Design for Education
Belkin, education, mobile accessory, classroom
- Thorben Neu, Creative Director
Laptops and tablet devices were being introduced into classrooms. The need for accessories to enable, maintain and protect them offered a short window for Belkin to enter the education market. We envisioned products based on two strategic criteria: They needed to solve a universal challenge that emerged from introducing tablets into the classroom famously well and be extremely quick and simple to develop.
Observational research in classrooms from K to 12 revealed the many challenges with introducing personal mobile devices into classrooms. We generated many ideas for possible future products from our findings.
One challenge rose to the top: Students in the younger age range had a hard time holding the tablets while working. Existing tablet stand cases were designed for grown ups and did not work with the developing dexterity of kids. They were too hard to set up and would collapse easily. A simple stand could help children use their tablets more easily and reduce the interruption of valuable classroom time.
We developed a simple solution that offers two distinct angles - one for group work and one for deep interaction and typing. We avoided adjustability to make the product less expensive and more rugged. It is stackable to fit into commonly used tablet charging carts. The simple, co-molded design is extremely rugged and will not give in to a tug-of-war or prying kids fingers.
Children age K to 3 often use a pencil case to store their items in and out of class. We saw this cases being used as makeshift tablet stands. The second product leverages this insight. It is a tablet stand that has storage built in to double as a pencil case and reduces the amount of clutter on the desk.
Contextual Research | Opportunity Identification | Value Proposition Creation | Design Language | Industrial Design | Engineering Liaison
Thorben Neu, Avery Holleman, Ernesto Quinteros, Oliver Seil, Steve Lane