How would you design a "Google Refrigerator" ?
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in Product Design by (13 points) | 808 views

4 Answers

+3 votes

What is Refrigerator

  • Place to store food and liquid items to preserve by cooling so they are not wasted
  • Place to freeze - to make ice or ice cream
  • Overall helping families and businesses to cook and store food
Objectives of Google
  1. To make fridge more informative and engaging 
  2. Connect to Internet/IoT to make on demand and remote usage
  3. Integrate with Google Nest to improve platform appeal
Who are the customers
  • Individuals and Families
  • Businesses such as restaurant
We'll focus on individuals and families are it is bigger market and more relvant to objectives of Google
What are the pain points of individuals and families
  1. Difficult to keep track of finished/unfinished items to buy again
  2. forget to keep items or remove at certain time
  3. cannot manage fridge remotely or on demand
  4. have to open fridge to see whats inside
  5. no dedicated place to keep medicines separately
  6. interaction - 80% usage revolves around fridge and 20% around freezer and people have to bend down to use fridge
Items in any fridge
  1. Veg - Vegetables and Fruits and cooked food
  2. Non Veg - Eggs and Meat and cooked food
  3. Drinks - Water, Alcoholic and non alocohic beverages, shakes, juices etc
  4. Solids - Ice and Icrecreams
  5. Medicines
Relevant Features and Solution for Each Pain Point
Pain PointsUser Experience
User ReachImpactConfidence in assumptionsRICE Score Priority
Keep track of itemsHighsync with grocery list
and grocery apps
High : 3100%High : 3100%100*3*100/3 = 10,0002
Forget to put stuffMediumReminders
and Timers
Medium : 250%Low : 120%50*1*20/2 = 1,0005 (will not implement)
Remote managementHighConnected to Internet/ IoT 
On demand usage
High : 350%High : 380%100*3*80/3 = 8,0003
See without openingHighCameras inside and
screen on front to see
Medium : 2100%High : 350%100*3*50/2= 7,5004
Separate medicine cabinetLownot sure if it will get utilized. need spce and inside door
limited to few bottles
High : 310%Low  : 120%10*1*20/3 = 66.666 (will not implement)
Interaction - freezer vs fridgeHighno need to bend downEasy : 1100%High : 3100%100*3*100/1 = 30,0001


  1. Easy to use without bending
  2. Track items to buy (inventory planning)
  3. Remote management - IoT
  4. See without opening
by (61 points)
+1 vote

Clarifying Questions: What do you mean by google refrigerator? Like a cooling divide that Google made? Should I consider any business goal other than designing the product?

Interviewer: I think Google wants to enter into Home improvement segment, after acquiring Nest, You can consider new market to entry.

Understood, The market is very saturated and highly competitive in household segment by companies such as LG, Whirlpool. So the barriers to entry will be very high and Google needs to standout in terms of offering this refrigerator by giving innovative solution.

I want to start from Customer Segment and then Personas and Analyze personas to design the Features of the product, then prioritize and layout success metrics, does that sounds good?

Customer Segmentation 1) Grocery Business 2) Restaurants 3) Households.

Household market is very saturated and believe every household has a refrigerator and the upgrade is not that frequent. So I would like to not focus on this segment for personas.

Lets consider

1) Grocery Business

Important aspects to consider/personas:

1) most of the Grocery stores do home delivery these days /use Prime Now etc. for delivery, this requires efficiently selecting fresh items from refrigerator

2)Cares about power saving when there is no inventory cost optimization

3) Large refrigerators, very hard to understand where there is space

4)Inventory management needs human effort/bandwidth

2) Restaurants

1)Similar like above

2) Ability to understand freshness if a major concern and needs human effort

3) make food on the go, even ice cream, instant cooling is taken care by liquid nitrogen in a  default setting(which has some side effects on human hands- blisters, redness etc.)

4)Ability to generated reports to align with Food industry and Hygiene is a manual effort

Proposed design elements:

Features: 1)Capture number of item and inventory management with auto scanner bar code inside fridge 2) Works like vending machine with Last in First out order for Grocery Delivery service to optimize waste 3) power off or low when no inventory available-Inventory detection 4)Freshness report using Machine learning technology 5) Instant freezing technique which doesn’t needs  liquid nitrogen 6) Ability to dismantled refrigerator segments to optimize space.

Prioritization 1) 2) 3 4) applicable to both segments, due to larger opportunity sizing, will tag these as high priorities

5) 6) Could be medium priority as more applicable to segment 2 only.

