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Product Design Technology BSc

University of Brighton

Dr Eddy Elton

DP361 -Product Research






Market Assessment


Literature Review


Review of Secondary Research




Questionnaire Results


Questionnaire Review


Cultural Probe Results


Cultural Probe Review


Observation Results


Observations Review


Review of Primary Research




Image Board


User Requirement Specification





As the technology market grows and develops, the demand for new technology within educational institutes increases. Over recent years there has been many media reports on the introduction of technology devices, such as tablets, into primary and secondary educational institutes, and their impacts on learning within these earlier stages of learning. However the use of these tablet devices within post compulsory education, further and higher, appears to have had significantly less coverage.


role & use of

tablet devices within

further & higher education’


Therefore this report will focus on the role & use of tablet devices within further & higher education. Primary and secondary research methods, such as literature reviews, questionnaires, cultural probes, and observations, will be used in order to gain a good understanding of; what devices are currently being used, how they are used, and the accessibility issues linked with these devices.

Introduction In recent years there has been an increasing amount of literature published on; the further education (post 16years, such as A-levels) & higher education (post 18, such as degrees) market, the tablet/ereader market, and how they both interlink to create the education technology market. This literature review will investigate the demand for and growth of these markets, and how they influence one another. With the intention of discovering whether there is a suitable growing market for further research and product development. -


Education Market

All the key information gained from the research will be translated into a persona, image board, and user requirement specification, which will be used to aid the development of a product that is well suited to the users needs.

A recent market report on further & higher education carried out by Key Note shows that the total number of student in further education has fallen since the academic year 2008/2009. Although this report stated a fall in further education, it also showed that more students




With most research on ‘tablet device use in education’ being focused on compulsory education years, there is a concern that students studying on post compulsory courses are missing out. With a high majority of the tablet devices that have been adapted for educational uses not being suitable for their needs.

Market Assessment

continued onto higher education; therefore causing a small but continuous rise in the number of higher education students over the same period (Hucker, 2013). The same market report also showed that; a sharp rise of 20% in spending on further education from 2008/2009 to 2009/2010, was followed by significant drops in spending from 2010/2011 to 2011/2012. The report suggests that factors such as the scrapping of EMA and budget cuts are the main factors that contributed to this drop in students and spending (Hucker, 2013). The report by Key Note also showed that the drop in further education spending was not replicated in higher education; where the spending increased from £22,877 million in 2007/2008 to £26,521 million in 2011/2012. Even though there was an increase in spending, the rate of increase decreased year-on-year; from a 8.9% rise 2006/2007 to 2007/2008, to a 1.1% rise 2010/2011 to 2011/12. The Key Note report also stated that university funding cuts could further impact the market, with the Higher Education Funding Council for England reducing it’s budget from £6.51bn in 2011/2012 to £5.21bn in 2012/2013. (Hucker, 2013).

Number of students in further & higher education (Hucker, 2013)

This means that, even though there were almost double the amount of further education students compared to higher education students in 2011/2012, spending in higher education was actually more than double of that in further education. This meant that in 2011/2012 spend per student was £2265 in further education and £9874 in higher education. -

Tablet & E-Reader Markets

A report carried out by Pew Research on tablet and e-reader ownership communicated that; 35% of American’s over 16 owned a tablet, up from 25% in 2012; and 24% owned an e-reading device, up from 19% in 2012. Overall, 43% of American’s own either a tablet and/or an e-reader, up from 33% in 2012 (Rainie, 2013). The same report also showed that 16-17year olds were the most likely to own a tablet, with 46% of those asked stating that they

Market Assessment

owned a tablet computer; compared to 37% of people aged between 18-29, 44% of people aged between 30-49 and 31% of people aged between 50-64. This age split was not replicated in e-reader ownership, with the report showing that 30-49 year olds were the most likely to own an e-reader; compared to 24% of people aged between 16-17, 24% of people aged between 18-29 and 22% of people aged between 50-64 (Rainie, 2013). The growth in tablet and e-reader ownership shown in the Pew Research


report is also supported in reports by Ofcom (Ofcom, 2011) & Key Note (Tutt, 2013). Key Note reported that tablet ownership grew from just 2% in Q1 2011 to 11% in Q1 2012; in the same report they suggested that 26.8% of Europe’s internet audience will own a tablet by the end of 2013; this figure is then expected to rise to 43.8% by 2016 (Tutt, 2013).

