Since the dawn of the iPad, publishers around the world looked to tablet publishing as a savior, the magic bullet they so desperately needed.
It was viewed as the perfect platform to create a walled garden of content that could then be monetized, replicating some of what has been lost in the transition from print to digital by many publishing companies.
So, has it worked? No, according to a guest post on GigaOM by Jon Lund.
Here’s a quick look at a couple of reasons why:
App overload: Lund refers to Nielsen research which shows the average mobile user has 41 apps installed on a smartphone. And another report from Localytics that reveals 22% of apps are opened just once.
A walled garden is just that: By separating yourself from the general stream of the web, you cut yourself off at the knees from the vast traffic stream of the open web. The pattern is the same on social media, says Lund. “When you can’t link directly to an article, the urge to tweet or tell your friends about it drastically shrinks. And curators like Flipboard and Zite can’t look into, link or grab content from within magazine apps”.
Out of date design: Lund says “I feel as if I’m holding an outdated media product in my hands. That’s ironic because these apps tend to be visually appealing, with interactive graphics, embedded videos and well-crafted navigation tools. But the gorgeous layout that works so well in print gets monolithic, almost scary, in its perfectionism on the iPad, and I find myself longing for the web. It’s messy but far more open, more accessible and more adaptable to me, my devices and needs.”
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Over the past few years, we have seen a clear trend in online design to more traditional publication style: bigger fonts, headline, images and creative storytelling. But a generation has experienced the organic web’s more textual, usable presentation. If this trend continues we will start to see these camps crossover more in years to come, and that’s a good thing. When an artform has been perfected for hundreds of years, the core knowledge and experience of that sort of publication design plus the innovation and creativity of digital is surely the future of the art of storytelling.
It’s an exciting prospect … now for that elusive business model.