I was very taken by this article I read on mocoNews.net yesterday. It features an interview with Scott McDonald, SVP of Market Research at Condé Nast, who talks about the results of the surveys of iPad users. Some of the results were a bit surprising: people spend more time with the iPad version of the magazine that a print one; most people leave their iPad at home, making it more of a personal computer than a mobile device; people didn’t understand what in the magazine was interactive or how to use it.
This interests me for several reasons. First, hearing that the device is not a mobile device for most people changes how developers and content providers should be thinking about their material. How you craft your material for someone on the go is very different from what you’d make for someone sitting at home. For instance, it seems that location-based apps or features aren’t as necessary on the iPad, whereas on mobile devices, they’re pretty much required. Travel publishers, it seems would be better off spending their time developing their material for the small screen than the big one. I think that’s actually pretty big news as we all consider what the future holds for “content providers.”
The other part that really stood out was that people didn’t know how to use the interactive features and ads, and they need to be taught how to interact with them. As publishers begin thinking about how to add value to e-books through doohickeys and gizmos, this is something they need to keep in mind. We know that e-book readers are not all techies and kids, and publishers should think very carefully about their audiences as they consider “enhancing” books. I know I’ll be thinking about it as we discuss new avenues for our authors.