2012 to $11.6bn, and will continue to grow to £21bn by 2017. It is suggested that this market increase was highly influenced by a increase in educations spending on mobile PC products from 51% of its new hardware spend in 2012 to 59% in 2013 (Doidge, 2013).


The discovery of growth in the schools tablet market was also supported by International Data Corporation & the British Educational Suppliers Association. With IDC stating that there was a 103% rise in the US tablet market in schools in 2011/2012,

Education Technology Market Recent evidence shows that the universe education technology market grew 23% in


from 1.28 million to 2.6 million (Sadauskas, 2013); and BESA stating that the number of tablets in England’s schools is expected to reach 260,000 by the end of 2013, a rise from 100,000 in 2012 (BESA, 2013). The demand for technology in education was also researched by Pearson Group in 2013, their report focused on mobile device ownership and usage among college students in America. A survey carried out for the report discovered that all of the college students asked owned some form of mobile device; with 91% owning a laptop, 72%

Expenditure in further & higher education (Hucker, 2013)


Market Assessment

‘43% of American adults own a tablet and/or e-reader.’ Market Assessment


owning a smartphone, 28% owning a large tablet, 20% owning an e-reader and 18% owning a small tablet (Harris Interactive, 2013). -

Conclusion The literature reviewed shows that there is still a strong demand for post compulsory education in the UK despite the bad economy and rise in university tuition fees. However, students are expecting more from education due to increasing cost of continuing their studies into further

or higher education. It also shows that, although there are more students in further education than in higher education, the spending is significantly greater for higher education than it is for further. The literature also made it clear that there is a large global market for tablet devices that is continually growing. Existing studies have shown that although the consumers within this market cover a wide range of ages, it is 16-17year olds that are most likely to own a tablet, and 30-49year olds that are most likely to own an e-reader.

The studies on the education technology market that were reviewed showed that the strong demand for tablet devices is also apparent in education, with both students and educational institutes investing in tablet devices. -


‘Total universe spend in the global education technology market in 2012 increased 23% to $11.6 billion, & is expected to rise to £21 billion by 2017’


Introduction Over the past few years, as tablet devices have been more accessible to the masses, an increasing amount of literature has been published on the use of tablets & e-readers in education. This literature review will investigate; how tablets & e-readers are used in education, how this impacts study, and how the features of tablets & e-readers affect their ability to work as educational aids. With the intention of discovering how current devices succeed and fail when being using in education.

E-Readers A report by Del Siegle stated that ‘When students are given the opportunity to create an authentic product, the quality of their work improves’. This statement was supported by quote from Dr. Joseph Renzulli who said ‘My own teaching experience has shown that the quality of products that


Market Assessment

Literature Review



Literature Review

students produce is directly related to the authenticity of the products they produce... Therefore, students become more motivated to write when they see their work in a polished e-book format for others to enjoy.’ (Siegle, 2012). The same report listed points such as; free books, the ability to highlight and add comments to text, seek definition of or translate a word, and searchable the text; as pro’s of using an e-reader in the classroom (Siegle, 2012). A recent study by Martinez-Estrada et al. looked into the adoption and use of Kindle e-readers at Tecnologica de Monterrey, a university enrolling over 90,000 students on 33 campuses. The preliminary research within this study indicated that students intention to use technology positively affects their learning (Martinez-Estrada et al., 2012). Martinez-Estrada et al. stated that the positive impacts of using Kindle’s in education were; lower cost of books, the large number of books available, portability, e-ink screens, internet connectivity for instant access to learning materials, and battery performance. Martinez-Estrada et al. also stated negative impacts, such as; difficultly to manoeuvre around the interface with the buttons, lack of consistent page numbers, and difficultly transferring faculty documents onto the device (MartinezEstrada et al., 2012).