Next steps 1) Pricing and Market strategy 2) Success metrics define.


by (33 points)
Great answer!
0 votes

Possible persona:

  1. bachelors - living in shared apartments
  2. working couples
  3. family (working couple with 3 kids)
  4. Elderly
I would like to brainstorm "Family" as my target customer unless you want me to discuss something else.
Persona in detail:
  • Family of 4 - 2 working adults, 2 school going kids
  • have a nanny
  • Health is one of their priority
  • want to eat fresh food daily
  • only 2 people cook - mom and nanny
  • breakfast - egg, milk, cereal, bread, coffee
  • lunch is cooked only on weekends (kids eat at school and parents eat at the office)
  • dinner is cooked every day in the evening
Here are some of the features that come to my mind when I think of this fridge
  1. reminder
  2. check for expiry/ freshness 
  3. remotely check 
  4. Moonshot: Smart suggest
a family who has google home is buying this fridge. which means, google already knows how many people are there in the family and most likely it also knows to food preference of each member.
Let's now discuss the features in detail:
  1. Based on daily consumption, the fridge will be able to figure out what items are consumed daily and in what quantity. accordingly, Fridge will add these items to your grocery list . to add items to the grocery list, the fridge will consider 2 factors:
    1. Amount of food left in the fridge and daily consumption
    2. your shopping day - Say, you shop every Wednesday, (fridge would know this because that's when you restock the fridge), your grocery list will be ready in Google Keep accordingly
  2. Seasonal reminders: Fridge will give seasonal reminders like "fresh cherries are available in farmer's market next to your house, enjoy them with vanilla bean ice cream in the freezer."
  3. Special event's reminder:example: "It's your daughter's birthday tomorrow, order chocolate cake for her". Moonshot: Fridge places the order from a bakery close to your house. 
Fridge keeps a track of expiration date of all the items and freshness of produce and notifies you before in item is about to expire or go bad
Remote check
Fridge keeps a list of items along with the quantity and expiry date, which you  can access any time from anywhere
Let me take a few moonshots:
  1. Suppose I go grocery shopping every Wednesday and the fridge keeps my list ready accordingly. Suppose I go and meet a friend in a coffee shop on Saturday close to the grocery store I normally go. Fridge then sends me a notification like "you are running low on milk, you are 0.5 miles away from the grocery store, buy it on your way back"
  2. The fridge should be able to suggest recipes every evening based on the family preferences and ingredients available in the fridge.
to summarize, my fridge is designed to make your life easy at the same time enabling you to eat healthy and fresh.
by (23 points)
0 votes

How would you design a google refrigerator ?

In General a referigerator is used to keep things cool so to increase the shelf life of different items.

I am assuming here that by “Google Refregerator” i mean some innovative product in term of features/capabilities which google is going to produce which is currently not present in the market.

Let me list down the list of users which can use google refrigerator

  • Mothers 

  • House Helps 

  • Children 

  • Restaurant workers 

  • Pharmacists 

Let us take the Restaurant workers as our focus users.

Use cases / Pain points

  1. Unable to find space to put new food item in the refrigerator (which leads to food items getting spoiled early)

  2. A food item which is in refrigertor getting rotten if not used in permissible time

  3. Unaware of insects or other rodents which some how reside in the refrigerator there by contaminating / damaging food item 

  4. At times, electricity fails and food get rotten 

  5. Fridge maintain one tempreature throughout, although different food items need different conditions to be fixed 

  6. Its cumbersome to find and take out food items at times


  •  Out of all the use cases, (1),(2),(4) are more important that other because food is getting spoiled, which has a dollar cost to the restaurant owner, firstly its increasing the cost of the restaurant and moreover if spoiled food is cooked, it leads to the bad customer experienece thereby losing customer, As there is s dollar cost associated with these use cases , it becomes important to solve for these first 


  • Solutions for Use Case (1)

    • Refridgerater has movable compartments, user can manually make room for any food item

    • Refridgerater has a scanner which will scan the food, and tell the user where it could be accomodated

    • Refrigerater hsa a scaneer which scans the food, and automatically makes space for the food item

  • Solution for use case (2)

    • Refrigerater monitors the food items present inside and notifies the user via sms that food is about to get spoiled and unfit for consumption

    • Refrigerater monitors the food items present inside and when someone opens the refrigerator, then voice command infirms user that food is about to get spoiled and unfit for consumption

    • Refrigerator automatically places the food item to the top of the fridge to get the attention of the user 

  • Solution for Use Case (3)

    • Automatically shifts food to a colder compartment (based on which food will get spoiled earlier)

    • Refrigerator has a battery inside it to manage power failure for some time 

    • Alerts User via SMS to take some action

Out of above solution - i will choose (based on innovation factor and user experience)

  • Refrigerater hsa a scaneer which scans the food, and automatically makes space for the food item Refrigerater monitors the food items present inside and when someone opens the refrigerator, then voice command infirms user that food is about to get spoiled and unfit for consumption

  • Refrigerator has a battery inside it to manage power failure for some time

by (25 points)
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