Before its release, many were wondering what it would take to save publications. Now unveiled, iPad’s taken criticism for not being the publishing breakthrough that some expected. I’d like to challenge that by saying that the habits, tastes and expectations of audiences are changing much more quickly than the current publishing industry’s ability to adapt. The Apple iPad fills that gap.
My staff and I live in a world where we communicate using the latest creative tools available. As designers trained in print, we always talk about the touch, feel and smell of ink and paper. Touch and feel (and more) has now arrived with the soon-to-be-released iPad, and it’s a wonderful addition to the communication technology space. As a publishing tool and a publication aggregator, it’s functionality and visual engagement promises to be unparalleled.
Touch: the Missing Dimension
Having had no firsthand exposure to the iPad, I’m only able to compare it to my mobile phone experience. Once I made the switch to Apple, the difference between using my old mobile phone and my iPhone was significant. The interface is so elegant that it became all about the touch and feel. Now that I’m using my iPhone exclusively, there’s an instinctive creative process going on, making it second nature to use. It’s changing my wants and expectations. I’m developing an emotional preference for the experience of touch and go vs click-n-drag. I anticipate the same transformation for users of the iPad, making it the ultimate interactive experience.
Many argue that they are unwilling to let go of the sensation of holding a printed book or magazine in their hands and turning the pages. The innovative touch and feel navigation of the iPad answers that need. It’s the dimension that has been missing in e-publishing.
The Emotional Response
How does this connect with your prospects desires? Users will love the color, convenience, customization, portability, storage/archive features for articles, topics and professional development learning. The American Bar Association embarked on a year-long project to improve their multimedia skills for their magazine, “Legal Rebels”. I can’t suggest a better tool that the iPad to further enhance their readers’ online experience. What do you think?
The next generation of users will expect a high touch experience and versatility. I believe that the iPad has the potential to become the single platform of choice. The result will be information available anytime, anywhere, any way.
We shouldn’t discount the potential of the iPad and what it’s going to do for publishing and communications. The only thing missing is the smell of the ink and paper!
UPDATES: Related articles found since post date–
Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief of WIRED: http://bit.ly/bxi7kZ
LA Times: http://bit.ly/cW3clK
And others: http://bit.ly/bwlmRT