Pro’s & Con’s of using Kindle’s for education (Siegle, 2012) (Marmarelli, T et al, 2009) (Martinez-Estrada et al., 2012)

Marmarelli et al. also carried out a similar study at Reed College in which 43 students were given Kindle’s to use in their studies. Although this study supported many of the positive impacts that Martinez-Estrada discovered, Marmarelli et al. discovered a significant number of problems with using the Kindle for study that resulted in them deciding against rolling out the Kindle scheme among all students. The problems discovered included; availability of materials, difficulty in getting university documents onto the device, viewing PDF’s & images, the complex filing system, navigation, and accessibility for visuallyimpaired students. (Marmarelli, T et al,

Literature Review


2009). Martinez-Estrada et al. also looked into the impacts of using the e-readers has educational aids. A questionnaire that was completed by all students who participated in the study discovered that; the average amount of reading per week increased by one third when using the Kindle, 75% reported their class room experience was better, 72% of the students preferred the e-book version, and that 94% would recommend use of the Kindle to other students (Martinez-Estrada et al., 2012). Another interesting point regarding the use of e-readers in education was discovered in Heerden et al’s 2013 report titled ‘Using E-Readers & Tablets in Higher Education: A Student Perspective’ (Heerden, 2013). Heerden used the following quote to illustrate the difference between academic reading and reading for pleasure; ‘Academic reading is not the same as reading for pleasure. It requires the reader to be able to interact with the text, aiding his retention and understanding of the material. Whatever the material might be, the student needs to be able to highlight, make notes in the margin and quickly scan and skim through passages to compare information.’ (Demski, 2010).

Tablets Harris Interactive carried out research on students views of using mobile devices in education. The research showed that; 83% of college students believe tablets will transform the way students learn, 80% believe that tablets make learning more fun, and 68% believe that tablets help students study more efficiently (Harris Interactive, 2013). Another study carried out by Faris et al. at Penn State University researched into the


Student views on Kindle (Martinez-Estrada et al., 2012)

features of tablets and how these features affect the way they are used in education. 42 students were supplied with iPads to test and feedback on; features such as portability, apps & organisation were positively commented on, with one student saying ‘The portability of the iPad is great. And it takes no time to start it up. I now find myself working when I would otherwise be idle’, and the questionnaire results showing that 60% of the students rearranged their apps to either separate personal and course apps or cluster app into themes (Faris, M et al., 2013). -

Literature Review

However not all the feedback gained by Faris et al. was positive, it was reported that a lot of the students were unsure about storing and transferring files. Faris et al. quoted one student who said “[they were] confused about where to find things. How do I save files? Is there a folder I can go through to see everything?’’. Faris et al. also reported that 66% of the students in the study said that they would prefer to use a printed version of the textbook than an e-version, and that the annotating features were over complex, ‘‘iAnnotate PDF needs to stop adding features and buttons. All I really want when I’m editing is a pencil and


technology, such as tablets, into schools. Through questioning teachers who had already successfully integrated technology into their schools/classes, the following points were found to be the biggest barriers in introducing technology into schools; beliefs of teachers, available support, state standards, and money (Ertmer et al., 2012).

Conclusion The literature reviewed shows that there are both pro’s and con’s to using tablets & e-readers in education. Students clearly enjoy using tablets devices, and feel that they can have a good impact on both their studies and lifestyle. But there are many area’s in which the current devices on the market could be improved in order to be more suited for use in education. -

Student views on tablets (Faris, M et al., 2013) (Harris Interactive, 2013)

It was also discovered that one of the key uses of tablet devices in education is reading/reviewing literature, yet there were many usability issues discovered within this area. This appears to be because many of the e-readers used in the studies were focused more towards reading for pleasure than study and therefore lacked features such as page numbers and the ability to easily add your own documents/hand-outs to the device. -

a highlighter.’ (Faris, M et al., 2013).

