KSU Masters Project Journal

Week 1

Kent State University - Master's Project Proposal Spring 2018

Smart Kitchen: The Amazon Fresh Refrigerator & Voice based UX integrated Alexa

Week 1

Week 1 - Scope

  • Discover and report on VUI’s (voice user interface design)

  • Read Chapters 1-3 and Journal on useable finings -  Book; Design for voice user interfaces, Principles of conversational experiences By Cathy Pearl


Explore Smart in-home Technologies - Report on and Journal on possible value propositions as they may pertain to the project.

Chapter 1: Introduction and history of VUI’s
Chapter 2: Basic voice user interface design and principles
Chapter 3: Personas, avatars, actors, and video games

3. Lay the groundwork for a 7 website based Journal and
2. Journal and report on the exploration of Smart in-home Technologies as they may pertain to the Smart Kitchen.

1. Report back in Brief as to the usable findings from the readings as they may pertain to the Masters Project in Journal format.casestudy solution on my Professional. (All journal entries will be seen here as well a the final case study and prototypes on www.mcdesignthinking.com)

Week 1 - Findings


Masters project Week 1 Journal







Smart Kitchen products & Concepts



Similar to the Amazon Dash button, GeniCan sits with your garbage can to make sure you never forget the groceries you need.


To add items to a shopping list, you simply swipe the item's barcode code on GeniCan's barcode reader. You can then find the item added to a list on the GeniCan app on your smartphone.

If the item doesn't have a barcode, hold the item (or your hand) in front of the scanner for a few seconds. When GeniCan does not sense a barcode it will ask "What may I add to your list?" and you can tell it to add mac 'n cheese, or whatever you want.


$149, genican.com






If you're used to inputting all your caloric intake through various food tracking apps, then SmartPlate wants to make your life easier. The 10-inch plate is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled and, get this, it comes equipped with three mini cameras and weight sensors. Basically, your dish will be watching you - or in other words, figuring out what you're eating and doling out proper portions.manually.  If you serve yourself too much, the plate will alert you. There's also an app that syncs up with the plate to automatically analyze and keep track of every meal, and connects to MyFitnessPal & Fitbit.

$119, getsmartplate.com



Not quite as hi-tech as LG's tech-tastic cooker but nifty nevertheless, this crowdfunding success story will keep count of your eggs - up to 14 - letting you know (using LED lights and the companion app) which ones are the oldest and which ones might be going bad.

Essential reading: Best smart home tech

Whats more, it's IFTTT compatible, so you can set up some interesting IoT combos. For example, "If I run out of eggs, play I am the Walrus on Spotify".

$49, quirky.com | Amazon



Drop scales will have you baking like Mary Berry in no time. You simply select your chosen dish from a companion app's recipe book and these connected scales will help you put together the exact ingredients to make your bake a great success.

The recipes are all one-bowl affairs, so less washing up after, and the app will even offer up alternatives ('smart substitutions') if you haven't got quite enough of one ingredient.

$79.95, getdrop.com | Amazon


Highlights from reading - Chapter  2


Avoid cognitive overload by Creating rich VUI experiences. Using both voice commands and visual Solutions at the same time during voice Journeys. It's important to build the voice commands as well as the mobile app at the same time.


The number of interactions in a user has with a VUI is known as a “turn”. Most user interactions are a single turn.


Conversational design -  conversational designs include multiple turns Beyond one and as many as four or five. Most conversational Design Systems are not capable of holding conversations Beyond two or three turns. Example, Figure 2 - 4 Page 19


* Completing a conversational design to the user can be an endorphin rush and prompt the user to continue forward down the path.


Unnecessary verbiage - Design with breadth in mind Example P.20 It's not always necessary to give a confirmation to a user during a conversational turn. For instance, when setting an alarm, instead of telling the user that the alarm was successfully set to consider saying starting a timer for 10 minutes. By telling the user you're starting the timer you're also telling them that the alarm was also successfully set. Using breadth allows the user to make assumptions and thereby reducing the number of turns necessary for the conversation to be successful.


*Don't forget the corresponding task. If you can set an alarm to make sure you designed for being able to cancel the alarm.


Leverage in common vocabulary or terminology can be valuable in certain instances like taking a picture. Example: P. 21 “1,2,3... Cheese!”




Sample Dialogue - Samples for the smart Kitchen


Check the quantity of a product - 1 turn

User: How much milk do I have left?

AI: I estimate you have ½ gallon left in the gallon currently in stock.














Adjusting the temperature on the refrigerator - 1 turn

User: Adjust the temperature up down to 48 degrees

AI: I’ve adjusted the temperature down to 48 degrees from 50 degrees
















Replacing the Milk - 3 turns

User: It looks like I’m almost out of milk. Please replace the milk.

AI: No problem. Would you like the same item replaced?

User: Yes

AI: Great, I’ve placed into your cart. Shall I process the purchase? (Screen: Show the user the cart screen with product. Confirmation)

User: Yes

AI: Your milk has been purchased and will be delivered soon. (Screen: Show the user the product purchase confirmation and expected a delivery date. Confirmation)

























New Recipe and product ordering - 3 turns

User: Show me recipes for Thai Food

AI: I’m displaying recipes for Thai Food now. What looks good?

Screen: Show the user a list of recipes with products available to purchase only.


User: Pad Thai looks good!

AI: I’m displaying the ingredient list now. Looks like you need a few items though.

Screen: Show the user a list of items the user needs to complete the recipe. Offer a one-click purchase option or voice command.


User: Looks good, purchase the item for me.

AI: I’ve placed the Items in the cart and completed the purchase.

Screen: Show the user a list of items in a purchased order screen with the estimated delivery date.
































Change item in the recipe list

User: Show me the Thai food purchase

AI: I’m displaying the items you just purchased.

Screen: Show the user a list of items in the products.

User: Cancel the eggs. I have eggs from a different store.

AI: No problem! The order hasn’t shipped yet. I’ve removed the eggs from your order.

Screen: Show the user a list of items with the adjustment to the order list.
























Smart Kitchen Product Research


After looking at over 50 different refrigerators at Best Buy, a local store for consumers at the mid-market level to purchase from, I finally settled on a Model I thought most appropriate based on it price point, style and appeal, and features and functionality. The model light shows was the LG LFXC24726S At a price point of $2,400, This refrigerator seems to be at the right price with the right features in to suit an early adopter target audience seeking a smart refrigerator fully stocked with Alexa connections to your Amazon Prime and Amazon Fresh accounts.


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