Examples of iPad and other innovative reading experiences

26Dec09

Below are some really great examples of where our reading experiences might be headed:

First, from Sports Illustrated:

This one from Penguin.  I like the approach they’re using for children’s books and could see reading and interacting with my son on a device like this:

This a really cool concept from Bonnier R&D.  Bonnier publish Popular Science and many other titles.

http://berglondon.com/blog/2009/12/17/magplus/

I like the way that the folks at Bonnier have communicated where the reader is in a larger article as well as the length of each page in an article.  This is a big thing to overcome in replacing a physical text, where you can thumb through the amount of pages to approximate length and time.  Also agree with their conclusion that “flipping” through virtual pages seems false.  Scrolling is a more appropriate and convenient way to present dynamic chunks of information.

This one from Wired:

Here’s an interesting brainstorm/wireframing session from Oreilly Media.  Excerpt:

This is radically different, but there is no magic design

A couple  of things jump out at me as I consider these approaches:

  1. With the exception of some new touch behaviors, the technology for these types of interfaces have been available for some time through modern browsers.  There are a lot of folks suddenly on a band wagon that they could have joined years ago.  It’s interesting how much of a catalyst Apple can be to get folks thinking outside the box.
  2. Technology is the easy part of accomplishing any of the experiences above; content development and production would also need to drastically change and this is very difficult.  What’s interesting about this is that the folks who can afford to do these types of prototypes are the same groups who will struggle the most at changing their established internal processes.  To that end, Dale Dougherty compares the new tablet interfaces to the rise of CDRom publishing in this post.  He makes the point that new publishing models require new tools:

So, when I think of the iPad, I wonder if a new opportunity will exist for interactive applications, which will find a space somewhere between a computer and the TV. They’ll need to do more than convey information, as most ordinary websites do. They’ll need to be more user-driven than television but they’ll need to integrate all forms of media. iPhone apps certainly look more like simple CD-ROM apps than they do websites.

What’s missing today is HyperCard, or an equivalent tool that can be used to create a new wave of applications for the iPad.

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