GE IoT Refrigerator
The vision was to create an IoT refrigerator that is entirely created for shared spaces. This product is innovative in terms of customizability, portability and power saving options. With this refrigerator, we can store and access our food items as needed. This rapid design project was based on a prompt given by GE appliance to design a connected or service-based product which will revolve around meal orchestration, health, and smart delivery service.
Millenials as users
Based on our personal experiences as students, we decided that students and young professionals who live in shared suites, apartments, and hostels/dorms would use this product the most. We thought of assigning the universities, housing societies, and shared hostels as the stakeholders.
Understanding our consumer requirements
We conducted user Interviews to understand food management habits, spending capacity etc of our users. Industry and Market research followed soon after, to understand the competition. A few Industry reports also helped us understand the market and usage patterns better.
• We chose a total of six students and working professionals and conducted semi-structured interviews with them.
• We tried to discover their pain points, needs, and requirements.
How do you manage your food?
• What appliances do you use?
• How do you track your health?
• What are the significant problems faced?
• How do you shop groceries?
We read reports from various sources such as Mintel, IBIS World, etc. to understand the market landscape, trends and identify gaps between them, services available & user needs.
What was the research outcome?
Two main points kept standing out during our research.
• Challenges that our users faced while living in shared spaces
• Appliance adoption rates and lower spending capacity for larger appliances.
Larger appliances are durable and long lasting
People sharing apartments/spaces from 2005 – 2015
Lower acceptance rate
Due to high power consumption and space utilization
Revenue growth rising
Meal kit industry revenue expected to rise till 2022.
Consolidating the research outcome
Potential value proposition
What is the user scenario?
Based on our research, we generalized our customer base using a scenario and created a user persona.
Understanding the use cases
User side journey map
Client journey map
Based on our research findings and insights, we decided to select features that would cater to different sectors such as health, meal orchestration, meal delivery, and connected services.
As we focused on smart portable design we had to be extremely careful and accurate about the dimensions of the product.
3D model representation
Introducing GE Kitchen app
Our final design was a smart portable refrigerator with a companion application to help users manage and make use of the GE IoT portable refrigerator. Below is the high-fidelity prototype of the app.
Users can now view their connected GE appliances and also check details about temperature, storage, and modes.
Sign In / Sign Up
Home page with appliances
Fridge status & setting
Users can keep track of their grocery items stored in the refrigerator. Using this app, they can check on the quality of the food items and expiration dates..
Food in the fridge
Expiry date of food
Adding food item
Suggestions for recipes based on the food items available in the refrigerator.
Recipes by food in fridge
Recipe detail page
Order Meal Kits
Users can get fresh meal kits delivered at the doorstep and understand all the ingredients needs.
Categories of food
Order meal kits
Meal kit detail page
Start building relationship with selected universities in United States.
- Trade in offers on refrigerators.
- Subsidized pricing.
- Demos & promotions
Next move is to target home builders, apartment owners & property owners.
- Subsidized for existing users
- Tv & online advertisements
- Sales representatives
Selling individual compartents on stores like walmart & amazon.
- Online Advertisement
- Promotions & Demos
- Customers Support
Building the market
Based on our research and planning we designed a business model that helped GE build its market around the newly designed IoT refrigerator.
What did I learn?
Design to grow
Focus on how the designs will cater to business needs. A designer should design solutions that will the help a company grow their business along with increased user satisfaction.
Many businesses tend to offer the same User experience and solutions, differentiation strategies will help the product carve a niche of its own. Studying the industry
Assess pain points & gains in the design
Tools like business canvas model, value proposition model, and swot analysis can help designers catch the critical pain points in the user’s journey and design.
Compatibility of design with business
Often designers go crazy with their ideas and design when it comes to planning for a problem space. But in the real world, checking the design compatibility with business needs can result in outstanding results.
A good design needs a good business model
A business model can vary from small problem space to a large one consisting of millions of users, hence a successful business model is when designers can align all the success metrics with their solution.
Eskenazi Health Foundation