Mobile devices and eBook readers are spreading the word
As clients consume information today at a much faster rate it is our responsibility to make sure that the information is available for the most popular forms of consumption. While print is still widely available there is a strong movement toward digital. The digital movement began with websites on computers and is now spreading to mobile devices. It is predicted that within a few years more people will use their mobile devices to get the latest information as opposed to using computers to access the internet.
Devices such as the iPhone, Blackberry and other cellular units are powerful tools for accessing information. eBook readers such as Kindle are becoming more popular because you can read books, newspapers and magazines on them. Amazon, who created the Kindle, has also developed an iPhone app, which creates a potentially larger audience since the format can be read on more devices than just the Kindle. Apple and Microsoft have also announced that they will be revealing new tablets in 2010. This tablet will be a multimedia device that will allow people to watch movies and television shows, play games, surf the Internet and read electronic books, newspapers and magazines. Now when people want to reference material or look up a particular article they can access it through their tablet or mobile device instantly instead of trying to find the original printed material which is bulky and may have been discarded or lost. Imagine your client reading one of your brochures or articles and wanting to keep it for reference when they are out in the field. All they have to do is turn on their mobile device, find the reference and your material is in their hands instantly.
More content is being viewed electronically than on paper and this trend will continue as more and more devices like the Kindle and tablets are created. I have included a few links to some sites of interest. The wikipedia site gives you a list of several mobile devices that are on the market today. The other two links discuss past and future mobile device trends.
PDFs and more
As mobile devices become the trend, that means the content we design has to not only fit print and web formats, it must be designed to fit other forms of delivery too. The PDF is already a great digital format for electronic delivery. The newest PDF format allows the use of Flash to enhance the user experience. PDFs can also contain embedded sound bites and movies. PDFs enhance the user experience by looking like the original printed or web piece. However, PDFs need to be zoomed or panned on a small screen to be read effectively. There is a new file format called EPUB.
EPUB reflows the content in an eBook format to fit the screen on which it is viewed. While you do not experience the same creative look and feel as a PDF you do concentrate on the content (text) and have limited graphics. As technology continues to advance I am sure we will see more and more formats develop in order to satisfy the users need for information. Stay tuned!
What devices do you see becoming more and more popular in agriculture? Let us know!
Resources/links: (other blogs, bloggers, news articles)
Wikipedia list of eBook readers and definition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_e-book_readers
Mobile Marketing Association Forecasts 2010 Trends for North America and Celebrates 2009 Accomplishments: http://mmaglobal.com/news/mobile-marketing-association-forecasts-2010-trends-north-america-and-celebrates-2009-accomplish