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. 


the 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 vents.

filling water

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

by itself

Opal 1.0

The Opal 1.0 will remain largely

the same product for another


Opal 1.5

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.

Opal 2.0

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


opal 1.5

Solving Scoop storage and water refill

concept 1

scoop storage

drain hole

cleaning kit sortage

concept 2

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

user pours

the scoop is stored inside

the lid and slides out when


gap gives a predictable overflow point

opal 2.0

ice bucket

The ice bucket's new form factor allows

it to stand alone and be presented to


slosh proof

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