Achieving a smooth and effective transition from paper-based to screen/tablet based educational materials for young children is a current challenge for schools, in particular if the benefits of both approaches are to be conserved. Penmaru offers an effective solution to this problem through multiple input methods and carful software design.
The jury believes this to be an important issue, but would prefer to see more research and user-involvement in the design process and clear measures of successful outcomes.
Sekisui continues its long-standing UD approach with this lifestyle-based tool to assist seniors in selecting house elements and details. The presentation is very tasteful, and proposals look expensive, targeting more affluent users. Unfortunately no solid evidence of user research is provided.
The jury felt this entry, by its nature, targets a limited customer base and would hope to see it extended to be more inclusive of seniors in general.
Careful attention has been given to technical, operational, control and maintenance aspects, along with overall user-friendliness to deliver an improved air-conditioner. Although design revisions are relatively minor, this is an effective product evolution offering specific benefits for adults, children and older people.
The jury believes that, in terms of maintenance, this design iteration represents a genuine step forward making life easier for its users.
A carefully considered design evolution based on simple intuitive controls and easy-clean features. Without changing the underlying technology the product has been made easier to operate and understand, in particular for older users. Although not obviously a UD product, the reduction in functions and simplification of controls delivers enhanced usability for all.
The jury praised the focus on simplicity and intuitive use, but regretted the lack of evidence of user-involvement in design, testing and verification of the product in use.
Targeting busy parents with small children and older users - typical purchasers of mid-sized refrigerators - this refrigerator offers convenience, functionality and technology previously only available in larger models.
The jury saw this as a good example of user-friendly design, but would have preferred to see evidence of user-involvement in design, testing and verification.
This highly compact oven / microwave cooker combines the benefits of dual-mode cooking with a small footprint making it very versatile. Voice guidance (researched with input from Keio University) and the selective illumination of controls assist users in operating the product, while Braille stickers are available if required.
The jury commended this entry as a good example of user-friendly design.
A thoughtful extension of conventional air conditioning installations designed and engineered to maintain an appropriate temperature in small household spaces of less than four meters square. Considerable attention has been given to shape, size and performance, in terms of air flow noise and possible heat shock, to match the requirements of halls and smaller rooms.
The jury praised the attention to detail involved in significantly reducing the size an important household device, but regretted the absence of user involvement, assessment and validation
An effective roller shade designed to minimise light intrusion in residential and hotel bedrooms. The light-touch, precision control mechanism give users simple and effective control and avoids the use of looped cords that can be hazardous for children and delivers considerable ease of use for many.
The jury thought this a good example of user-friendly design.
A car navigation system incorporating a voice-controlled search system for local destinations. Although not obviously a UD product, in user-testing the device has proved effective in reducing distracting demands on the driver and search times in comparison with touch-screen interfaces.
The Jury applauded the focus on reducing demand on the driver and commends this entry as a good example of user-friendly design.
A thoughtful approach to simplifying the presentation of and access to, increasingly complex information within vehicles. Good user research and evaluation, coupled with an awareness of changing priorities as vehicles become increasingly autonomous, has successfully delivered a user-friendly solution.
The jury commended this entry as an example of technologically advanced user-friendly design aimed at simplifying operations and reducing driver demands.
An extensive rethink of the materials and essential design elements of the household vacuum cleaner aimed at substantially reducing weight and volume, simplifying maintenance and improving ergonomics. The result is a light, easy-to-use and ability-friendly product. Use of ergonomic date and expert input was made in developing the product and in particular the easy-grip handle.
The jury applauded this entry as going beyond the basic requirements of user-friendly design to deliver a universal solution.
A carefully researched improvement on previous models, which takes user needs and preferences into account and balances them with technical factors and performance criteria. Subtle changes in dimensions and configuration deliver significant gains in user-friendliness and efficiency.
The jury particularly welcomed this cordless iron as a good example user-friendly design evolution.
The beginnings of a rethink of the traditional TV set as a bridge between conventional TV and streamed content currently available on Smartphones and tablets. A key feature is the streamlined, tilting screen, which has been design to merge with décor rather than dominate the room.
The jury found this an interesting beginning in the search for new functions and forms for traditional TVs which are in urgent need of evolution faced with newer communications technologies.
A healthcare portal offering information, advice, contacts and support at all stages of an individuals healthcare pathway, from life-style and prevention, through early intervention, treatment and recovery as part of an insurance service. Though well-established practice in Europe this patient-centric approach has much to offer in Japan.
By placing a strong emphasis on prevention and wellbeing, alongside more traditional healthcare provision this entry points in a positive direction, but unfortunately no evidence is given of user-research or consultation in design, development and verification.