Definitely one of the best iPad app magazines out there. Except for the heavy Cadillac sponsorship. But would have to say that even the Cadillac ads are well designed.
So lucky for me that Nook had production delivery problems. That just saved me $500. Now I’ll just wait for the ipad to come out.
On that note of products being late…that’s just a killer when it comes to generating sales and making business numbers. Designers should know this, but often don’t really assimilate the impact of being late and its consequences on the business. What does that mean to the design process?
Ok, i want one of these…there was something about the kindle, that made me wonder if I should plunk down $300, uh ok, $250 (since the intro of nook). I was unsure when I wrote about this a while back and am now certain, that i won’t buy a kindle.
For now, until i can go to Barnes and Noble to buy one, my thoughts based on what i’ve read on the web and what i can see in pics:
Look: winner Nook – ok the Nook is nice and clean, not a stunning design, the Kindle 2…pretty darn bland, i can see the braun/rams/bauhaus inspiration, but, still just too plain. And the original Kindle, well honestly, that thing was pretty ugly, I mean, look at that keyboard.
Technology: winner Nook – dual screens, gotta love it
UI: winner Nook – jury out, but the potential of, the dual screens!
Experience – Nook – bring it to a Barnes and Noble and read stuff for free. Phyigital Reality, making digital things act like real life things
Cool Factor: Nook
“minus ten”. A look back 10 years to see what was going on. I’ll pick out what I feel got Stuck in Time, good or bad design that was clearly of the moment. Ahead of Time will be a look at something that had brought some insight to the future and finally, the Test of Time will soon be design classics, at least imho.
Hey how about that, my friend Paul Pierce’s work ON THE COVER! I wonder what he thinks of this thing now!
ID Annual 1999, there’s gotta be some good pickin’s for this post:
Stuck in Time:
group shots are always stuck in time…can you say big balls!
Ahead of Time
OK i may be biased, I lined up and paid extra to get this car…call me a sucker.
Ahead of Time AND Stuck
above, dated, below better, but those triangle buttons, dated, the concept of ebook readers….AHEAD
WAY Stuck in Time, actually BEHIND the times…
Memphis Group disbanded in 1988, this was designed in 1999…uh hello?
Test of Time
So this may not win a beauty contest, (oh wait, it did!) but this aesthetic has definitely stood the test of time for this type of product. You know what these colors stand for, yeah? Hmmm, seems like a new opportunity here to do something different.
So I’m a little disappointed that there weren’t more things that stood the test of time or were ahead of time. Some things that made this issue I had already covered…Karim for Issey Miyake but that’s about it. LOTs of stuff that got stuck, frog, lunar (me!), apple, ideo, phillips all guilty.
There was one product from Design Central that was way ahead of time, but only got a shitty black and white spot and honorable mention. They did a rubberized shoe, form fitting, all one piece, molded in tread…copied several years later, or uh borrowed or unmistakenly reinvented by the likes of fuseproject, crocs and any student who did a shoe project and knew how to use alias.
From ID Magazine July 1999
Below is my reply to Bruce Nussbaum’s Design blog about the Kindle titled “Amazon’s Kindle Is A Success–Hooray For Designer Bob Brunner.” I’ve modified my post below a bit so it makes sense without reading Bruce’s post and the readers comments.
Does good design make a product “successful”? Does bad design kill the chances of success? From the replies above, we have a UI and Experience professional saying the ergonomics of the Kindle are bad. Walt Mossberg also confirms this in his review. We’ve also got someone pointing out that “ecosystem” is what is making this successful. And finally, the host of this column (Bruce) says its Oprah and Bob’s great design work, which once again, some folks aren’t happy with. And now we can go back to the start and continue to debate the Kindle’s success. But let’s not.
What also makes this interesting is that we’ve got some very qualified folks speaking to the pros and cons of this device. Of course, they probably haven’t debated in person on this topic, but all present a different POV on the product’s success. So what is the missing component here in this dialog of design? According to Amazon’s figures, its the 240,000 consumers who have bought this thing. What I wonder is, how many of these consumers are “design saavy or qualified” like the blogger and the responders here? And, as Rob (a responder) points out, I’ll bet that those 240,000 people trust Oprah more than any of us qualified “designers”.
I’m a product designer as well, I know Andy and Bob and they both do great work. On a similar, yet off path…What I’ve always wondered about is the Designer/Consumer taste barometer, that is when the consumer wants something that most designers don’t. Like fake wood grain for instance, the designers fight it, “oh my god, there is no way I’ll put fake wood grain on a product”. Yet, somehow, with all those designers fighting it, that fake wood still gets out in the market!
I guess the other question is, is a commercially successful product, always well designed? Seems like, not.
The saying goes great minds think alike and designers should also know that while you’re thinking of one thing where ever you’re sitting at this moment, someone else is thinking the same thing. So I guess it’s a matter of what company can actually produce the thing first.
I just saw this interesting product from Playaway on the Gizmodo website. Basically, it’s an electronic audio book and hardware device all in one. No need for the ipod or mp3 player, just the content. Neat idea, but without actually using the product, here’s my initial thoughts. Each book costs about $30-$50. (DaVinci code $50, on Audible $20) That’s a lot of money for one book. It also looks like each package has its own ear buds. Seems wasteful if that’s the case. Let’s talk about the package, which in itself seems wasteful, open it to get to the player, throw away the PETE. This product seems like a netflix model could work here.
So back in 1999, the idea above was initiated by Tad Toulis while at Lunar Design. He called it Service as Product. The basic premise was that you buy or rent the service or content but not the hardware. The thought was that you could buy for instance, travel guides or a book at the airport, use them on your trip, then return them after you are done. Another scenario could be one where you pick the book up at Safeway, “listen” to it, and then return it later. The manufacturer could reuse the electronics and just implement graphics changes to match content changes. This was also a greener solution in that the packaging itself, was the product exterior. Just plug in headphones and press play. It’s sort of like disposable cameras in a way, buy the pictures, not the camera. (Re: the disposable cameras manufacturers do reuse many of those parts; it’s a pretty amazing process) Yes this “concept” wasn’t perfect either, look how big this thing was back in 1999!
I give the folks at Playaway kudos for actually getting something like this to market as I do believe that in the future, we will be buying more content and less hardware. We’re doing it already, prepaid cell phones, city share cars and netflix. What’s next?