Tablets and Role of Design
March 18th, 2010 by Lex

Just got out of a Chris Anderson talk on the iPad and the future of magazines. There seems to be a recurring theme, from Anderson to Jobs, on the personal engagement with the IPad. The idea is that the different type of interaction one has with the screen, multi-touch vs. keyboard and mouse, will color that experience and redefine the type of engagement that’s appropriate. We have been long aware of the lack of “Pause” in the web , a lack of attention and participation. Tablets may be one way to solve the problem.

An interesting tangent is the role of visual design in this context. Where in Web 1.0 and 2.0, designers are limited to primitive space and focus on technical interoperability, the next media-rich generation provides a much grander canvas on which work can be put together. The online Wired, per Anderson’s demonstration, is a beautifully crafted and curated product. In addition to the resurgence in value of traditional graphic design, a new layer of interactivity and new media becomes important. Advertisements can become virtual storefronts, footnotes can turn into video, and so on. The talent to deliver these things in a discerning and non-offensive way becomes very important.

It is exciting to see the aesthetic take prominence in the next wave of media business.