchens by international standards, along with a greater than average number of freestanding appliances. They also have many small appliances, from toasters to slow cookers. Pantries with inner drawers or pull-outs are common, as are bench-level bin modules (most countries opt for a bin drawer below the sink). All these factors are examples of the tailored considerations architects, kitchen designers and cabinetmakers integrate for their clients.
The insights from Blum’s Kitchen Observations will inspire new product innovations and inform the global research team as to how New Zealand end users experience kitchens.