how can I Improve the opal
experience to delight users?
opal 1.5 and 2.0
this project is an ongoing project with Firstbuild during my year at GE Appliances, a haier company
overviw on opal 1.0
Opal is a wildly popular
nugget ice maker designed
and built by Firstbuild (a
subsidiary of GE Appliances).
Opal 1.0 includes the main
body, a removable ice bucket
a drip tray, and an ice scoop.
Opal comes with a small ice
scoop that doesn't neccesarilly
have a home anywhere near
the machine. It usually ends up
being just placed on top or in
the drip tray.
2 dimensional body
The Opal 1.0 has a beautifully
minimal body. However, it can
seem very 2 dimensional. The sides
are almost blank if it wasn't for
The water in the Opal 1 is filled by
removing the ice bucket and using a
pitcher to pout water into the bottom.
Where is the cleaning cycle?
To start a cleaning cycle, the user
has to reach behind the unit to
find a switch.
Awkward ice bucket
The ice bucket does not stand well
The Opal 1.0 will remain largely
the same product for another
The Opal 1.5 is an
intermediate product that
will go into production
relatively soon. The
major redesigns include
an area on top where
water can be poured in
and a place for the scoop
to attach to the body. I
must limit new tooling.
The Opal 2.0 will have slightly
different form factor. It
will have more three
dimmentional features and
an independent removable
bucket for the water as well
as some features from 1.5
Solving Scoop storage and water refill
cleaning kit sortage
baffles keep water from "sloshing" out as water is added. a stopper could keep
the bottom from overflowing as the top is being filled.
the window strategy
The user needs to know when to stop pouring so this
group of concepts includes a window cutting through
the insulation and stainless steal in the front. This
is the simplest idea but it will be relatively costly due
to some retooling.
the float strategy
This group of concepts includes a tall float or bobber that rises as the the reservoir fills and gives an indication at the top near the pour point. This idea is more user friendly and potentially cheaper but has some engineering difficulties.
a float at the bottom
connects with an indicator
at the top which gives
feedback on progress as the
the scoop is stored inside
the lid and slides out when
gap gives a predictable overflow point
The ice bucket's new form factor allows
it to stand alone and be presented to
A new removable water container
allows the user to fill Opal without
hassle or mess caused by a pitcher.
Solving Scoop storage, water refill, Geometry,
cleaning cycle, and the ice bucket