Readers digest online content very differently to traditional print media. Therefore every e-book designer must ensure their digital publications are multi-sensory to effectively engage readers. Charles Elena explains…
The Pew Research Centre has revealed the number of e-book readers has increased during the last year. Meanwhile the number of people reading printed books has dropped. It’s easy to see why it’s more crucial than ever that e-book designers are specifically creating content for an online audience whose needs differ to a print audience.
For example, online users read 25 percent slower than those reading a printed book. Online readers are looking for interactivity and tend to scan pages instead of reading word-for-word. This means engaging viewers through multi-sensory elements such as videos, colourful images and interactive graphics is more important than ever.
Importance of engagement:
As Charlene Li from Altimeter highlights “there is clearly a correlation and connection” between companies that engage consumers and financial performance. Digital publications must be engaging, dynamic and interesting to attract new viewers and ensure current viewers are keen to continue reading.
Advantage of an e-Book Designer:
The great advantage of digital publishing is there are many ways to engage consumers, unlike the one-way communication experience that people receive when reading a printed book. E-book designers must design with the user in mind, allowing for the best possible user experience. It’s about giving viewers choices that the traditional world of print media simply cannot offer.
The need for multi-sensory digital publications:
Multi-sensory digital publications are the future of online publishing. They feature visual, audio and video elements which are interactive and engaging. They also enable users to enlarge fonts, zoom in on images or text, tap on add ons and access interactive features such as maps by touching, tapping or scrolling.
Charles Elena Design incorporated a range of interactive and visually-appealing elements to produce the highly successful Hit The Road caravanning and camping digital magazine. The front cover featured a different image for when viewers held their iPad horizontally or vertically. This approach of designing with the user in mind means the most visually appealing image appears, enticing viewers to continue reading. The publication also gives viewers interactive options including arrows, information icons, navigation tools such as ‘Drag for more’ that users could tap on or swipe to retrieve more information.
It’s crucial that brands don’t think of an e-book as an online version of the printed copy – or worse, simply a word document. Digital magazines must be functional and clearly communicate the message while the multi-sensory extras must be visually appealing and add to the user experience.