Mar 22, 2011

Is Mobile Affecting When We Read?

Dan Harrelson's picture
Dan Harrelson
Executive Director, Technology

It's clear by perusing this blog that Hot Studio loves publishing. We've helped Zinio, Kno and others tackle the big question, "How do people read on these new fangled devices?" There's a lot of inspiration out there and we constantly track everything going on in this space. Interaction design, data formats, DRM, typography and content are all linchpins when talking about designing a good reading experience. According to the creator of a popular mobile reading platform we need to consider when people read as much as how and what they read.

“Printed media used to allow us to read in the places we found most comfortable. When you imagine yourself reading the newspaper it’s probably in your favorite chair, at the breakfast table, or at the cafe with an orange mocha frappuccino in your hand.

Unfortunately, as news and media moves online, it moves us away from these places and into our desk chairs. Even worse, consuming content is no longer on our own schedule. The flood of content disrupts us all day as if we have an maniacal paperboy throwing new editions on our doorstep every 15 seconds.

However, after studying Read It Later’s own data, it seems that this trend is being reversed. I’ve found that as devices become more mobile, it’s not only changing where we read, but when. Today, I’d like to show you some of the data behind this movement."

Today’s data source: 100 million articles saved by Read It Later users across all major web and mobile platforms.

You’ll note four major spikes when most of the reading on an iPhone is done:

6am - Early morning, breakfast
9am - The morning commute, start of the work day
5pm–6pm - End of the work day and the commute home
8pm–10pm - Couch time, prime time, bed time

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