Thursday, April 1, 2010

Wow this looks cool - but hang on a minute...

The first time I saw this video from the folks at TIME Inc. on the possible future of their glossy magazines (in this case Sports Illustrated), I thought - Wow, they get it. Someone has at last seen the real potential of using digital content.

But the more I watched it, two things suddenly occurred to me.
  1. While the flashy interface may look cool, it is still very much a paper based paradigm with a page-based sensibility. - Now I accept that jumping straight from physical paper limitations to the theoretical infinite canvas of a digital world may not be acceptable for the consumer market, and this sort of screen bounded design maybe the best solution to manage that transition.
  2. The text is still being considered as a design feature and a lump of fixed content. There doesn't appear to be any mark-up used to make the text intelligent. Where are the hyper-links in the articles? Consider an SI article that on the mention of an athlete's or team's name lets you pull up a library of photos and past articles from the SI archive. Or links to apps that let you build your own performance statistics. How about a link to a virtual tour of a stadium? Or an audio clip of a classic piece of commentary.? Why not the ability to search the text, and order your results the way you want them?

While the surface results of this mock-up look amazing, underneath it is still bound in many ways by thinking of the publication as the product and not the delivery of intelligent content as a portal to adding value.

No comments: