PsychNology Journal, Volume 9, Number 1, 223 – 243

Designing iLook: An integrated, zoomable interface to support users’ interaction with networked home appliances

Marco Carnesecchi, Antonio Rizzo, Andrea Alessandrini, Maurizio Caporali 
Università degli Studi di Siena, Italy

Monica Milani 
Indesit Company, Italy


iLook is a user interface designed to support everyday interaction between people and home appliances focusing on four potential assets provided to us by a leading home appliances manufacturer as a design brief: a) remote control; b) assistance and maintenance; c) ecological-economic impact; d) social networking. We discuss the participatory design process we followed firstly focusing on the future workshops and cultural probe phase where mixed groups of researchers, designers and managers from the manufacturing company and end-users produced concepts and innovative services. The concepts were enriched and refined through diaries given to the participants who produced envisioning scenarios that that described how the concepts would influence their everyday interaction with appliances. Then secondly on the role prototyping workshop where 22 interaction design students produced sketches, explored unexpressed features, functionalities and contexts of use of the earlier concepts through the use of scenarios. To organize the outcomes of the earlier phases we devised a five-level information architecture for interaction with home appliances in the physical space and mapped the four assets onto each level. As a result of the process we present three steps towards the final prototype of iLook, a zooming user interface (ZUI) that embodies some focus+context and augmented reality features allowing the integration of the different assets on the diverse home appliances in one unifying context. We discuss users feedback for each presented prototype and the guidelines we derived for further redesign.

KEYWORDS: participatory design, information visualization, focus+context, zoomable user interfaces, sense making, networking, augmented reality

Carnesecchi M., Rizzo A., Alessandrini A., Caporali M., Milani M. (2011). Designing iLook: An integrated, zoomable interface to support users’ interaction with networked home appliances. PsychNology Journal, 9(3), 223 - 243. Retrieved [month] [day], [year], from

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PsychNology Journal Volume 9, Number 3