Developing products to grow a brand worldwide

Whirlpool Corporation manufactures home appliances in 14 countries and markets products throughout the world. Design Central worked with Whirlpool on more than 250 appliance programs for brands including Whirlpool, Kitchen Aid, Bauknecht and Sears Kenmore. Each brand has worked to develop a personality that complements the character in the homes of their customers.

  • Whirlpool Corporation
  • Consumer
  • Product Design
  • Engineering
  • Prototyping
  • User Experience


Whirlpool leveraged Design Central’s knowledge of the appliance market and product development expertise to assist them in establishing new categories, strengthening languishing brands and bringing new products to market as they worked to grow their brand around the world. Whirlpool looked to Design Central as a partner in their pursuit of becoming one of the most well-known appliance manufacturers in the world.


Design Central developed award-winning, iconic products with Whirlpool that resulted in some of their most successful products. The collaboration set a design benchmark in the laundry category; outstripped capacity for production and created Whirlpool’s best-selling dishwasher for its time. Design Central engineering helped Whirlpool enter its first new product category in four decades, as well as set engineering and manufacturing benchmarks which led to exclusive agreements with Lowes and Sears.

Product Design

Whirlpool depended on Design Central for every aspect of the design process, including early concept development, 3D surfacing and implementation. The development of the Duet washer and dryer system required our team to act as a hub between internal design and engineering teams, on different continents, while designing for distinction across Whirlpool brands. The Kitchen Aid Suprema dishwasher required extensive color, finish and material studies to revolutionize the design from the ground up.  Use studies informed the modular, flexible platform and elegant design language that was developed for a matrix of control configurations and feature sets, inside and out. The resulting design supported upscale users’ desire for broad choices in color and finishes, exceeded marketing goals and was recognized for its design excellence by Appliance Manufacturer Magazine.

User Experience Design

Design Central developed user interfaces for all categories of Whirlpool’s large appliances. Our UX experts worked to understand the user needs when creating unique iconography, symbols and controls for laundry systems. They designed point of purchase displays, retail graphics and instruction manuals for kitchen appliances in the Whirlpool, Kitchen Aid and Sears Kenmore brand languages while staying true to the Whirlpool mission. Design Central also focused on the user experience by conducting use analysis studies, consumer research, and competitive research to understand customer perception of what is easy to use.

Prototype Development

Prototype development is an integral part of Design Central’s process. With Whirlpool, prototypes served many purposes, ranging from simple one-off mockups for usability studies, working prototypes for testing, to multiple copies of production quality appearance models for user research. Prototyping was another piece of the process that Whirlpool relied on Design Central in order to validate concepts, steer design intent and keep programs moving forward.