(Smith, D et al., 2013).



A report by Smith et al. at the University of South Florida looked into the effects of tablets on productivity. One of the key findings discovered in this report was the positive effect that being able to access, edit & share files in a variety of different locations had on productivity. Another positive point that was made within the report was that tablets were ‘good devices for quickly getting our ideas and other notes out of our heads and into a format that can be preserved and shared with others’

Some negative effects were also reported by Smith et al., these included people using tablets to alleviate ‘meeting boredom’ by using the tablets as a distraction, and the difficulty/hindrance of working with a virtual keyboards and digitally transferring files (Smith, D et al., 2013).


Although students enjoying using their tablets for both personal and educational purposes they like to keep these aspects separate by rearranging their apps into categories; this could be in-order to avoid distractions, which appear to be one of the main problems when using a tablet. When it comes to using tablets for studies students do not like them to be over complex, especially when it comes to file management and document editing.



A report by Ertmer et al. in 2012 researched into teachers view on the integration of

A full competitor Analysis can be found in the appendix [A]

Literature Review


In order to support and expand on the secondary research findings primary research methods were used (with permission from the University of Brighton [Appendix B]). Details on each of the methods used and why can be found below. -

Questionnaires The first method of research used in order to gain an overall insight into; current device ownership, usage, buying factors, and other key area’s

were questionnaires. 32 paper questionnaires [Appendix D] were handed out to students at both further & a higher education institutes within Sussex. Then in order to reach a wider demographic, digital questionnaires [Appendix E] were emailed to students across the UK. Overall 55 questionnaires were completed within a week [Appendix F & G]. The demographic break down of the participants can be found in Fig 1. Questionnaires were used because they allow large amounts of information to be gathered, from a wide range of users, within a short period of time. Although questionnaires are good for gathering large amounts of information, this information often lacks detail. -

Cultural Probes The second primary research method that was used, in order to develop on the key findings from the questionnaires and secondary research, such as; are tablets a distraction, and how do students work on tablets, were cultural probes. Five probe

packs [Appendix H] were handed out, or in some cases posted, to students aged 18+, whom had state in the questionnaire that they would be interest in taking part in further research opportunities. Of the five probe packs handed out three were completed and sent back within the 2 week deadline [Appendix I, J & K]. Different options on how to complete each task was given, meaning that each probe pack could be completed in a way that the participant felt most comfortable with. The activities within the packs and the format of the outcomes are listed below: 1. Listing or taking photographs off where they are using their device – (1x photographs only, 1x list only, & 1x list and photographs) 2. Listing or taking a photograph of the contents of their study bag. - (2 x photographs, & 1 x list) 3. Creating a mood board (collage, list, or pinterest board) of their dream study bag and contents. (1x Pinterest board, 1x list/ mind map, & 1x collage) 4. Filling out a booklet about the study activities they are doing, how long they do them for, and how much they get distracted

Left : Figure 1 - Questionnaire Demographic Above : Primary Research Methods - Time spend breakdown



each time they use their device. (3x filled out booklet) 5. Sticking ‘app’ stickers onto a paper device to show what apps they’d like and how they’d organise them. (2x collage using the components supplied, & 1x college using the components supplied with some personal additions) 6. Finishing a small selection of sentences, such as ‘My device is...’ and ‘If I could change anything about my device...’ (3 x filled out postcards) A copy of the observation form can be found in the Appendix [L] -

locations, within further & higher educational institutes within Sussex, and public places. The main points observed were; 1. Time, location, number of people, & number of devices. 2. Device type & set up (table, on lap, ect) 3. Other study tools being used. 4. Task (reading, on internet, ect) 5. Duration of study -

Overall, within the twelve different locations that observations took place in, 40 different study set-ups were observed in a 3 day period [Appendix M]. Observations were used because they allow an honest insight into the habits of a wide range of users. Although observation are good for gaining a high amount of data on user habits they are restricted to the areas in which the researcher has consent to observe, and can give little insight into why the users are acting in such as way.

