This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Guidelines for Designing Kitchen Appliances for the Elderly




Raven, Susan

Type of Degree



Industrial Design


The number of elderly people in the United States is growing due to the baby boom. The life span of kitchen appliances is also growing due to new technologies that are developed. Since the elderly will be using their kitchen appliances longer than before, their appliances should be designed with their needs in mind. The guidelines created in this study give specific dimensions and shapes for features such as knobs, buttons, switches, and handles. The luminance level of lights, frequency and decibel of sounds, and color and size of graphics are also given. To create these guidelines, existing control standards and the aging process of humans were analyzed. The guidelines were applied to the design of a microwave oven.