Kitchen, household, table

W1 Classic GuideLine
Washing machine

Credits: Miele & Cie. KG I Miele Designcenter
Picture 1, Picture 2, Picture 3

Miele & Cie. KG
DE-33332 Gütersloh  

Miele Designcenter
DE-33332 Gütersloh

The GuideLine control concept was developed for and with partially sighted and blind people and supplements the existing user interface with additional tactile elements and acoustic signals. A specially produced audio instruction manual in Daisy format explains the correlations with the washing functions. A specific “on” sound is emitted when the machine is activated by turning the dial, which is equipped with a tactile notch for orientation and surrounded by raised dots for identifying the washing programmes. A raised line guides the user’s hand from the dial to the touch panel, which is used to select detailed settings. They too have been labelled with clear tactile icons and allocated audible signals, with each individual sound representing a specific setting. The GuideLine concept takes an additive approach and is based on the manufacturer’s existing, long-lasting washing machine models.

A very commendable concept that can make a considerable difference to visually impaired and blind people’s everyday lives by improving their independence. It’s particularly interesting to note that the solution is relatively simple to implement: it only takes a few changes to the basic model to ensure accessibility. The inclusion of this user group turns the washing machine into an everyday appliance that can be used by anybody – and a prime example of pragmatic universal design.