Kobo Let Customers Help Design the Kobo Aura One

Kobo Aura One 32GB

One interesting detail about the Kobo Aura One that’s easy to overlook is the fact that Kobo let a group of customers help design it.

In my opinion the Kobo Aura One is one of the best ebook readers to ever get released, and it’s funny how it just happens to be the one model that customers had a direct impact on the overall design.

Kobo states this at the top of the description page for the Kobo Aura One:

“We invited a group of our customers to work alongside us from start to finish. They challenged us to push the limits on screen size, front-light technology and easier access to the stories they love.”

It’s interesting because the Aura One has one of the best designs.

It’s very thin and lightweight for its size, and it was the very first ebook reader to feature a 7.8-inch E Ink screen, and it was also the first ereader to offer a frontlight with adjustable color temperature.

The Kobo Aura One also remains the only Kobo device with onboard Overdrive support to download free ebooks from public libraries.

I like the design of the Aura One better than any of Kobo’s other models, past and present, so kudos to the group of customers that helped create it. Maybe customers should help design the next new Kindle too…

11 Responses to “Kobo Let Customers Help Design the Kobo Aura One”

  1. I have a Kobo Aura One Limited Edition and I love it. I tried the new Kindle Oasis, but gave up on it after a few weeks. The Kobo’s large screen, the generous amount of storage space, the night reading mode, Overdrive, and Pocket integration make it the perfect ebook reader for me. Setting it up with Calibre is a breeze, and I now do 90% of my reading with it. My favorite thing about the Kobo e-readers: the reading customization. It’s far and above better than Kindle’s. For me, this is the best reader in town.

  2. You’d think that physical page buttons would’ve come up in these customer discussions, wouldn’t you?

    They probably should’ve talked to more folks.

    • Maybe it came up and it was decided that it’s not useful enough to warrant making the thing bigger and more expensive.

    • Buttons = no water/dust proofing as well…

    • My first two readers (NST and NST with Glowlight) both had page turn buttons. At first I thought this was a feature I wanted. What I found out was that thought I liked the buttons, their location meant I could not use them easily, so I just used the touch screen anyway. This will always be an issue for any device when page turn buttons, no matter where the manufacture places them, some users (percentage would only be speculation) will not be able to use them because of the size of their fingers and/or how they hold the device.

      It would be an interesting study to see how many users of devices with page turn buttons still use the buttons after three months with their device.

      • I use page turn buttons on my Sony PRS-T1. They are in the bottom so super handy if you are holding it in the corners.

        Kobo should have included them, and could easily be made water proof. It probably would have only added about $3 to the price of the device.

  3. At least it’s good for marketing to claim the KA1 is a device according to customers’ request 😉

    It’s one of my favourite devices, but I miss page buttons, the edges are too sharp and for me the haptic of the back feels cheap. Too bad I was not part of the customer group …

  4. A really good device.

    My only other nit is the look of the device. IMHO it looks better than the Kindles, but still why do e-readers have to be so blocky looking? Kobo and Amazon could take a page out of Sony’s design page book.

  5. Fragile. I had three break or stop working before I finally gave up and bought the Kindle Oasis 2. Loved and miss the night tone on the Aura. I found the Kobo H2O more rugged, still have my first one and it works great and has a beautifully sharp screen. Still I opted for the Oasis 2 because it is faster and has far more storage.