2017 International Home + Housewares Show: Trends and Discoveries

Now that we all have had some time to recuperate after an amazing and exhausting 4 days at the 2017 International Home and Housewares Show, I wanted to share a few of our findings here at CHOi Design. First of all, WOW! We saw some really amazing products, inspiring in both form and function. For this article I am going to focus on the Wired + Well expo, which featured kitchen, household and personal care electronics. 

Have you ever heard of a Vacuum Blender? I hadn’t either! According to Kuvings, the vacuum blender removes air from the container prior to the start of the blending process, maximizing the nutritional value of the beverage. And while it isn’t a vacuum, I was drawn to the auto blend feature that automatically stops blending when the food has reached the optimal amount of blending.

Kuvings Vacuum Blender

image credit:

My friends and family laughed as I recounted the interesting products I saw at the show. Why would that be funny? Because I am a TERRIBLE cook! My saving grace so far has been cooking blogs with simple recipes and LOTS of pictures. This is precisely why I was so excited about this next discovery: the Hestan Cue. This is a smart cooking system that integrates an induction burner, recipe app and smart cookware, which all work together through Bluetooth technology to make your cooking experience fool proof. Worrying about timing and temperature is no longer a concern, since the Hestan Cue will control this for you. 

Hestan Cue Precision Cooker

image credit: Jenny McGrath / Digital Trends

There was an abundance of exhibitors showcasing their one-pot cookers. Stemming from the classic slow cookers, these multi cookers increase functionality by integrating features for pressure cooking, slow cook, steam, brown and saute. If you want to know a bit more about individual models from the show, take a look at this multicooker article from

Yedi 7 In 1 Mult Functional Pressure Cooker
Fagor Multi Cooker

(left) image credit: / Kori Perten (right) image credit:

Coffee Coffee Coffee! Digital Trends created a roundup of cool coffee devices from the show that demonstrates this trend very well.

Dash Rapid Cold Brew Coffee Maker

image credit: Jenny McGrath / Digital Trends

I’ve kept to a kitchen theme today, but there were so many other amazing innovative products being displayed at the show. Make sure to take a look at the links I’ve included in the article for more Insights on the show!

Lindsay Schultz
Researcher at CHOi Design Inc.

UX vs. UI Designers: who does what?

Ux vs UI Graphic

While UX (user experience) and UI (user interface) go hand-in-hand for a successful product, the roles of the two design disciplines are very different. Don Norman, the cognitive scientist that coined the term UX in the early 1990’s, wrote a more recent article in which he highlights the blurred lines and interdependence between these fields:

“True user experience goes far beyond giving customers what they say they want, or providing checklist features. In order to achieve high-quality user experience in a company's offerings there must be a seamless merging of the services of multiple disciplines, including engineering, marketing, graphical and industrial design, and interface design.”

That being said, there are distinct responsibilities and expertise involved that distinguish one profession from the other.  UX designers focus on how the product feels. They approach a project in an analytical manner, the main concern being that the product logically flows through each point in an interaction. To achieve this outcome, UX designers utilize user research, personas, usability testing, wireframes, and information architecture.

UI designers are responsible for creating a graphic layout that visually communicates the path created by a UX designer. Color, typography, interactive element placement, and brand language are all critical components to UI designers, but there is also involvement with developers and code.

The roles of the UX and UI designer can vary from place to place, even overlapping in some instances to create a “hybrid” UX/UI role. The responsibilities of these disciplines are also found under different titles; for example, the term “web designer” is often used define UI designers that can code. Rule of thumb, don’t decide on a designer by their title, but rather by the compatibility of their skills and a projects needs.

CHOi Design