Refrigerators are an essential part of the kitchen and daily life at home. But, sometimes, your refrigerator becomes less useful when you can’t find the items you’re looking for. How can ergonomic design help to not only preserve the life of your favorite ingredients, but also make preparing delicious meals a seamless experience?
If you’ve read my previous blog posts about ergonomic design, you’ve probably learned that there’s a tremendous amount of research that goes into designing Bosch appliances. As the director of industrial design for Bosch, my team and I spend hours poring over information that helps us to understand how consumers interact with their appliances. We study, we observe, we ask questions. Most importantly, we use this information to develop products that make life simpler.
When it comes to refrigerators, one of the most common themes our research revealed was that food, beverages, and other items stored in the refrigerator or freezer often get lost or, worse, forgotten in both compartments. The further back items are placed, the more commonly they are forgotten. What’s the point of having all that space in the refrigerator if you can’t find the items you need?
Our goal is to simplify this challenge through good design, and our solution is two part: improved shelving and exceptional lighting.
Our first step was to create adjustable split glass shelving and cantilever racks. Whether you prefer built-in or freestanding refrigeration, our interior shelving solutions provide improved ergonomic function and usability. Adjustable split glass shelving creates space for tall or bulky items, while full length cantilever (height adjustable) racks are designed to make it easier to modify the height of the shelves. No more hunching over to rummage through items at the back of the refrigerator, or standing on your toes to shuffle contents around to create space for other items. With adjustable shelving, you can find exactly what you need, when you need it, from a more neutral position.
Shelving flexibility goes a long way in improving the ergonomic function of the refrigerator, but we didn’t stop there.
When it comes to lost or forgotten items, the old adage “out of sight, out of mind,” rings true. In order to make it easier to find items, we had to make them easier to see within the refrigerator. To achieve this, we installed sidewall LED lights in the front of the unit angled towards the back, as opposed to at the top of the unit angled down.
This simple change illuminates the entire cavity from top to bottom, making it nearly impossible to obstruct the light and lose track of your items. With improved lighting and flexible shelving, the interior cavity of the refrigerator has never been easier and more comfortable to use.
The fridge isn’t the only compartment were food items can become lost or forgotten. To address this issue in the freezer, we created a two-drawer freezer – launching for the first time next month on the new 800 Series Counter-Depth French Door Refrigerator. This simple design modification makes it easy to store and find food items, while making efficient use of the space. Two rows of storage simplifies organization, adding more “surface” area to the freezer. Instead of being buried in the post-shopping frenzy, every item has a place and is easy to find.
Simple and efficient. It’s amazing what you can achieve through ergonomic design.