Initial design directions for Spectrum are here!

Here we are!

After few weeks of waiting, we are finally here we a new exciting step :slight_smile: We are presenting some initial design directions from our Swedish design partner Propeller!

Before we dive in:
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The design process

Last week we posted some initial sketches, where the designers went wild and come up with all sorts of ideas for monitors. This gets them in the mindset of thinking about the parts that make up the device and how they can interact, this is an initial step to get the creativity going.

This week we are posting initial design directions or product stories, where the designers try to determine the look and feel of the monitor, the general identity of what we will be developing. They try a number of approaches to designing a monitor, based on different big ideas.

You will notice a lot of images in the presentation of the concepts. These collections are called “mood boards” and their intent is to create a general framework of the visual ingredients that the designers will use to create the final product. These images can highlight a texture, color, shape, small detail the designer is inspired by.

It’s up to Eve and the community to identify the design direction or design elements that most speak to us and are the best fit for Spectrum. Of course, in future iterations of these designs we can combine different features from different concepts if we feel it is necessary.

These designs will evolve in future posts into actual product concepts and renders so that we can see them become more like a tangible product for us to pursue :star_struck:

In between concepts, we will ask questions related to some of the concept’s features or about topics that came up while brainstorming.

First some initial sketches…



…and now to the concepts!

Concept 1: The BIG V




Q1: Should our monitor have an ON-OFF indicator LED light? Please explain the comments below why and if YES what this light should communicate?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Other, I will leave a comment

0 voters

Concept 2: Better Together





Q2: Who is using more than one monitor? Time to raise your hand :slight_smile:

  • I have (or plan to have) 2 or more monitors
  • I have and want to have only one monitor
  • Other, I will leave a comment

0 voters

Q3: If you are using more than one display what are your current pain points?

Q4: If we think of the port’s hub as a “unit” that can be moved and arranged around the display. Would this be something beneficial to your case? What are the PRO and CONS in your opinion?

Concept 3: Clean Slate





Concept 4: Little Furniture





Q5: What are the PRO and CONS of a hardwired power cable in your opinion?

Concept 5: Control center





Q6: What kind of peripherals would you see as a must-have to connect to the screen if we consider it as a “control center”?

Concept 6: Carry Away





Q7: Do you find yourself having the need to move your display? If so where and how do you move it?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Other, I will leave a comment

0 voters

Some final questions

Q8: What are your most favorite design directions (max 3)? Please also comment below why!

  • Concept 1: The Big V
  • Concept 2: Better Together
  • Concept 3: Clean Slate
  • Concept 4: Little Furniture
  • Concept 5: Control Center
  • Concept 6: Carry Away

0 voters

Q9: What are your least favorite design direction (max 3)? Please also comment below why!

  • Concept 1: The Big V
  • Concept 2: Better Together
  • Concept 3: Clean Slate
  • Concept 4: Little Furniture
  • Concept 5: Control Center
  • Concept 6: Carry Away

0 voters

Q10: What are your 3 best overall features present in these concepts… and why is it so?

:star_struck: :star_struck: :star_struck: Time to vote and comment…

Next steps will be to collect all the feedback and inputs, then present in the community some different concept renders for us to vote and then move on the development stage!!

7 Likes

I personally prefer a clean, professional design, mostly metal, or at least metal looking. The edge-to-edge glass would look very good. I plan on having two eve monitors and another monitor, the moveable hub would be nice but I personally don’t connect things to my monitors. I think the cable should be able to be removed, that way it can be changed if damaged giving a longer life to the product, and buyers can also get longer or shorter cables if they need. It would be nice to have a light indicating if the monitor is on, but something discrete, preferably a white light.

23 Likes

I tend to gravitate to more utilitarian designs, which is why I personally dislike ‘little furniture’ and ‘clean slate’. I like the idea of ‘control center’, but it also seems a bit over cluttered in terms of features. My personal favorite is ‘carry away’ because I move my setup frequently, and efficiently transporting my monitor is always a challenge. It also seems like ‘carry away’ would entail the most robust build, which is another positive in my book.

Edit: whichever design you go with, please do not drop vesa compatibility. I don’t think you guys would do that, but I didn’t see it in any of the designs so I want to make sure.

3 Likes

I second that. That is exactly what I feel about this project.

In place of led I will like led strip with very low glow on back, with colour that represent Eve, for on state.

3 Likes

The fabric backing is a bit trend driven IMO, I think a display should outlive such trends. Also, I don’t think it will be very good for thermals. I’m assuming the backlight and high refresh rate will need some cooling.

