Blurring the lines between old media and new media. (Image via Shakespeare Monkey)
As content strategists in our never-ending quest to extend the practice of content strategy to emerging digital interactions, we have now come face-to-screen with the iPad. Plus, rumor has it that Apple has filed a patent on a similar OS and interface for desktop computers. So, it’s time to leverage our skills and experience to develop a body of thought and practice around content strategy for it.
Right? Maybe not.
Maybe, as content strategists, we will need a fundamentally different approach to the iPad. So the goal of this post is to start generating some discussion around content strategy for the iPad.
A proposal, let’s start in two parts, answering the following:
1. What is unique about the iPad experience?
2. What makes content strategy for the iPad more than the sum of the content components?
3. What are the content strategy and user experience best practices for content being experienced through the iPad?
4. What are the content strategy and user experience best practices for App content?
5. Is the iPad itself already a content strategy?
What is unique about the iPad experience?
Most of what is being written and said about the iPad these days concerns what it is not. For example, it is not just:
A big iPhone …An iPod Touch on steroids…Portable digital out of home …. A Netbook…A way to do email… A way to surf the web…An eBook reader…A big portable game player… Digital Signage…Its Apps…A great screen for watching movies and television…Microsoft Surface…a kiosk… Apple TV… A virtual collaboration tool … and so on.
We seem to be developing a pretty good idea of what the iPad isn’t, but not much about what it really is and how to do CS for it. Rich Jaroslovsky nailed the challenge facing us:
“A far better name would be iWonder. As in, it certainly is a consumer-tech wonder. And also as in, I wonder if the content providers (read content strategists) who may determine its success are prepared to take full advantage of it?”
As a content strategist, what do you think makes the iPad experience unique? What do we need to do to take full advantage of it?
What makes content strategy for iPad more than the sum of its content parts?
In other words, is content strategy for the iPad merely a discrete collection of the thinking about the different content types and interactions it delivers?
I’d argue that it isn’t.
The fact that the iPad can potentially integrate virtually every digital experience, App and content type into one experience means we need to do the same. Plus, it uses a touch interface with gestural overtones. It’s fast, it’s mobile and it’s dynamic. All of this changes and extends the content experience in ways we have barely begun to explore. We won’t explore them if we keep thinking about the iPad as a delivery device for traditional content types and traditional interactions.
One thing that is particularly discouraging, most material currently available on “Creating Content for the iPad” or similar themes turns out to be about getting traditional content onto, or into, the iPad.
Please tune in again next week for Questions 3 – 5.