Skeuomorphic thinking signifies an out-of-date approach: Publishers should let customers lead

Posted on Wednesday 3rd September 2014 3:39

Skeuomorphs; the user-interfaces or their icons that borrow from the physical items they’ve rendered obsolete, are arguably applied not only to digital graphical design but structural design of digital publications in the migration from traditional print.

A recent article¹ warns that this unwitting approach is prevalent — and narrow-minded: Printed publications are designed to be browsed from cover to cover; their tables of contents are translated into website homepages, with search boxes functioning as indices. But these traditions don’t apply when readers arrive at one of the pages by web search. Do you know where your website visitors want to go after reading that page?

While that article suggests there is a correct approach to digital content; should we consider the customer is king? Do readers stop after one webpage or eBook chapter? Where do they go next?

Analytical software rapidly reveals insight within such data. By quickly understanding what webpage or eBook readers look for next, publishers can respond by making the content a particular customer wants is easier for them to find. Information about the consumers of your eBooks or subscription website can be embellished by this behaviour, and inform the way you automatically create a personalised experience for each customer.

To discuss how analytics technology can optimise publishers’ customer engagement, please contact us. We have implemented business analytics solutions that deliver tangible returns for publishers for 21 years.

1. i100 and Quartz prove homepages are increasingly irrelevant, The Guardian, 2.9.2014