Field Trip to Harvey Norman

The trip to Harvey Norman exposed me to many different designs and made me aware of the current trends in product designs. In this post, I’d like to discuss and share about what I got from the field trip. 🙂

Two products with emotion factor:

The first product that caught my eye when we walked in was the bread toaster from SMEG. It was then that I realised that the different household products from SMEG had the same characteristics, although they were products of different function. For example, the toaster and the mixer came in colours that were pastel and lighthearted. There is a curvilinear flow to the form, and it makes the products look playful and fun. The knobs and buttons on the products make them similar to products from the 50s, and in other words, retro.

Compared to products that are more rectangular, with sharper edges, products from SMEG make working in the kitchen look ‘fun’ and ‘enjoyable’, which is clearly an emotion-dominant factor.

Two products with similar trends:

If you compare the Tefal handheld vacuum cleaner (left) and the Novita SleekLite Handstick vacuum cleaner (right), you would have realised that both vacuum cleaner have moved away from the old trend and they are now being kept and used vertically upright. This makes cleaning much easier as the user no longer need to bend down when cleaning. This also saves space for storage as the form of these vacuum cleaners are slim and are no longer bulky.

However there are a few differences between the two. The Tefal handheld vacuum cleaner has a triangular base, with makes cleaning the corners and areas that are hard to clean, much easier. A new technology of separating air and dust makes the vacuum cleaner long lasting. The form and aesthetics of the vacuum cleaner is focused on the parts and technology that are inside the vacuum, which means that the form follows the shape of the parts in the vacuum cleaner.

However, the Novita SleekLite Handstick vacuum cleaner focuses more on its aesthetics as it looks more ‘sleek’ and ‘friendly’, similar to products from SMEG. It also comes in colours that are bright and casual, as compared to the Tefal handheld vacuum cleaner which comes in darker shades of blue and purple, and black. The form of the Novita vacuum cleaner is also more simplified as it only consists of a long handle, cylindrical shaped body and a rectangular base. Although the nozzle is able to rotate 180 degrees, it does not allow the user to reach hard to assess areas as well as the Tefal handheld vacuum which has a triangular base.

Even though both the Tefal handheld vacuum cleaner and the Novita SleekLite Handstick vacuum cleaner have jumped on the bandwagon of vertical vacuum cleaners, they clearly are made with different aesthetics and form factors in mind. The Tefal handheld vacuum cleaner is function dominant, whereas the Novita SleekLite Handstick vacuum cleaner is emotion-dominant.