Iyer Sriram Visvanathan | sriiyer25@gmail.com

New Frost Free Refrigerator for India

Guide Bhaskar M R Bhatt
Sponsor Haier Appliances India Pvt.Ltd.
Keywords buying trends;customisation;ergonomic study;storage needs

The project was about designing the next range of double-door frost free refrigerators and help the sponsor establish a significant market presence in India. The project was later extended to design and development of the frost-free refrigerator portfolio to cater to the global market.

Market research helped understand Haier as a brand, brand perception of Haier among Indian consumers, understanding the economics of the Indian consumer appliance market, its competitors, and the consumer buying trends in India. User study (demographics, food habits, celebrations and food) gave a better understanding of changing user storage needs among different regions in India. An ergonomic study was undertaken to understand people’s storage patterns, ease of accessibility among different percentile users, problem areas, and also to capture the jugaad design intervention or customisation the users themselves develop to make the refrigerator suit them better.

Ideation led to designing a unique form language to make Haier as a brand standout amongst the other brands in India. Materials and finishes were also decided keeping in mind the current trends, later translated to CAD. The initial design concept was detailed to include product interface, parting lines, branding, materials and was taken till a stage where it was ready for production.

The entire design experience helped translate contextual scenarios to realisable design features on the product to make it more functional and easy to use to the varying needs of the wide user population in India. It was extremely rewarding to work with a cross functional team, right from marketing to coming up with design trade-offs which retained the interests of individual teams without losing the design intent.
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