Time: 10 weeks | Team: 3 people
Role: researcher, CAD, sketching
The Freescale corporation is a computer processor manufacturer. They wanted to develop their own tablets, so they came to SCAD for innovative ideas. They wanted to hit certain price-points, while targeting specific demographics. I worked with two others to develop a tablet for the 20-25 year old at a $499 price-point.
We spent time shadowing, surveying, interviewing, and collecting cultural probes. We wanted to know what technology people owned, used regularly, and some of their purchasing motivations. From this we created a living wall in our studio space to pin up our cultural probes, artifact photos, survey data, shadowing results, and our other inspirations.
Unsatisfied with the prospect of just designing another tablet, we continually pushed the boundaries of what the client had asked for. We wanted to look at our design more holistically, and understand where our tablet would live in people’s lives.
We created graphics to show the results of our research. This data was gathered from over 200 participants in our online surveys. By understanding what people already owned, we could see where a tablet would fit in. Laptops were almost unanimously owned because of their price and transportability. Cellphones, TV, and printers were also considered necessities.
We were also fascinated by what this young demographic was really motivated by. We began asking more personal questions, and were surprised by the overwhelming response of altruism. However, underlying all these compassionate ideals was the sense of confusion and disconnection on how to carry them out. We felt there was a strong opportunity here. We really wanted to help, in some small way, to bridge the gap between wanting to do “good” and actually acting on it.
The scope and ambition we held about the project was large. We knew right away that it would be hard to keep our focus and priorities over the coarse of the 9 weeks. Early in the project, after we had done most of our research to understand our audience, we charted out our goals.
The Soul became the very essence of the project, what we hoped would carry over into each part. The Heart would be the services and interactions supporting the product. Finally, the Body were all the physical components that the user would see and interact with. The Soul was our need to create a positive product. We wanted it to be sustainable, and useful over a long life-span. The idea was also that we could create a sense of a community culture that would tie together the owners of this tablet.
The Heart began to flesh out these bigger ideas. By creating a durable tablet, but also one easy to assemble, it could then have parts swapped out or repaired to make it last. We wanted the consumers to participate in the creation of their tablet. By customizing it before they buy it, they invest into it more. Ultimately, the way we wanted to foster a sense of community and “doing good” was through company charitable donation acts, chosen at the time of purchase.
The Body was not just the tablet itself, but the docking stations and keyboard which would make the tablet relevant and useful beyond just a portable medium. Small color application on the tablet, would correlate with a different type of charity that the company would donate to. As the color was chosen at time of purchase, the buyer gets a role in contributing to a charity of their choice. This starts to create a sense of “doing good” for the user.
To show the life-cycle of our tablet, and some of its components along the way, we created a basic story-board.
The tablet components are manufactured in a responsible way. When the buyer goes online to order one, they choose which color they want. This color choice correlates to which charity is donated.
When the tablet arrives, it is packaged in environmentally friendly materials. Several of the components are seperated, but their is an engaging book to show how to assemble. By assembling it oneself, costs reductions are made in manufacturing, but there is also a bonding experience with the buyer. They become more familiar with their technology and a little less afraid of it.
The tablet is meant to live in several niches. It is portable, but also has a station at home. The tablet works as entertainment and tool. It has capabilities of monitoring the home’s energy use as well.
When parts wear out or are in need of an upgrade, an informed company employee is there to walk you through the steps of replacement. Many parts may be recycled, and some even composted. If the tablet is no longer wanted, it can be sent back to the manufacturer to completely recycled.
Based on HP’s innovations and efforts in sustainability, we felt the would be an ideal partnership for Freescale. Here we show what a buyer might see when they go to their web site to purchase this tablet. The color corresponds to which type of charitable contribution will be made. There are also other customized parts of the tablet.
Here is what the tablet might appear as when received. While all contained in a single box, the components must be assembled by the buyer. A detailed book is presented foremost to guide the user along the way. The book would also contain more information about his tablet, and its environmentally friendly background.
The tablet pc here is unique. It operates with two touch-screens. There is the larger one, which would contain the main window. The smaller screen on the side acts as a homing dock, where applications are displayed. When the tablet screen is propped upwards, this second screen is capable of acting as a keyboard. In this position, a dock and keyboard accessory become unnecessary. This is ideal for mobile situations when away from home. At the top is the camera with the band of color displaying charity loyalty.
We created a series of scenarios to demonstrate how the two screens might act together and how the tablet might be used.
The tablet is an ideal tool for note taking. As the notes are being made, something can be highlighted and the reference for it can be drawn up in the second screen.
The idea here is that the tablet is capable of working with other smart devices. Here, a recipe is needed and looked up on the tablet. The information is dragged down and captured in the second screen. This is then slid over, where it transfers to the smartphone device. From here, the information can be viewed and edited on the go.
When reading an ebook, the app for reading could be chosen at the bottom of the screen. Choosing a book from your library, and then scrolling through the pages make the reading experience enjoyable.
When away from the home docking and keyboard station, the tablet can prop and the second screen can act as keyboard. The larger screen is capable of multitasking, and different windows can be browsed through.
Our hope was to create a compelling product that would live beyond just an entertaining device. We wanted to give people something that was really needed, and would enhance their every day lives. The best way to capture our goals was to put the product in context of services and interactions which would enrich their experiences.