Katherine Vasser    


Portfolio: Laptop Design (Fall 2008)  
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Faculty Advisor: S. Camille Peres, PhD    

Dell Laptop Chassis Redesign Prototype


To use user-centered design methods to redesign a Dell® laptop chassis.


First researched common errors related to laptop use with questionnaires and interviews. Identified issue of accidental contact with touchpad while typing. Developed prototype with keyboard and mouse positions switched and tested it against standard design with reversible prototype (showed here in standard configuration). Prototype used an inkpad to represent the touchpad, so users get ink on their hands when they brush the touchpad.


Found that user had several brushes with the touchpad when typing an article while the prototype was in the standard configuration. However, the user did not brush the touchpad when it was placed above the keyboard. New issues might be brushing the keyboard while using the touchpad, however this would not be an issue with users who use external mice, and there may be ways to engineer a solution to prevent this.

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