UX Design for Digital Books: Creating Engaging Digital Reading Experiences

Meagan Timney (Blurb, Inc.)
Location: Chelsea/Gotham Level:
Average rating: ***..
(3.73, 11 ratings)

As the publishing landscape stands at the precipice of change, authors are in a unique position to create not just “eBooks” or “screen-based books,” but holistic and integrated “digital reading experiences.” Building on Peter Meyers’ exploration of the “infinite canvas” in Breaking the Page and Craig Mod’s vision of “platforming books,” this session demonstrates why book creators (especially publishers and independent authors) need to integrate user-experience design principles into the creation of their digital publications, and how they can do so. Attendees will learn first-hand how to apply UX design strategies to the creation of “digital reading experiences,” and how to avoid some of the pitfalls. Participants will have ample opportunity to ask questions and connect with other book creators in this exploration of the future of the book.

The digital publication is a mode of visual rhetoric in which form and content are inseparable, and the creation of digital reading experiences should adhere to a modular, process-based approach that is rooted in the field of user-experience design. In the digital landscape, authors are no longer merely purveyors of content, but often must act as editors and designers as well. Authors (and their publishers) now have the opportunity to leverage web and mobile platforms, re-envision the book interface, and follow empathy-driven design principles that combine the simple pleasure of reading with multiple layers of interaction. This workshop is not intended to be prescriptive, but rather invites exploration of the user-experience-driven development of digital reading experiences, with topics including, but not limited to:

  • Modular and Agile Design Principles
  • Requirements Gathering
  • Interaction and Feature Specifications
  • Designing for Different Genres
  • Choosing an Editorial Perspective
  • Highlighting Contextual Information
  • Integrating Paratexts & Artifacts
  • Creating the Reader’s Journey Map / Narrative Paths
  • Social Reading Practices
  • Designing Fixed-Form Ebooks and Books as Apps
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Meagan Timney

Blurb, Inc.

Meagan Timney is a Senior Product Designer at Blurb, Inc. Her expertise includes goal-driven and user experience design, usability testing, information architecture, content strategy, research, and writing. Before working in the private sector, she earned her Ph.D. in English literature and was a postdoctoral fellow and assistant professor in the Electronic Textual Cultures Laboratory at the University of Victoria in Canada. She has over six years teaching experience at the university level, and has taught courses ranging from first-year composition to graduate level digital media studies. As a postdoc in digital humanities, she researched theories and practices of digital scholarly editing and publishing, interactive digital media, and human-computer interaction.

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Meagan Timney
01/28/2013 11:50am EST

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