1HDC v1.2 - eReader - Discussion

Doors Open:
Tuesday, December 4th
10 AM PST (5 GMT)

Last Call:
Tuesday, December 11th
1 PM PST (8 GMT)

The eBook

Love it or hate it, Amazon’s Kindle Reader has people talking about digital reading devices. No matter what side of the fence you are on, here’s your chance to show the world your vision of the perfect Digital eBook. We want you to take an hour out of your day to design the perfect Digital eBook.

$125 NikeID Gift Certificate (just in time for the Hoidays)

Winner will be selected by the Core77 Admin. Community discussion is encouraged to help ensure the best design wins.

Man, I make the suggestion at next week we are in the competition. Now that is customer service!

We aim to please. That, and I couldn’t let Deez think he/she/it came up with the next idea for the 1HDC.

given all the fire down in the consumer products forum about the Kindle this should be good:

I’m going to throw down on this one… just for fun, as admin I won’t be in the running for the prize.


I will delete any submissions for the 1HDC eReader competition that are not posted in the submissions folder:

I need to try and keep some assemblance of order to this forum, and it also allows for easier review of the submissions.

ALSO…please keep all discussion in THIS forum. Again, it keeps things nice and tidy and we don’t lose all the images in the submissions folders between a pile of discussion posts.

If I do delete your stuff, I will send you a quick PM to let you know what has happened.

Consider yourself warned :smiling_imp:

Oh…good luck!

I opened the submissions folder a bit early as I am going to be in meetings later.

Some good stuff going on in the submissions topic! It seems there is an overriding theme of simplicity with a book like form factor.

Kudos to Kinl on not only being first, but being the only one so far to tear away from the book like form factor… bad pun, I know… and make it supper portable.

I couldn’t resist throwing the cover art from Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 on my entry as a subtle dig on the Amazon “Kindle”… another bad pun, I know.

quick question… im a newbie to the 1hr design challenge…
do you guys include conceptualizing in the hour too or do u do some pondering and just sketch/render for the alotted hour…
i simply started the timer soon as i saw the challenge and included conceptualizing in the hour

oh well… submissions look great, props to everyone…

ps i noticed about 40 typos in my entry as i was hurrying to get to class

Did it all start to finish in about 50 minutes.

I think it is not only about generating a decent idea, it is also about executing it to a presentation level in an hour. Your entry should cleanly communicate your concept. Don’t forget you are posting these in a highly trafficked public design forum, the entry should represent who you are as a designer, so do your best!

I agree with Yo on this.

I came up with the 1 Hour time frame based on what my experience has been through personal execution and observation of other Designers what can be achieved in an hour.

I don’t expect the concepts to be final/fleshed out. I do believe, as Yo articulated, that the presentations need to be clear and succinct. They need to explain your concept clearly.

There are an infinite processes to achieve this.

To answer your question Coalessence, I expect the timer to start once you sit down at the table to execute the idea. I don’t consider thinking in the shower, etc. as part of the 1 hr. This is a focus on the translation of an idea into a presentable format.

If I were to suggest a couple of processes that might work for how one could achieve a good presentation of a concept:

Hand sketch:

  1. Have a LONG shower to visualize what you want to do
  2. 20 minutes of thumbnail sketches laying out the framework for the form and key ideas
  3. 25 minutes to refine down to 1 Concept
  4. 15 minutes to scan and layout sketches, add a touch of color and text

2D Pshop or Illustrator:

  1. Watch The Bachelor/Battlestar Gallactica with your S/O so that you can spend quality time with her/him while you are really thinking about your concept.**
  2. Give him/her a kiss and tell them how much you love spending time with them but you now have to go do some work**
  3. 20 minutes to bang out 2D Linework
  4. 25 minutes to add color
  5. 15 minutes to layout and add a touch of text


  1. Go to the pub and lubricate your mind (with cranberry and soda, of course) in preparation of the gruelling hour ahead of you.
  2. 35 minutes to layout surface models (don’t sweat drafts, etc.)
  3. 15 minutes to add some color/materials (Rhino users should use AuxPecker for this…excellent little plug-in)
  4. 10 minutes to layout screen shots in Pshop with a line or three of text.

