While working for Consumer Reports, my first project was to design a study looking at detachable laptops (computers with detachable keyboards that can also be used as tablets) and how consumers use and interact with them. This was the first study of its kind to be conducted at the company and I was assigned as the lead investigator. As the lead investigator I was in charge of all the materials for the study, from participant and device selection to interviewing and data analysis. To gain insight into how users feel about detachable laptops I constructed a usability
study based on participant interviews and observation of their interactions. The study was designed so that users were asked a series of questions about their tablet and laptop use and were then introduced to a detachable device. Once given the device I asked participants to complete a series of tasks while verbally expressing their thoughts while interacting with it. After the interview, participants were then asked to take home the device for the weekend and take notes on their thoughts, what they did with it, and where they used it. From the data collected I was able to create three user personas: the student, small business owner, and personal entertainment user. These personas communicated three very different experiences when it came to detachable devices. Our general findings however, showed that while for some people detachable devices could be a great replacement for both their tablets and laptops, most users felt that they just weren’t ready to give up having two separate devices.
This study was later published in the November 2014 issue of Consumer Reports. The full article can also be found below: