to design a laptop for generation Z
Born in the digital age, teenagers today can’t fathom a world without the internet. They are more active and ambitious than other generations. Yet connectedness, through the rise of social media and increasing mobile app usage, may come at the price of insecurity and anxiety.
Through being brought up connected as individuals, Gen Z are generally tech savvy. Gen Z are stressed by a highly complex, fast moving world due to rapid technological developments. Technology as a tool however is used to help Gen Z to step out of the mundane surroundings of real life.
There is also pressure in education and the current job-market, resulting in Gen Z filling up their dopamine storage with addictive games. Generation Z are increasingly motivated to create or find virtual worlds where experiences approximate an imagined ideal, showing a willingness to transcend the natural limitations of time and space and experiment with the surreal. This is often seen through gaming.
“Channelled escapism into an immersible world of ecstasy”
The tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities.
An initial observational study helped really understand the user and his environment. I discovered his patterns and behaviours; dexterity issues, overall level of engagement, posture and hand patterns. I also then got the user to illustrate his vision on the future of gaming laptops, allowing me to quickly mitigate and understand the ideal solution for gen Z.
After having observed the user, I reached out to the gen Z gaming community. This was to help understand and rationalise what the pain points and feelings are and what users encounter during their gaming experience.
In parallel to interviewing users, I also did video analysis to see what usability errors users were currently facing with gaming laptops.
• Keys are too close together, resulting in accidental pressing
• Non-tactile keys slow you down as the feedback is not responsive
• Touch pads are left aligned meaning it can be accidentally pressed
• Anti-ghosting is difficult when pressing several keys at the same time
• Machines are very heavy to transport, restraining portability
• Gaming mouses are preferred over non-responsive track pads
• Small gaming laptops result in sore hands rubbing against sharp edges
• Many travel with the right hand as it has to cover more keys to press
In understanding the users characteristics and behaviour, I was able to identify key attributes. This was constructed using 5 key words derived from the insights on gen Z; Stimulation, Imagination, Identity, Social and Engagement. The outcome led to two persona’s, one user profile focused on fantasy and the other on reality.
To oversee market positioning and cost value, a matrix was put together. Further research was also carried out in understanding what games are played by generation Z.
To challenge the project, I focused the overall visual language on the brand Samsung.
Samsung’s seductive visual language in the gaming sector conveys a meaningful message, harmonising both the physical and digital. More importantly it fits the market of gamer’s who want a sleek looking laptop. In order to continue this cohesive brand language, the designs must consider elements of subtlety and elegance to best illustrate the deeper message of odyssey.
Once the concepts were developed, three design attributes were considered to enhance colours, materials and finishes. Influences were taken from lifestyle trends (identity, balance and depth) to characterise the overall look and feel. This translated and defined a visual language for typeface, colour and shape.
a new dimension to gaming
The escape laptop range delivers an enhanced gaming experience to users with a purposeful visual language, enabling generation Z gamer’s to escape and reconnect with the worlds of fantasy and reality.
Please note this is not a commercialised product for Samsung. This is a concept project for learning purposes.