There’s something going on with the way I’ve been interacting online. As an avid reader and one who sits in front of a screen at least 8 hours a day, I’m finding that my behavior has changed significantly over the last year. I used to bring my laptop everywhere with me… now I don’t. If I’m working, I’m either at my office on a big screen or at home on a big screen. If I’m checking email or on the run, I’m often on my iPhone.
But as I’m reading, shopping online and researching, I’m finding myself reaching for my iPad every chance I get.
When I wake up, I reach for it to read the news. When I’m watching a movie or television, I reach for it to look things up. When I sit down to read and relax, I always have it with me. When I’m thinking about buying something, I’m using it as well. If you don’t think that’s strange… it is for me. I’m a book snob. I love the feel and smell of a great book… but I’m finding myself picking them up less. I now buy books on the iPad and even subscribe to magazines as well.
And I love a big screen – the bigger the better. But as I’m reading, the big screen is too much. Too many windows, too many alerts, too many icons… too many distractions. The iPad doesn’t have those distractions. It’s personal, comfortable, and has an incredible display. And I especially love when online sites are taking advantage of tablet interaction like swiping. I find myself spending more time on their sites and interacting much deeper.
Surprisingly, I don’t enjoy networking socially on the tablet. Facebook’s application sucks… just a reformatted, slower version of the online sanctum. Twitter is pretty cool, but I tend to only open it as I’m sharing the discoveries I’m making, not interacting with the community.
I bring this up in a blog post because I can’t be the only one. In speaking with our client, Zmags, who specializes in developing beautiful iPad interactions with their digital publishing platform, they confirm that I am not the only one. When the experience is tailored to the device, users interact much deeper with the sites or applications they are engaged with.
It’s not enough for marketers to simply make a responsive site that works on an iPad. They truly only leverage the device when they customize the experience. iPad experiences are drawing larger numbers of visitors, more interaction with those visitors, and higher conversions by those visitors.
Here at the Marketing Technology blog, we use Onswipe to enhance the experience… but it has limitations (like trying to view an infographic and expand its size). We look forward to launching an iPad application instead so that we can fully take advantage of the medium. You should think about doing the same.