Last week we discussed how magazine publishers are teaming up to take magazines digital. In that discussion, we took a look at one possible magazine e-reader device. But of course, now that magazines are sure to go digital - and since e-readers will also be used in school more often - devices that are easy to navigate and interactive will be in demand. The designs are just getting started. But the Mag+ offers a look at what direction magazine e-readers will likely take.
Design consultancy Berg and the R+D department of magazine publisher Bonnier worked together to create this proposed e-reader. They focus on how magazines have a particular way of doling out content that differs from simply reading a book on an e-reader, and their design allows readers to navigate the device in a similar fashion to navigating a print magazine. But it also doesn't try to imitate print reading completely, remembering that readers are quite comfortable with scrolling on the device in the same way we've grown accustomed to scrolling online, and sharing content on social media tools.
The design is truly stunning, and all of the thought put into the user experience is fantastic, but there's a gaping hole in their design proposal. What makes it a cradle-to-cradle device? The designers have figured out how to make readers happy experience-wise. But what about environment-wise?
We have got to get designers to emphasize sustainability in device design. The e-reader market is going to explode. Really, it already has with Kindle and Nook leading the competition, but news of new e-readers coming out every day. As these devices - and new tablet devices - become as ubiquitous as cell phones, we need to make sure that they're dreamed up with cradle-to-cradle features. And we need to make that be as important a design element as the user experience. Recycling and buy-back programs won't be enough. Designers need to step it up now.
More on e-Readers
Apple's Tablet to Take Over Textbooks, Magazines, Newspapers
Will Print Magazines Be No More? Magazine Publishers Partner Up for Digital Distribution
Qualcomm's Upcoming e-Reader Will Mimic Butterfly Wings for Energy-Sipping Color Displays (Video)