Calibre is an open source e-book software that allows users to manage their e-book collection. It allows users to create, edit read e-books. It also syncs e-books to reader devices.
This is an unofficial design project for Calibre, a desktop app I use frequently. In this project I designed an iOS mobile reader app for Calibre. My intent was to design an iOS mobile app that connects to Calibre over wi-fi, allows users to sync books to their mobile device and enables them to read books on their mobile devices. I would like to mention that this is not a re-design of the existing app. Since Calibre doesn’t have an official mobile or tablet app this project enabled me to imagine how an e-book reader/organizer app like Calibre would be modified for the iOS environment. The biggest challenge was to come up with strategies to organize its features for mobile screens while maintaining a simple and easy to understand user interface.
I first started the project by analyzing the desktop app and making a list of all the features it has. I took several screenshots of the Calibre interface:
Below are the “cornucopia of features” divided into the following main categories as described in Calibre’s website *:
- Library Management
- E-book conversion
- Syncing to e-book reader devices
- Downloading news from the web and converting it into e-book form
- Comprehensive e-book viewer
- Content server for online access to your book collection
- E-book editor for the major e-book formats
Calibre has a multitude of features but for mobile users some of these features such as e-book format conversion and advanced editing options are redundant. I analyzed the app in depth and searched the internet for Calibre users’ opinions. Some of the users stated that they wished they could read the books in their Calibre library on their mobile phones without having to download a separate e-book reader app. Based on these users’ feedback I came up with the main features below:
- Synchronization for syncing the users’ desktop e-book library with the library on their mobile devices.
- E-book reader that allows users to read their books on their mobile device without having to use another reader app.
- Downloading books from the internet. It would be a useful feature to keep since Calibre supports sending books to iTunes.
After sketching out the rough versions of the main screens I drew wireframes to show the details and page flow.