Cultural probes were used because they are less formal and restrictive than questionnaires. This often means that the participants are more honest and open, therefore allowing a more detailed insight to be gained. They are also unobtrusive, allowing the participant to only complete the tasks that they wish and do so in the way that they feel most comfortable with; information can be gained from analysing what questions were completed and how they were completed, as well as from analysing the outputs/answers themselves. Although cultural probes are good for gaining honest and detailed data, they reach a much smaller audience than questionnaires and it can often be difficult to find willing participants. -

Observations The final method of primary research used were observations. It was decided that observations were necessary in order to gain further insight into how students use technology to do work on-the-move and in public places, as this was a common occurrence among all the participants within the cultural probe and had not been covered by any of the other research methods. The observations took place in twelve Methodology


QUESTIONNAIRE RESULTS Raw data can is in the Appendix [E - G]

Questionnaire Results


Questionnaire Questionnaire Results






Questionnaire Review


Raw data is in the Appendix [I - K]

Introduction The cultural probes aimed to develop on the key findings from the questionnaires and secondary research. With a strong focus on the following; What do students use their devices for and where? Are tablets a distraction? What other tools do students use to study? How do students customise their device? & How do students research? -

My favourite thing about this device is... ‘My books!’ ‘Its capability’ ‘E-ink screen & you can look up definitions’ The annoying thing about my device is... ‘The battery isn’t brilliant’ ‘I can’t live without it’ ‘No colour’ -

Finish the sentence.

When I brought the device I intended to use it mostly for... Now I have it I use it for...

I brought my device because... ‘It was a gift from my boyfriend’ ‘I was upgrading’ ‘It was reasonably priced’ I chose the model of device because... ‘It’s the best’ ‘Because of its reputation’ ‘Can read lots of books & PDF’s’ -

The weirdest place I’ve used my device is...

‘Reading - Reading & Studying’ ‘Internet - Internet, paying bills, studying’ ‘Study - Study & recreational reading’ -

‘The toilet’ ‘In the bath’ ‘In the bath’ I use my device on the move because... ‘It makes the time go quick’ ‘I need it at all times (where ever I am)’ ‘It’s small, light and easy to carry’ If I could change anything about my device, in order to make it more suited to study, I would change... ‘The fact it has Facebook’ ‘Nothing’ ‘Add colour images & highlighting’ My notebook & diary are... ‘Messy & unorganised - Almost Empty’ ‘Messy - Full’ ‘My phone Multicoloured’ -

My favourite place to use my device is... ‘In bed’ ‘On the sofa’ ‘A coffee shop’ -

My textbooks are...

‘Brand new’ ‘Confusing’ ‘Numerous’ My bookshelf is... ‘All in my Kindle’ ‘Eccentric’ ‘Enormous’ The first places I look for research are... ‘Google - Journals - Wikipedia’ ‘Siri - Google - Library’ ‘Google - Book - Google’ -

Cultural Probe


What are you actually doing? Through out the study the participants productivity was very varied. In some cases the participants were distracted for over 60% of the study sessions. For example, in an 1.5 hour study session only 35minutes was spend working

and the rest of the time was spent on social networks. The most productive location appears were on public transport and out-&-about, this is likely to be because the periods of work are shorter and there are less distractions than at home/university.

Where do you use your device?

The following locations were listed in more than one cultural probe...

Although the devices were used in a wide range of different locations by each participant through out the study, some strong similarities were found. Every participant stated that they used their device in bed, at university/college, and on the sofa.









