1HDC - 09.09 - The Future of Digital Reading - Discussion

Moderator’s note: The text has been updated from the original posting on Sept 10, 2009.

One Hour+ Design Challenge: The Future of Digital Reading

September 9, 2009

October 14, 2009

What will reading look in the future? Will we be using printed books, rectangular electronic devices, embedded technologies?This competition challenges designers to envision a rich future digital reading experience, based on a defined set of design research.

Recently, Portigal Consulting undertook an exploratory research project on reading, books, and digital reading devices, entitled Reading Ahead. Here’s what they found:

View the video.

  • Books are more than just pages with words and pictures; they are imbued with personal history, future aspirations, and signifiers of identity
  • The unabridged reading experience includes crucial events that take place before and after the elemental moments of eyes-looking-at-words
  • Digital reading privileges access to content while neglecting other essential aspects of this complete reading experience
  • There are opportunities to enhance digital reading by replicating, referencing, and replacing social (and other) aspects of traditional book reading

And here’s what they suggest for your design explorations:

  • Include the sensual
  • Support the social side of reading
  • Consider the varied modes and rituals of reading
  • Develop an ecosystem
    Watch the video pitch above, get familiar with the Reading Ahead research, and check out the slideshow below for more:

View slideshow.

(If you’re really keen, watch Portigal Consulting’s whole presentation of findings (with audio): 80 minutes of tasty insights and provocative themes.)

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the research, take 90 minutes to generate as many ideas as you can, based on the research findings. (Remember that the time you spend going over the material doesn’t count against your design time.)

Use sketches, renderings, storyboards, comics, diagrams, or even short videos to convey your designs, and upload them here.

Winners will be selected by Core77 and Portigal Consulting.

Judging will be based on inventiveness of ideas, with a sharp focus on how well those ideas build on the Reading Ahead research. So be sure that you communicate those connections!

Portigal Consulting and Core77 will each be donating $300, in the name of the prize winner, to 826 Valencia (a nonprofit that helps kids with expository and creative writing, and San Francisco’s only independent pirate supply store). 826 Valencia will put together a celebratory gift bag (i.e., pirate booty!) to honor the winner. Results will be published at both the Core77 and Portigal Consulting websites.

@ ip_wirelessly and the entire team , i love the idea of donating in the name of the winner , makes a lot of sense.

Glad you likey. Hopefully it will be your name attached to it :wink:

Steve P: Great idea! I love the idea of getting some user-centred design into the 1HDC. I find it is so hard to get it into contests…I hope it goes well.

IP, Core management, Steve P again: I second the props on giving to a charity. Everyone wins.

nice Idea ADD! Well I would say that as I had pretty much the same train of thought, interesting use of OLED.

Thanks, Sketchme …

This is the best 1HDC yet. I’m so much more motivated by this stuff as opposed to sexy car sketches (don’t get me wrong–I love to sketch). Here’s to more research-informed 1HDCs!

If that is true, why is the quality of visual communication so low? These pages are not well presented at all!

Take a lok at coretoons for inspiration. A great storyboard in this style should be the MINIMUM!

C’mon people, take it up a notch or ten! Show me something that we can be proud of. Leave the chicken-scratch sketches off.

yea, I agree with Yo. With something as bland (physically) as e-readers, line drawings of rectangular planes aren’t going to do any favors. I’d suggest some nice strong storyboarding/contextual drawings of the e-reader in use, as well as the ecosystem it lives in.

Slightly hypocritical since I haven’t done an entry, but just my opinion.

Well I agree what we’ve seen so far is not presented well at all. I will definitely be giving it my best effort within the 90 minutes. I’m currently letting my brain digest an idea that I like before I work on the actual presentation. C’mon people, this is a compelling story, let’s tell it visually!

Looking forward to some good ones. Process and research are nothing if they lead to poor results…

Did I miss the part of the instructions that said submissions had to be in blue pencil? :slight_smile:


Question, has anyone noticed that out of the entries so far only one of the participants has more than 10 posts on the Core77 forums? I’ve seen a lot of 1 post entries in the design challenges, what gives?

I don’t know why no one’s doing this. This 1HDC seems like a really compelling brief to me, and I’ll be posting something in the next few days.

Seems like a trend to me… maybe a school has ‘suggested’ that their students partake in this challenge. I love the one hour design challenge because is is open to all but I think that some may be being put off by these mass entries. Or is that just crazy talk?

An interesting topic though certainly and I look forward to finding an hour tomorrow to smash out some designs. :slight_smile:

I just posted mine up. I tried hard to add some variety and not just design a better e-book.

Cameron, have you seen the Espresso Book Machine? The Espresso Book Machine - YouTube There are only a few in the world so far and one is near me in Boston at the Harvard book store. Its a really interesting device, but its still really heavy on the engineering and light on design ( it still looks a little like a prototype to me).

Wow, that’s killer. I wanted to do something print-on-demand, but knew little about the subject and time was limited. I think this organizational model is really exciting and fun, and hope it will be implemented on a larger scale someday. I definitely want to flesh out my concept further. I wonder if they’d hire an intern/junior designer?

Guys, I am a lecturer of one university in south east asia, can I submit the entries of my students with their names on it? Most of them having difficulty accessing the internet and registration to the site?

Please advise.