With Contributions by Diana Potts
We had high hopes for the Guided Cardboard iPad case. It hit all of the right notes for us: made of sustainable, recyclable materials at a factory in Washington that prides itself on its work environment. The product was thoughtfully packaged, with a minimal amount of plastic wrap for protection. Other than the small velcro tabs, the entire product is recyclable. The lifecycle of the case, from manufacturing to shipping, appears to be highly sustainable and ethical.
While good in theory and eco-minded in design, Guided misses some marks for frequent student use. The case is much more static than we anticipated, with no standup feature for the iPad to rest somewhat upright during typing or for comfortable screen viewing. There is also no automatic on/off mechanism for the screen that we’ve become accustomed to in “smart” covers. One other downside: Guided doesn’t have a version for the newest iPads. We tested with an older iPad we had on hand.
With a few design modifications, or a few hacks by the end consumer, this device could be greatly improved for use. We’re trying a few other brands that are more usable out of the box, but are keeping this case in mind for a design thinking course with students. It’s possible our students will have some ideas how to easily improve the cases to meet our needs.