Recently I was looking at a favorite packaging design website called The Dieline and was surprised to stumble upon this image of The Nook HD+. You are probably not surprised to hear that eReaders don’t often receive praise for clever and innovative packaging. Beautiful, yes after all look at some of the contenders, Apple, Microsoft (the Nook), Amazon. Rarely though is that standard plastic bed for the glossy tablet or reader called innovative.
This brought an interesting thought to mind, How heavily does aesthetic design play into which eReaders people buy? The Nook is highly aesthetically pleasing, light, and has a lovely user interface. It’s backend processing could use some help though, ultimately making it less attractive to me than say the Kindle (still sleek and glossy but a little more utilitarian in design).
I did a little research and a 2012 study found that 62% of American adults said they owned a Kindle (this survey did not include tablets) and only 22% owned the Nook. This may mean that like me, the general public appreciates a backend system that functions with fewer problems but more likely it is because Amazon was established in the eReader market from the beginning and offers a marginally lower price point.
The idea that consumers prefer a product from a vendor that is established in the field holds true to tablets too it seems. The same study (different survey) found that 61% of Adults asked which tablet they owned said they had an iPad and only 14% had a Kindle Fire. Apple has offered a tablet longer than Amazon and is established as a reliable computer developer. My conclusion was that legacy in a market tends to trump design, after all it has the benefit of established connections with retailers and publishers, giving the consumer more freedom and choices. What do you think? Would you choose a new company’s eReader for its design?