Article: User Experience leads the way in the Digital World
Source: Publishing Technology
I feel like Richard Ridge, the author of this article, has a little…no, a big opinion on the publishing industry. The first couple sentences out of his fingertips are, “The book publishing industry has a history of creating products for a ‘customer’ that they never speak to, speak of, see, interact with, or consider. Instead, many publishing houses consider their authors to be their primary customers, with author services being one of the major components of the business.”
Maybe taking that out of context doesn’t sound too bad, because I do agree with him; he just seems to be a little bitter about it. It is true though. We are taught that the editor/author relationship is the most sacred and intimate of the relationships, but shouldn’t the publishing house/ reader be of at least the same importance? I mean, you can write an amazing book, but the reader kind of has to buy it. The publisher has to think of themselves as a reader, not as a publisher, and think up ways that can enhance the book, and how it could be improved, through technological means.
This article is based mainly on the education publishing system, they even use a study that they did with medical students, but the opinion still covers the entire market. Ridge has an issue with the fact that, although digital is becoming a big part of the industry, it still defines itself as a print medium, “To take an obvious example, a model predicated on publishing journal issues at regular intervals makes little sense in a context of real time site updates and RSS feeds.” You can’t keep up with a world that changes every three seconds if your depending on something that only happens twice a year (like, gee, I don’t know, the publishing seasons).