Please don’t create a screen that sits on the table directly. I typically use my secondary screen above my laptop screen. Having to buy a vesa stand would ruin any form of price advantage of this monitor.

Also, big fat nope to hardwired cables. How is that more “portable”? If it’s a design minimalism thing, consider creating a custom (but standard compatible) cable. Sonos and Apple do it that way, but TBH I don’t care that much about the design of the back of my screen.

An indicator is a necessity for using a monitor since they auto sleep and connections don’t always just work (even with Apple devices XD).

I sometimes move my monitor for LAN parties, however when buying this monitor I would possibly take my old monitor instead, depending on how addictive the high refresh rate is. I love the idea of a thin screen though, not only for portability but also for looks.

Also, please don’t use capacitive buttons, especially when placing them in the foot. Cables can sometimes trigger capacitive buttons and they’re are a pain to use when operating an OSD. They are fine for simple actions, but navigating a menu list and changing sliders quickly becomes tedious.

Not a fan of the magnetic stand connection either. Unless it’s really strong, I see it as a big risk for the screen falling. If the magnets are too strong, removing the base is probably going to be hard and risky.

4 Likes

I feel like the movable hub should be included so long as it can be docked to the back of the monitor in a secure manner. That makes it easy to connect cables and also get them out of the way if/when you don’t want to see the hub.

7 Likes

(offtopic): can I ask what the Braun branded thing is that looks like an M.2 external hard drive?

Edit: found it, looks like it’s a mockup, not a product

I don’t know if this is what people expect but I’ll write it anyways as the gamer I am. I first expect these to function as monitors. I want 144hz refresh rates, I love ips displays but refresh always comes first. The prettier (closer to ips) you can make it the better but try to keep these at the 3-400 dollar price range and 24-32 inches. Can be windscreen. 4k is not necessary as refresh is most important for gamers. I don’t care about touch screen but I imagine people do and will want this to be more of a work station monitor. Allow me to enable/disable touch screen with a button to switch.

2 Likes

Q1: I don’t see the need for a light indicator, the standby should automatically trigger and get out of standby when a signal is detected, if this can be done at low power.

Q2: 2

Q3: bezel between the two

Q4: would be nice to have one cable go down the desk and have the hub there for a clean look but not necessary.

Q5: - pro: nice looks
- con: need for different length cables, repairability

Q6: easy to reach USB port, phone charging, headphone hook

Q7: nope

2 Likes

I dislike Clean Slate and Little Furniture because I expect my monitor to be the most functional part of my work environment. Screws ARE beautiful! If something breaks I would like to fix it myself if possible, and a completely shut, non-expandable design prohibits that. I absolutely believe that a product can be simultaneously good-looking and functional. Perhaps the monitor can be designed so that its screws (or other means of access) are flush with the back surface, so that the front of the monitor presents the clean, uninterrupted look described throughout this concept. Take design cues from an older Mac Mini: beautiful from the top, upgradable from the bottom.

P.S. I strongly dislike the hardwired power cable concept. What if I want to buy a longer plug???

P.P.S. My ideal specifications for this monitor are 144hz QHD (2560x1440). To me, refresh rate is MUCH more important than resolution. But hey, options would be nice too. Maybe you could ship with a basic panel but design it to be removable and upgraded a few years down the line. I’m no project manager, I have no idea whether this is feasible, I’m just letting you know what I’d like to see.

9 Likes

Q1: Should our monitor have an ON-OFF indicator LED light? Please explain the comments below why and if YES what this light should communicate?
– I’d only want the light on when the monitor is off if it had to be there to indicate where the power button was. Overall I don’t think the light is necessary, but wouldn’t be a deal breaker for me if it were there. I’d prefer a cleaner look though. If it were somehow centered for symmetry that could be awesome also.

Q3: If you are using more than one display what are your current pain points?
– I have 2 identical monitors at a diff resolution than my main monitor. Obviously my own fault.

Q4: If we think of the port’s hub as a “unit” that can be moved and arranged around the display. Would this be something beneficial to your case? What are the PRO and CONS in your opinion?
– Imagine having 1 per monitor with a triple monitor setup. This could create a bunch of excess clutter on your desk. If the price is right, I would possibly be buying 3 of them. If these could magnetize out of sight, I think they would be more useful. That way you could have one up front, and two hidden if using a triple monitor setup.

Q5: What are the PRO and CONS of a hardwired power cable in your opinion?
– How would this work for a wall-mount application if the cable is hardwired?

