Discover the true value of interfaces on premium smart products

Haier OS

By 2022, ecosystems of digitalized products brought consumers unprecedented convenience. However, in the smart home industry, there still was a struggle to provide users with truly valuable novel experiences that leveraged the new capabilities. Previously, the addition of large touch displays to transfer utility controls from analogue to digital was enough to add the perception of intelligence in smart home products. Consumers now understand that this does not inherently provide tangible, unique benefits to the end user over traditional solutions. As a result, PHOENIX was tasked by Haier to understand, define, and produce new innovative user experience, user interface, and product features that leveraged the smart display to discover the user value of connected devices.
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From Utility to Connection

In order to address the challenge of value discovery, three key areas need to be considered. The first is providing a set of unique features that are best experienced through the display, as opposed to through a smartphone or tablet. The second establishes a new interface user experience that leverages the display's unique properties, such as its size, verticality, or placement within the kitchen environment, as a new HMI design language. The third is redefining the user interface look and feel, which comfortably fits within not only the product itself but also as an element within a variety of kitchen interior design environments while retaining established core brand principles. Throughout the design process, these challenges and subsequent results also needed to be validated on-site with users from conception to frequently.

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Futurist details and interaction markers provide the connection between interior-based product aesthetics and Haier’s core brand principle of a technological leader.
It is critical to first validate the scenarios and feature concepts with users to ensure desirability and gauge potential value before scaling and production.


Designing beyond the Product

To address these challenges, PHOENIX defined the design language 'Modern Transparency' as consisting of two core elements incorporating transparent glass, a reference to home interior design language, and futuristic visual elements to exhibit the once-hidden innovative core technologies. Haier understood that improving the relationship between users and their stored food was critical. Through agile research and multiple rounds of validation with the target users, our team clarified user needs for both content and unique features. PHOENIX then defined the four core features for the product MVP.

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New Era of Kitchen Experiences 

Global navigation — A unified vertical navigation bar guides the user through the different key views in an intuitive and familiar way. Dynamic Health —with facial cardiovascular reading technology integration, the feature can analyze the user's health status and provide personalized recommendations for ingredients and recipes within the refrigerator, meal preparation, or even earlier. Mindful Cooking — A set of unique guided experiences which combine meal preparation recipes, dynamic music, and a calming voice to create a meditative retreat for users in their daily lives. New Vision of Design Language — A new clear visual hierarchy and visual direction which emphasizes a thoughtful consistency between the digital and physical product design language.

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