Tools for CATALYZING Change: Experience Redesign
By Kevin Rorick
Issue 5 Fall 2010
The way in which the people are consuming published content is changing. With emerging channels to consume and publish content, patterns of use, marketplace competition and business models are all being reevaluated and redesigned.
The sale of physical books declined by 1% in 2009, and 2010 saw a 5% drop, not significant numbers one may think. We are in a recession. However, according to the Institute for Publishing Research, during the same period, sales of eBooks in 2009 increased 99%, and in 2010, early sales results suggest anywhere from a 126% to 190% increase. The book publishing industry has faired significantly better than the newspaper industry. The newspaper and magazine business model rely on two main revenue streams, advertising and subscriptions. With failed digital models, increased competition on the internet and advertisers finding new channels, many wonder if the print model is over.
eReaders should be considered another form of the printing press. Though still in their infancy, eReaders and their technologies stand to monetize aspects of the publishing industry that have been suffering since the late 1990s as the internet began to grow. As the growth of eReaders continues, it offers an opportunity to redesign a model that is integral in understanding and sharing content.
Aside from business, eReaders support the redesign of content consumption. An eReader challenges the author of the content, the designer and the consumer as it presents a medium that goes beyond content on printed page. It allows for a deeper, more engaged experience. The Authors must consider this as they write their content, no longer is the reader expecting to turn a page. The designer must consider where they can design navigation and narrative elements to keep the reader engaged and increase their experience while supporting the original content. The reader must be prepared to immerse themselves in a deeper experience knowing that they are being provided with a much fuller, educational experience.
In the traditional model, while reading an article that relates to the idea of wellbeing within a nation, a table may be included in an appendix, the reader would either turn to the back of the book review and return to their place in the book or not look at the table in the appendix. With an interactive eReader platform the reader is able to view and interact with the selected table from the page that they are reading in realtime.
With three million iPads sold in the first three months on the market and companies Skiff, Sprint and LG Display developing flexible touchscreen eReaders in the next year, the eReader market provides opportunities for designers to catalyze change in an industry that is deeply wounded. With successful implementation plans, strategic design and market support, eReaders may provide the incentive for the publishing industry to move to digital to support their industry.
Image: Flickr CC by Cloned Milkmen