Homework 1 – Needs and Design Inputs

Homework 1 – User Needs/Design Inputs

Joseph Poirier, Ethan Donnelly, and Alec Portelli

February 1st, 2020


Ethan Donnelly: How long have you owned a record player and what are some of the problems you’ve encountered while using it at Tufts?

Jack Freeman: I bought my own record player last year for my dorm room and I have used it regularly since then. It has been difficult to find counter space to keep it on since they don’t give much furniture in the dorm rooms. Right now, the record player is on a very low table where people can bump it easily, which can damage the records if one is playing.

ED: What about the speakers? Has it been hard to find a place to keep all of that stuff?

JF: The speakers I have are not even on the table, I keep them on the floor because there is not even enough space for them on the table.

ED: Do you think your experience owning a record player in a dorm room would be improved if it was moved somewhere off a table, like onto a wall vertically?

JF: I mean, absolutely, but I didn’t think that was possible but if it was off the table then yes, absolutely.

ED: Would you rather have the speakers integrated into the record player or would you still want the speakers connected externally to somewhere else?

JF: I think it depends on how much space I have but right now I think it would be better to have the speakers in the record player.


Ethan Donnelly: Since owning a record player in your dorm what are some problems you’ve had while using and storing it?

Joe Kim: Even when I’m not using it, the record player takes up a lot of table space and since my desk is very small it is really annoying to have it always in the way when I am trying to do work.

ED: Would a new product that makes the turntable oriented vertically and wall mountable improve your experience using it?

JK: Yes for sure.

ED: Would you want your own speakers to connect to it or would you want speakers built into the turntable?

JK: As long as there is volume control that I can get to easily I would want the speakers built in. I would also hope it could be mounted using command strips because my wall is concrete.

ED: We are working on it.


Joe Poirier: What motivated you to buy vinyl?

Liz Barton: Well I have always liked old music, so there’s that. I used to listen to a lot of the records I have with my dad, so I guess it may be that my records remind me of my family.

JP: How often do you use your record player?

LB: Not often, really. It’s not a very convenient way to listen to music, although the sound quality is great. Really just occasionally when I’m with people.

JP: So I guess you touched on convenience, but my next question is what are the most difficult parts of owning and maintaining records?

LB: I’m always worried about people bumping them, especially when there are lots of people in my room. Other than that it’s not too difficult . . . they get dusty after a while, but that’s about it.

JP: Where do you keep your records?

LB: In this drawer.

JP: What do you think makes records so much more special than CDs?

LB: Well the cover art is a big part of it. Some of the album covers I have are really cool. But other than that, I guess maybe nostalgia plays a role?

JP: Do you plan on buying more?

LB: No but I probably will . . . I really am running out of space though it’s a problem.


Alec Portelli: So you have a record player. What do you like about listening to records?

Rachel Gould: I really like the idea of taking a vinyl out of the collection I have, placing it down, and seeing the record play the disc. It adds a nice vibe when I listen to music. Also the sound quality is a lot better. 

AP: Oh that’s nice. Where do you actually keep the vinyls and the record player?

RG: The record player is on a desk next to my bed. My vinyls are stored away in a box that I leaf through when trying to find the one that I want. 

AP: Do you enjoy vinyl cover art?

RG: I do, but I really like seeing the record spin when I’m listening to music. I think it adds to the whole experience of listening to the record.

AP: Ideally where would the record player be when you are listening to it?

RG: Low against the wall, so I can watch it spin.

AP: How about the vinyls?

RG: I really like leafing through the vinyls, it’s like being in a record store. I feel like I’m scrolling through which one I want to buy. 

AP: So you enjoy a retro aesthetic to not only the way vinyls look, but also going through them and picking one out?

RG: Absolutely! I enjoy looking at all the music I have and all the choices I can make. It’s an experience I can’t get while listening to music on my phone. If I am listening to the record, it’s the whole experience that matters, not just the music. 

AP: This was very helpful. Thank you!


Who is going to use it? Young or old? Other medical conditions in addition to the one you’re treating for?

Young. College students are our target demographic.

When will it be used? Occasionally or all the time?

Our record player would be used occasionally, but would act as a decoration all the time and must be designed accordingly. Records and record players purely recreationally and are only used regularly in social settings.

What important features and attributes should be considered?

It needs to be small and light in order to be hung on walls that do not support screws, nails, or studs.

How will the user interact with the product?

They will mainly be listening to the product play but will flip the record over and switch the record with different ones when they want new music.

What type of environment will the product be used?

College dorm rooms and small personal spaces.

Is the device used one time or over and over?

The device will be reused frequently.

Condensed User Needs/Requirements:

  1. Must be <10 lb
  2. Must be able to play record
  3. Must include volume control for speakers
  4. Must include rotation control (on/off)
  5. Must allow for records to be replaced

Design Elements:


1.1 on/off button 

1.2 motor

1.3 power source

1.4 casing

2. Needle/arm

2.2 counterweight

2.3 rotating baseSmall Speakers  

1. Turntable

1.3 power source

1.4 casing

2. Needle/arm

2.2 counterweight

2.3 rotating base

3. Small Speakers  

4. Volume Knob

5. Casing

6. Cover (optional)

Traceability Matrix v 1

Homework 0.2 — Group Project Statement

Joseph Poirier, Ethan Donnelly, and Alec Portelli

January 27, 2020

In your team define (redefine) your Group Project Problem:

Hello Professor Krevolin,

Sorry for the confusion, we slightly redefined our project problem because the original proposition was simple and products that solve the same problem already exist on the market. We would like to meet with you and discuss the design/project plan a little bit with you after class on Monday if you have the time to make sure that we are on the same page and the project will meet your guidelines. Again sorry for the confusion and enjoy the rest of the weekend.


  • College dorm rooms are small and as a result students have limited space for their record player and speakers 


  • Must be able to attach to a dorm room wall (brick or cinder block with no studs)
  • Must allow for easy access to records
  • Must function as a record player

Additional Information:

College students face many problems moving into their rooms and decorating them because of the very little space available in the average college dorm. Many of these students enjoy playing and listening to vinyl records, but often cannot bring their turntable with them due to the space limitations. Additionally, prohibitively high costs often act as a deterrent to would-be vinyl consumers. 

 We will be prototyping a turntable that would be cheap when produced in bulk (~ $100), light enough to hang from a wall using command strips (< 10 lb), and can play 12 inch records at a set speed (likely 33.3 rpm). If successful, our product would provide a cheap, compact, and visually appealing alternative to the bulky and costly record players of decades ago while retaining their vintage charm — and it would be the first of its kind on the market!

More Vinyl!

To get a better idea of some of the vinyl display units
available on the market right now, check out these stands for record
players from our friend Josh at Premier Records!