DIVI: Modular Beverage Dispenser
2018  |  GE Appliances
What's this about?
A counterintuitive trend in consumer appliances is emerging - as living spaces are becoming ever smaller, the offerings in consumer appliances are growing. Many new appliances appeal to niche uses and only offer one specific function. What this can lead to is an over abundance of single use-case appliances that regularly go unused and take up space.
Role
UI Design
Hardware Design
How can we use what we want, when we want, without all of the additional clutter that comes with traditional consumer appliances offerings?
Research
User-Interface
Industrial
Systems
01
What's in a kitchen?
Despite a trend in decreasing kitchen sizes and an already saturated kitchen appliance market, small appliance purchases are growing and new market offerings are expected to continue in the coming years. Most small kitchen appliances appeal to either a niche or novel use, resulting in one product that accomplishes one task.

Based on a survey of 87 participants, I discovered that the majority have several appliances that are no longer in use and are cluttering valuable countertop space. Combined with the surge in new market offerings, it seems there is an opportunity to consolidate several niche and novel kitchen appliances into one system. In essence, it seems there is room to shrink.

Results based on survey of 87 participants
Home and kitchen sizes are decreasing, so why are consumers buying more small appliances than ever?
Research
User-Interface
Industrial
Systems
01
Where can we consolidate?
Exploring user behavior in the kitchen led to several insights - namely, tasks and appliances can be categorized into actions, utilities, and novelties. Any action might require several steps to complete, leading the user all over the kitchen. Utilities are the core components of any kitchen (the sink, ice maker, or refrigerator, for instance). Novelties describe the additional components that one might use for a specific task (soda makers, coffee makers, etc.).
The kitchen sink is prime real estate for consolidating myriad small appliances.
utilities
novelties
New kitchen products usually appeal to an entertainment, novel, or an otherwise niche use. Unfortunately, these are the first products to end up forgotten, usually left to collect dust and occupy valuable countertop or storage space.
The “core of the kitchen” is a smaller area for new product innovation, yet the ability to wash dishes, clean produce, or otherwise use a readily-available water source is a necessity that will always remain in the kitchen.
Preparing a glass of ice water is a simple task, right? Sometimes a simple task like this can require the user to move all over the kitchen to complete, hoping that no spills or overfills are encountered along the way.
actions
Research
User-Interface
Industrial
Systems
01
Defining the target market.
Based on the innovative factor of this new product, the ideal consumer would be open-minded and welcoming of new technologies. They can be found on the spectrum of the early adopter to the minimalist.
Appealing the minimalist in all of us.
Research
User-Interface
Industrial
Systems
01
A refined vision.
This product appeals to those who wish for a decluttered lifestyle while appealing to modern senses. The aesthetic direction encompasses a subtle, yet bold, styling and feature set.
Subtle, yet bold styling will complement almost any kitchen decor.
"The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it."

Mark Weiser, 1991, The Computer of the 21st Century
Research
User-Interface
Industrial
Systems
01
Let the ideas begin!
This product appeals to those who wish for a decluttered lifestyle while appealing to modern senses. The aesthetic direction encompasses a subtle, yet bold, styling and feature set.
At the very least, this product must include core kitchen faucet functionality... and then more.
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Research
User-Interface
Industrial
Systems
01
Affirming the direction.
Rapid prototyping and 3D printing were used to test ergonomics and user feedback regarding the capacitive touch button locations and pull-out sprayer dimensions.

Users were asked to interact with the model and provide feedback regarding the ease of use and the accessibility of the sprayer feature.
Quick and dirty prototyping affirmed many design directions.
Research
User-Interface
Industrial
Systems
01
An informed design direction.
Light and structural visual elements promote a simplified, yet complex, form. In maintaining the existing functionality of a faucet, DIVI offers 3 spray settings and a moving sprayer.
A modular and scalable system that provides utmost convenience.
Full ABS construction will withstand everyday use





Adjustable spacer for the water and custom lines provides the user with flexibility on the type of sink basin they use
3 spray settings - the user can cycle through different spray functions by tapping the water icon
Stream
Spray
Waterfall
The mobile sprayer provides all the normal functionality of a traditional sprayer, while accommodating one handed operation and control of pressure and temperature settings
Different methods of interaction offer flexibility in how the user initiates and uses DIVI
One-Touch
Proximity
Remote
Modular under-counter units support different ice types and beverages, and act as universal containers that the user can change the contents as they wish.
Consumable and replaceable packets provide quick changes to beverage offerings
01
Connection in the kitchen.
In taking this product past the point of minimum viability, I decided a connected feature will improve accessibility and convenience, and provide a unique opportunity to connect to a larger system.
Breaking the boundaries of what a sink can be.
01
Real life integration.
Ideally, DIVI will find its place among every aspect of the user's life.

No more waiting. No more clutter. And, perhaps most importantly, no more missing the not-so-critical moments.
No more missing the not-so-critical moments.
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Made with love by Benton Humphreys, 2020.