Do you know when your readers are?

September 16, 2011

When designing content and applications, it’s important to consider where and when your readers will be when they access it.

For instance, Mike McCue of iPad reading app Flipboard notes in a Montreal Gazette story that “people use Flipboard at late evenings, mornings when one might be having breakfast, and on weekends” – pretty much the opposite of most websites, whose peak periods are generally when people are at work. Mobile fills in the third slot – commuting and waiting time.

What does this mean? Content and applications designed for mobile and web should be quickly and easily accessible and read – or saved for later reading. Tablet-oriented content, on the other hand, will more likely be accessed when readers can spend more time on it.

Not a hard and fast rule, but it always bears keeping in mind that you have to put yourself in the user’s shoes. It’s not enough that they’re interested in a certain topic area – they have to be interested then and there.

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