How Will Designers Shape The Future of Digital Reading?

digital book sketch image

Image via myuibe via Flickr CC

We've seen our share of e-reader news the past few days, showing that the trend towards digitizing books isn't going anywhere - in fact, it's on the uptake. But we book lovers have a hard time letting go of actual paper pages and embracing devices that put thousands of paper books into one small, portable device that can hopefully last for many years. It'll still be awhile before digital books are widely embraced, and the future of digital reading will be in designers' hands - it is designers who will translate the experience of reading a paper book into the experience of reading digitally. Core 77 is running a design challenge that will bring in some of the best ideas for how digital reading will shape our literary pastime, and the requirements include making sure reading feels like reading. Ending on Wednesday, October 14, Core 77's One Hour Design Challenge asks designers to create the future of digital reading. "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."

The criteria includes:
* Include the sensual
* Support the social side of reading
* Consider the varied modes and rituals of reading
* Develop an ecosystem

In other words, shape the future of digital reading, without losing what sitting down with a really good book feels like, what it means to our social interactions in terms of cultural literacy, shared reading experiences, and passing books from one person to another, and how we absorb books, from scouring shelves of book shops to cozying up in a favorite chair with a cup of tea.

We're excited to see what some of the designs come up with. Digital books have their pros and cons when compared to traditional books, but they're undoubtedly going to be a very big part of our future. So we might as well make them as enjoyable as traditional books.

Check out the slideshow below to see how detailed the competition is getting about making the future of digital books awesome.

Portigal Consulting/Core77 Design Challenge from Portigal Consulting on Vimeo.

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Barnes & Noble Puts e-Books on iPhones, and Exclusive New Reader

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