Q6: What kind of peripherals would you see as a must-have to connect to the screen if we consider it as a “control center”?
– not a must have, but a media player LCD display would be awesome - media controls in addition might be nice, but would be ugly if you had multiple monitors (unless detachable). Old Logitech keyboards used to have something similar, although not removable. Some folks would probably like a webcam that can attach to the monitor but be completely removed when not in use (big brother is watching!).

Q7: Do you find yourself having the need to move your display? If so where and how do you move it?
– no, but if it were extremely portable I might consider it on rare occasion. If I buy 3 of these, I’d likely only be transporting one at a time if ever at all.

Other: I didn’t see any mention of speakers on this monitor. Personally I don’t think it’s necessary, especially in an age of dual monitors. Definitely can do without.

Other2: Would you also develop a multi-mount for this monitor? I know there are tons out there, so probably not needed.

Q2: I’m technically going to be using two or three monitors, but only one Spectrum.

Q5: Only Pro that I see with a hardwired power cable is that you don’t have to worry about losing it. But I would much rather have it be something separate that we can replace if needed.

Q10: Three best features would be:

  1. The clean design language of the Big V and the Clean Slate.
  2. Customizable add-on options, like featured in the Little Furniture. I love me some aftermarket customization.
  3. Durable reinforced cable in the Carry Away section

On a side note, I might have overlooked something but I didn’t see mention of physical buttons in any of the concepts. Those are a big feature to me.

4 Likes

I find the idea of Little Furniture interesting as I live in a small apartment and my current monitor is in my living room. As such a subdued and clean design that disappears when not in use would be appreciated. I’d be wary of custom stand solutions and hardwired cables though.

The Carry Away concept is intriguing as well, as I’m considering travelling medium-long term and working remotely while doing so. Being able to pack a screen into a suitcase in safe and compact manner could make that easier, though a 27 inch screen may be a bit overkill.

I’m not sure, if I’ll buy two displays, but imo it should be possible to combine two displaya nowadays and slim bezels are the way to go for screens. With the V it was different since you had to be able to grab and hold it without opening half your programs, but a screen needs maximum effect with minimal impact.
I also want there to be cable management and a stand with integrated Qi-charging is a cool idea, but it needs to be evaluated price- and design-wise.

The design of the V is very nice, so having a similar design is a plus, but I don’t need any extra compatibiliy between the two except the regular windows 10 options.

An LED to indicate the screens status is kind of a must have (when turned off), but, honestly, a physical button is enough for me to know where the power button is. In general I’d prefer capacitive “buttons” since they can’t break like regular buttons. And other than a device the screen turning on is enough indication that the device works for me :smiley:

5 Likes

Q1: A subtle power light is preferred to let you know if the display is getting a signal or in standby etc.

Q5: A separate power cable is easy to replace if defective or if a different length is desired. No obvious benefits to hardwired IMO.

My top priority is image quality/performance over all else, and anything not in service of this core functionality are just cost adds/points of failure. Anything I can easily add myself (USB hubs, speakers, charging pads etc.) are unnecessary and just drive up the cost. Needless to say, the “Control Center” concept isn’t for me.

Portability is nice, but makes less sense on a display this size. Better for <=24". Having said that, a recessed carrying hand-hold on the back as illustrated - if it didn’t negatively impact anything else - wouldn’t be objectionable.

I don’t think you can really go wrong with any of the other design directions, though I’d probably steer away from using fabrics or designs unfriendly to end-user serviceability (e.g. using glue). Again, prioritizing performance, I would want something that doesn’t compromise on backlight uniformity. So probably nothing ultra slim, and taking care to ensure the housing is engineered to apply even pressure across the display.

I do like the minimal side bezels of “Better Together” for dual monitor setups.

On capacitive buttons: I have them on my current monitor and sometimes I’ll need to switch inputs with the lights off, and it’s far too easy to hit the wrong button by accident. I prefer some tactile feedback. On the other hand, they do have an advantage of not requiring any pressure to activate, where pushing regular buttons can inadvertently move the monitor out of alignment. Ideally, some kind of minimally pressure-sensitive button would be best (or perhaps a design that decouples the controls from the monitor - a wired remote?). Alternatively, capacitive buttons with a proximity sensor that activates backlighting on the buttons.

3 Likes

Replaceable power cord and very little distractions on the monitor clean slate my favorite for sure. Using 2 monitors now with too large of bezels don’t blend together as one unit . The detachable hub is something more to clutter my desk and I like having the cables not visible.