Cultural Probe

Customise your dream study device. The layout and selection of app’s widely varied among the participants, no two participants put the same app in an identical place on their dream devices. -

The following apps were put onto all of the dream study devices...







The internet browser was considered to be of high priority, featuring in either the top row or the dock of every device. -

Although social networking was shown to be a distraction, it was also shown to have positive effects, with one participant stating that they used it as a reward for after they’d completed their work. Surprisingly, even when the participant had been heavily distracted throughout their study session they thought the they had been productive. This could be because they are unaware of the effects of the distractions, or it could link to the fact that, some participants felt that their device made them more productive, stating that they did more ‘hours’ work than hours spend on the device.

Cultural Probe


What’s in your actual & dream study bags?

The following products were in the actual study bag of more than one participant...

The following products were in the dream study bag of more than one participant...

Although the functions of the products with in each participants study bag were similar, the style of these products were very different. Some were more plain, while others were more quirky in terms of colour and style.







The majority of the dream study bags were very similar to the actual study bags. The main differences were the addition of high cost items and a change of style. With many participants opting for more quirky versions of products that they already had.








Cultural Probe

Cultural Probe Review



Raw data is in the Appendix [M]

1 HOUR lesson on

Introduction One of the key findings from the cultural probe was that, students use their devices to study in a wide variety of places, both at home and in public places. Therefore the main aims of these observations were to establish; - The most common places in which devices are used, - How many people are using devices,

DESKTOP PC’S in a classroom at Collyers College Students positioned with their



Majority used a at some point in the lesson

30 MIN free period in the

common room at Collyers College Students on tables and benches arranged into SMALL

GROUPS with very

few sitting on their own. 3x

LAPTOPS being used (some as group), and 1 x TABLET SMARTPHONES

Lots of being used for pleasure rather than work.

- What devices are used, - How long they are used for, & - What set up is used (how/where are they sitting, & what else do they have with them). The people diagrams illustrate how many people there were in the location and how many of these people were using devices (blue).

Devices observed over the duration of the research



Set-ups observed over the duration of the research Observations


30 MINS of observations in

the social

zone of Brighton Universities library.

Lots of GROUPS


TABLES with a LAPTOP in the middle for all to view. Individuals


‘Put it all on the FACEBOOK group so I can put it into a table and see what we have’.

15 MINS of observations in the silent study area of UoB library. All students studying as

INDIVIDUALS ON DESKS The only devices being used were

LAPTOPS although some students were listening to music using their


They all had other study tools with them such as; BOOKS, NOTES, &


1 HOUR of observations in

canteen, cafes & bars within the University of Brighton.

A mix of groups & individuals. A lot of

people HOLDING their device and people PASSING devices around to show others the screen. The most common devices were

SMARTPHONES & TABLETS Rarely had other study tools with them.

Study tools observed being used alongside a device over the duration of the research



1 HOUR of observations on buses & trains within Sussex.

Everyone was using their device individually with the majority HOLDING their device in ONE


SMARTPHONES & TABLETS Although some use of LAPTOPS was observed on trains.

Mainly using

People used the device for a VERY SHORT PERIOD before packing it away.

Review Students were observed using devices in all of the locations. Surprisingly the area in which the least students were using devices was in the classroom. It was more common for students to use devices in social areas than it was for them to use devices in ‘quiet’ areas such as the library. People were observed using their device in various set ups; standing, lazying, and sitting. There was no single common way in which devices were used. Observations


See Appendix [N] for further details


Affinity Diagram

Affinity Diagram



Jade is 19 years old and has just started on the 2nd year of a degree at the University of Brighton. During term time she lives in a shared house with 3 friends, but often travels home to London, via train, on the weekends to see her family. Jade lives on a very tight budget, the little disposable income that she has gets

‘Money is so tight, my student loan is barely enough to live off of, so I have a part time job which gives me money for nights out and clothes...’

