Ramji Rengarajan | ram86is@gmail.com

Exterior Design of a Direct Cool Refrigerator for HAIER

Guide Bhaskar M R Bhatt
Sponsor Haier Appliances India Pvt.Ltd.
Keywords brand buy matrix;ergonomic dimensions;handle explorations;user evaluation

The project required conducting a market and user research across major cities in the country to ensure that the refrigerators manufactured by the sponsor could compete better with other brands in the market.

User research helped understand the real scenario the sponsor was facing and also in suggesting a feasible solution; this research was carried out through personal interviews with consumers and an online questionnaire and survey. Results from the market research were used for product planning and in creating the product roadmap in terms of design deliverables for the next three years. Design solutions were provided in this direction; the situation demanded phased implementation of ideas at various levels, beginning with low investment ideas such as improvement of graphics to a little costlier investment such as new door profiles and handle forms.

With regard to handle explorations, handles of various forms were shown to the users for evaluation and feedback; user evaluation helped analyse the pros and cons of each form. Considering the ergonomic dimensions, the length of the handle holding area was kept fairly long; also, the provision for finger tip depth was taken into consideration while designing the proper gap between the handle and the door profile. New concepts for the exteriors and interiors of refrigerators in the development phase were also part of the project.

The concept refinement phase of the project was very interesting. Interaction with the users brought new insights into the design process; hence, a design that satisfied them in all aspects could be created. This project also catered to the utility-based needs that would not normally be explained directly by the consumers themselves.
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