Barnes & Noble Nook Media Tablets
  • Client: Barnes & Noble Nook Media
  • When: 2011-2014
  • Team: 3 Mechanical Product Design Engineers, Electrical Engineer, and external Contract Manufacturing team
  • My Role: Product Design Engineer
Overview

I joined Barnes and Noble’s Nook Media team in Fall 2011. Though the company headquarters are in New York, Nook headquarters were in Palo Alto. Nook functioned much like a startup within the larger company, where we had the advantages of agility and resources.

Products

During my two and a half years at BN, I worked on the design of about ten tablets and accessories. Some were products I joined during the later stages of the development process and most were early concepts that we took through various stages of the development cycle.

Nook HD+ (shipped)
Nook HD (shipped)

Barnes & Noble Nook Media Tablets: Nook HD+ and Nook HD

Product Design

As a Nook Product Designer, I was offered the opportunity to dive even deeper into Hardware Product Design through the mentorship of my team. Over the years, I worked on almost every subsystem in a tablet, including custom batteries, cosmetic housing and structural parts, displays and touch screens, audio systems, antennae, buttons, connectors, PCB and flexes, media and camera systems, and high-level system architecture.

In teams of three, we not only designed the overall system architecture and the detailed mechanical part design, but we also collaborated with internal Engineering, Marketing, and Operation teams and external ODMs, consultants, partners, vendors, and suppliers.

Design Strategy and Research

During my final months at BN, our team did a massive re-evaluation of our roadmap. We worked side by side with multiple design consultancies to brainstorm and strategize what direction we ought to take our products. Over the course of a few months, we used our user previous research data to settle on some unique experiences that would be enabled by innovative product form factors and materials. It was very exciting to push the bounds of what we think of as a typical reader and to not only make one unique experience but to also design a whole family of products that interplayed with each other.

Patents

While at BN, we invented a number of unique assembly techniques for consumer electronic device product design.

US 20140201997 A1: Method for split wire routing in a cavity for a device
US 20140204547 A1: Apparatus for split wire routing in a bracket for a device
US 20140201996 A1: Techniques for split wire routing for a bracket in a device

US 20140026411 A1: Techniques for efficient wire routing in a device
US 20140027166 A1: Techniques for efficient wire routing in electronic devices
US 20140029218 A1: Apparatus for efficient wire routing in a device