User Experience of Digital Reading{1}

by Richard H
The journal article explains the problem solving process of e-reader developers in creating a user experience that competes with the tried and true user experience of regular old books. These developers understood that they had to deliver a product that was easy to use and was formatted well to effectively deliver content to the customer in a comfortable way. However, they are competing with regular books that have been nearly perfected in delivering both features in have been doing so for thousands of years. E-reader manufacturers and e-book producers have been successful due to deliver these features and more that contribute to a good user experience: A small, slick, and light weight design, cheap digital copies of books, soft grey “faux paper” screen, large digital book storage, text to speech feature, and more.

I chose this topic because it high-lights the importance of delivering good UI and UX. It also describes how e-reader makers were successful in innovating the way people read books. As perfect a reading experience books may be, experience could have been improved with solutions to problems that were not very obvious and not centered on actual reader interaction with the book. For the features books delivered well (eye comfort and portability) e-readers mimic to the best of their abilities. And for the features books deliver poorly due to the very nature of books, e-readers were able vastly improve upon: Portability of large volumes, immediate delivery, and lower price.

We hear the word “innovate” thrown around wherever the topic of technology is especially with web or application development, and rightly so. The market is so saturated with applications and devices that all do nearly the same thing that innovation is key to a business’s survival. I think that topic article displays the innovation process well and presented the success of e-reader makers due to their problem solving ability- because that is what innovation is: solving a problem. Innovation is delivering a solution to a problem people didn’t even know they had, and in the case of e-readers, people didn’t think that physical books could actually be a problem. I was one of those people, but now I see that e-readers are actually quite handy.


Kostick, A. (2011, March 9). The Digital Reading Experience: Learning from Interaction Design and UX-Usability Experts. Publishing Research Quarterly, 27 (2), 135-140.

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