Designers As iPad Content Curators

How can designers can use the iPad to help traditional media outlets become the new “Curators of the Internet”?

The notion of content curators is the subject of many conversations these days – we’ve discussed it here at PSFK, and play this role for our readers as well.  With the breadth of news, cultural, educational and entertainment content available online any given day or moment, individuals continue to look for trusted entities that will help streamline the process of digging up the most interesting and relevant content for them.

Geraint Owen, co-founder of Superfad, a design and production studio, shared his perspective with ‘Boards recently, speaking specifically to how designers can use the iPad to help traditional media outlets become the new “Curators of the Internet.” Owen sees an opportunity for designers to help beleaguered, traditional media outlets regain relevance via a platform like the iPad, where users are hungry for interesting, valuable content that they can use their powerful new toy to access:

Newspapers and magazines are not bound piles of paper flung at the ends of our driveways. They are curators of specific strands of taste and, unlike television channels, have covered all aspects of culture. From that standpoint, the iPad and other similar devices provide the perfect chance for them to make themselves important in our lives once again. Only this time, instead of just bringing us the written word, they can put all kinds of stuff in front of us.

Why the opportunity for the design community, specifically? Owen explains:

Design – truly good design – provides layered meaning to information. Design provides context, directs interaction, and defines communities. Design has spent a lot of the last few years merely as decoration.  Now it can usher in a new era of experience and help define who wins the (new) media wars.

In terms of execution (vs. theory), designers can help new media identify the optimal interaction design to help users navigate towards their desired content quickly and intuitively – which is critical on any mobile device:

Contextual commands within well thought-out tactile interfaces are not only key, they are the very things that will make apps reusable. We’ll stop using ill-conceived app layouts as soon as we can replace them with more fluid and intuitive user experiences.

We’ve seen Cadillac launch a coolhunting app for the iPad, which offers but one example of design content curation. Content curation, however, still needs to be segmented, based on the type of content, and context in which one is accessing and reading it – whether you’re at work, on your mobile phone commuting, or (as of Saturday) on your iPad.  Is a single curated resource possible, or will users continue to have to rely on several, based on type of content – and even context?

[via 'Boards Magazine]

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