Whirlpool is a Fortune 500 company that produces home appliances. Dishwashers are one of their core selling products, and wanted a web application to help improve their dishwasher testing process.
Whirlpool has one of the most advanced dishwasher testing labs in the world. They had desktop software that helped them grade and track their tests. They wanted a web application to replace their current system to give them the flexibility to add new features, easily make updates, and connect with their current systems. Future potential for the application includes other testing labs outside of the dishwasher product line.
We met with the Whirlpool team at the St Joseph, Michigan location where we got to witness first-hand that testing dishwashers is a very manual process. Getting to see the nuances of how testers receive lab requests, systematically get the dishes dirty, load them into the dishwashers, and score them gave us a solid picture of where we could help. Creating a user experience that will make the testers more accurate while also making it easier for them to grade was a top priority.
Reason Behind the Design
We began the design process by analyzing their current software and jotting down notes on areas that had room for improvement. Using that list and our notes from when we shadowed them, we were able to wireframe out a hierarchy that would serve as the foundation of the application’s architecture. Next, was creating a flexible design that could adapt to changes, like adding additional fields as needed by the Whirlpool team. Finally, using Whirlpool’s existing logo and brand colors, we were able to bring the mockups to life.
The Technology & Process
Built using the AngularJS framework—which allows for simple integration with an API and single-page routing and rendering. We also leveraged Agile development methodologies to rapidly iterate across a truly global team.
Administrator Functionality: Allows admins to manage schedules, lab requests, test procedures, enums tables, testing tables, and rack layouts.
Rack Builder: Ability to upload an image of a new rack layout and add labels to each dish that the technicians will then need to score.
Technician Console: Allows technicians to run their assigned testing procedures, which includes an interface to easily score dishes.
Interactive Charts: Display data from the wash cycle as well as their data acquisition sensors in the dishwashers.
Export Customizable Reports: Select what data from a given test gets complied into a PDF report for a given wash cycle.
Advanced Querying: Search by numerous cycle options and platforms that can then be exported to CSV or XLSX files.
Agile Development: Implemented Agile methodologies across a global team – India, Poland, United States – to streamline development and improve iteration speed
Minimal Viable Product: Employed MVP principles to narrowly focus feature development around key user flows in alignment with Whirlpool’s strategic innovation directives
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