spent on nights out and making sure that her wardrobe is fully stocked up with the latest fashion. These nights out, along with her social networking addiction, act as a big distraction from studying. Although Jade isn’t really aware of how these social networks are affecting her productivity, and feels that they are actually a useful study tool (especially when working on group projects). The Primary Education BA course that Jade is studying on involves doing a lot of independent study; mainly reading, report writing, and revising. The amount of different study tools needed to carry out these tasks means that her study bag is overloaded and very heavy. Therefore she

‘I always end up on Facebook when I’m meant to be studying... but I don’t think it affects my productivity that much...’ doesn’t take her full study bag home with her on the weekends, limiting the amount of work that she can do while travelling and at home. Jade struggles to concentrate for long periods of time while at her student house, her average study sessions lasts for under half an hour before she is distracted by either her housemates, the internet, or the television. Therefore she opts to do a lot of her work either at university or in the coffee shop at the end of the road, were she can usually get an hours work done before getting distracted or taking a break. Jade is comfortable with technology, she’s practically glued to her phone, but likes to do her university work in more traditional ways; writing notes by hand, highlighting, and bookmarking pages with post-its. She tried using a tablet to do work once but just couldn’t get used to it, so opted against buying one.

‘I don’t work very well from home, so I usually go to university or find a coffee shop to work in...’

Contents of Jade’s Study Bag



Image Board


Full image board available at

USER REQUIREMENT SPECIFICATION For justifications please see Appendix [O]


device (Telecom Lead, 2013).

The product must be a digital (electronic) device that allows the user to complete one or more; research, reading, or revision task, to a higher standard that it could be completed (in the same time frame) using traditional study tools.


A2 The product must allow the user to browse through internet resources, when in a wifi enabled area, and download documents for review offline.


B1 The product should weight under 1kg, the recommended maximum ergonomic weight of a product that is going to be repeatedly used with one hand (CCOH&S. 2012).


The user must be able to set up and clear away the product in under 2 minutes, and comfortably use it for at least 45minutes in a majority of the following locations; public transportation, in the living room, in bed, sitting at a desk, and in a coffee shop.

The user should be able to customise the following points to alter the interface of the product; Layout, functions, and appearance.



The product must weigh under 1.5kg, the weight of an average textbook (Nilsen, L. 2012), and fit in an average sized everyday handbag, 305mm x 355mm (Ebay. 2012).

The user should be able to add documents, from the following locations, to the device in under 3 steps (from locating the document); student network, web page, ebook store, and email.

A5 5. The user must be able to use the product for 3 hours (4 x the average 45min study session) before it runs out of battery.

A6 The product must be low cost in comparison to the current market alternatives, with an initial purchase price of under ÂŁ230, the average cost of a tablet


The product must be able to hold 1GB of documents (over 2,000 large B&W e-books), but should ideally have the ability to hold 16GB of documents (in line with the current market standard).

B4 The product should allow the user to take sections of text and diagrams from a document, place it into another document, organise it into themes and annotate it within 5 clicks.


User Requirement Specification

The product could allow the user to screenshot their devices screen and remotely share it with others within 3 clicks.

B6 The product should allow the user to view the following file types; e-pub (ebook), PDF, & word document, sized between a5 & a3 in there intended layout, meaning the display should have a ratio of 1.41 : 1.

C1 The user could be able to customise the following points to alter the aesthetics of the products to best suit their style; colour, texture/materials, and print/pattern.

C2 Some of the products features could replicate traditional study techniques, such as having an e-ink screen to better replicate a book, or allowing the user to write in hand with a stylus rather than type.

C3 The product should allow the use of the following Facebook features which are primarily used for study; post on a group, upload a document to a group, and private message. It could also offer use of a range of social networks full features in a way that makes the user aware of how they are using them and whether they are being distracted.

C4 The product could be fully waterproof, or have an add on that makes it waterproof.

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The Use of Tablet Devices in FE & HE  

A research project completed as part of the Product Design course at the University of Brighton.

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