2 Likes

Hello,

thanks a lot for your work at those concepts. All of them are really intresting and have some pros and cons. Personally i like the concept 2 and 3. If i had do decide i would go for concept 2. When i have to similar monitors, it would be important to have a small frame :wink:

Would be awesome to have the choice of an monitor arm which is able to hold two monitors. So you have a clean cable management from a centered point.

Kind regars,
cvantum

Q1: While a power LED is important, it should be as dim as possible while still being visible. It should provide status information without being distractingly bright.

Q4: An external hub takes up more space and increases clutter. A simple hub on the side of the monitor is convenient and does not take up desk space. My current monitor (which the Spectrum would replace) has this feature. While dual-display use is not important to me (at home, that is, I have three monitors at work), the USB hub on the side of the monitor could work in this configuration if the monitor has a symmetrical appearance from the front such that one of the two monitors could be flipped upside down, so that the USB hub of each monitor would be accessible on the left and right sides of the pair.

Q5: Pros: None, the actual power socket on the rear of the monitor is not visible to begin with, and if a slim connection is required, IEC 320 C5 or C7 connectors are quite compact, though IEC 320 C13 connectors are much easier to replace. Cons: the problem with hardwired connection is that a single accident or incident of damage to the power cord can ruin an expensive monitor.

Q6: I see the monitor as primarily a display, but as I want a USB hub integrated, the ability to plug in a USB storage stick or charge a phone/tablet is useful. Integrated inductive charging sounds nice, but would seem to conflict with the desire for a universal VESA mounting solution that could allow customers to use their own stands if they don’t like the default option. Inductive charging feels like putting too much into the monitor when that could just as easily be provided by a charging pad. A headphone jack on the side of the monitor (along with the USB ports) could also be useful, since many devices that you connect via HDMI may not have any speakers or headphone jack (such as a game console). An SD card slot is useful since my current monitor (Dell U2711) has one, but since a USB SD reader could be connected, a USB port is more important than an SD slot.

Q7: No, I don’t move my monitor (apart from maybe adjusting things like tilt/pivot/etc on the stand, they’re far too large to be considered as portable devices.

Q8: I voted for concept 3 (clean slate), but 2 and 1 seem quite clean and normal too, so perhaps decent options. I like the clean slate design (which I would prefer in black) because it seems like it would distract the least from the most important thing: the image on the display. Concept 1 (big eve) seems to have fabric, which is a very big “no” to me. Textured (matte) metal or plastic, please! Preferably black.

Q9: I voted against 6 (carry away), 4 (little furniture), and 5 (control center). 6 and 4 seem like they are trying to make the monitor an attention-grabbing piece, eschewing the simplicity that I desire. 5 seems like it’s trying to cram too much into the monitor that takes it away from my goal, a high quality yet affordable monitor that is great for gaming and media consumption, but does at least a passable job at semi-professional tasks.

Q10: The VESA mount for the stand found in concepts 1 and 2 is a must, as it allows the most flexibility to the user, by using the default stand, or a third-party stand, or a wall mount, or a movable arm. A removable power connector is important, otherwise it is too easy for damage to the $5 power cord to ruin the monitor that costs a hundred times as much. The clean and “normal looking” aesthetic as seen in concepts 1/2/3 is appealing because I want a monitor that doesn’t stand out, that is functional but appealing. I don’t want my monitor to make a statement, I want it to blend in.

On the subject of controls, Linus Tech Tips has referenced controls (both good and bad) often when they review monitors. Bad controls are usually an array of buttons that are out of sight (so it’s not clear which buttons correspond to which action in the UI) or awkward to use. They usually praise as the best controls a little 4-way-plus-click joystick, which is often recessed on the bottom edge of the monitor, as this is typically very intuitive and it provides obvious directionality to cursor movement or option changes in the menu. Please take a look at all the monitor reviews on LTT for examples of what they liked and disliked about monitor controls.

3 Likes

At the moment Im using a three Monitor setup. One big color measured 40" 4k Display in the center and 2 x HD Monitors vertical left and right. Neither the brand nor the type of monitor really matter for me on the two outside ones but the middle one is important. I want a clean Monitor for working, so I dont need it to be furniture.
Power cable should definitly be removable… First of all, I hate it if the power cable breaks and you waste time for opening the device or even have to send it somewhere. Also I sometimes take my Monitor with me on site and I like just to disconnect it and take it away without climbing under the desk or whatever.
I don`t need a hub, cause usally I only connect the computer to it and nothing else.

1 Like