Things I would NOT focus my attention on as much, especially if you’re not used to this kind of time frame:

  1. Rendering EVERY detail in the sketch
  2. Focusing attention on anything but the product (Coalessence you wasted too much time rendering your person, IMO)
  3. The guy/girl walking by

**relationship advice is free

thanks for the clarifications and tips
i definitely have a better understanding of how to approach it next time…

and the whole thing with generating ideas while faking affection…brilliant

Have another go at it with a whole other angle. You aren’t limited to one entry as long as each entry isn’t just an extension/refinement of the previous concept. Spend an hour fleshing out another idea.

Yeah, I think selecting the right tools for the job is very important. In this case I new i was going to do a book like iSomething form factor so I thought straight to illustrator was appropriate.

For another competitions theme, a simple 3/4 sketch with lots of excitement/gesture, might be more appropriate. I definitely planned out the final look of the entry before I even started. Did a quick search for hands (that hand was originally holding a PSP by the way), looked at some iPod images, and then started laying it out.

I wouldn’t consider myself a designer, but it’s fun to see what you guys come up with. as compared with all the current devices.

I find The_Boogey_Man’s idea interesting… of using those pen’s that record motion rather than a stylus directly on the screen… just because it’s a different approach.

Truthfully, the perfect eBook requires a lot more than a nice physical design. Kindle streamlines the process of getting books to the device. Cybook looks to have the best device software, and supports many formats. iLiad has a stylus, a large screen and WiFi. But no one device gets everything right. But perhaps a lot of that is more in the implementation then the initial design that is being conversed here… so I’ll just sit back and see what comes up.


I don’t think you’d get anyone disputing the idea that a product needs to be a wholistic system to work in today’s market. The bar has been set pretty high anymore for that.

There are serious fundamental flaws in the Kindle design from an aesthetic/form perspective. Designers and non-designers alike are calling Amazon for designing a product that seemingly wasn’t used our considered from a usage standpoint. I have read on several tech blogs of people who have used Kindle and the three main complaints I have heard were:

  1. Holding the device sucks. Lying in bed and holding a book your hand moves all around the book to suit the position you’re in. Kindle basically has 1 or 2 ways to hold it w/o hitting buttons

  2. PDF functionality - There is no PDF reader in Kindle and this is a huge sticking point.

  3. DRM - 'nuff said.

There are serious fundamental flaws in the Kindle design from an aesthetic/form perspective.

Yah, I’ve seen some reviews and videos… if their goal was to make the buttons easy to push, they sure did it. Funny, with the Bookeen Cybook, people have complained that the buttons are too stiff! It’s rather hard to portray those critically important things in a drawing. Overall it is a pretty visually appealing device.

Last night I was thinking of the touch screen thing like bugattichou’s design. Custom software for the iPod touch could already achieve that, where the page curl follows your finger… and it has WiFi and similar distribution potential to the Kindle.

Are you saying the Kindle is visually appealing or the Bookeen Cybook?

As for iPod being an eBook: http://www.aialone.com/pivot/entry.php?id=509

some good new entries this weekend. I noticed the comp has been blogged a few places:




That’s great news Yo. I never thought this would gain Core some publicity, but that sure is welcome.

I have a problem with a buttons and touchscreens with regards to an ebook reader. It didn’t hit me until I got a used laptop this week and was using the old style mouse (little button in the middle of the keyboard). I thought…why doesn’t someone use this on the ebook? That way the user can quickly scroll through text without having to move the hand. With both a touchscreen and buttons, you have to deal with a lot of movement for just flipping through pages, and the idea of going digital is to reduce the effort.

Another thing that bugs me is pages. If I have a screen, why do I have “page up/page down”. It’s completely irrelevant in the age of scroll bars. However, an easy way to recall the last place I was in the book is critical.

I just posted my contribution.

I don’t believe in the whole eBook story though.

First of all, books are cool. Nothing beats the smell of a new book, and the sensation of running your finger trough the pages.

Also, reading off a screen is just harder than reading from paper. Reading a text on paper only takes 80% of the time needed to read it on screen.

Furthermore, a device meant only for loading texts on it?? In a world filled with supertiny devices that can have loads of music, images, video’s etc on them and are even equipped with a camera? Who wants another clunky device just for reading? You might as well take a book with you.

The only purpose I see is for fastchanging texts (newspapers, RSS-feeds). It would be nice to be able to download todays newspaper right to your reader without having to go out and buy it. It also saves trees.