Essays

International Market Research
Creativity and technology in the age of AI
About this research project Understanding creativity and its relationship to technology This research was commissioned by Adobe, with the goal to interview creative professionals in order to thoroughly understand the role technology plays in their creative process. The research also closely covered the role of…
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Editorial Strategies
Beyond Digital: 
Re-Inventing Publishing from a Value Perspective
As it is becoming increasingly clear that digital media alone cannot provide the revenue streams publishers need in order to maintain their level of quality, maybe it is time to re-think what publishing really about.
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Distributed Content
Why Instant Articles on Facebook Messenger Is a Big Deal
Facebook Messenger on Android and iOS now supports Instant Articles. For publishers, this could make a huge difference — and it also shows us where social media is headed.
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New Distribution
News as a dialogue: Quartz launches its app
In the flurry of publishers’ apps that has been hitting the market over the past few years, the one which was just launched by Quartz certainly stands out: instead of allowing you to simply access top stories from the site in a mobile-friendly way, Quartz-the-app uses the interface of a chat environment to present the user with a small selection of items culled from the publisher’s site, and let’s you interact in a chat-like way. What does it tell us about the future of news distribution?
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Media Trends
From adblocking to the re-emergence of print: The 2016 Trend Landscape for Publishers
2015 was a, let’s say, intense year for publishers; and we have every reasons to believe that 2016 is going to be at least as active, but most likely even more overpowering if you are in the media business. How can you prepare yourself for the coming year?
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Editorial Strategies
The Battle for Context: The Distributed Content Landscape — Part 3
The first part of this overview of distributed content has been posted less than a month ago, yet what then appeared like the relatively stable picture of a new trend in publishing, a few weeks later looks more and more like a confusing mess of new distribution technologies, few of which have yet proven their worth, let alone their necessity.
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Distributed Content
What Is Facebook Notify Really About?
Facebook’s new Notify app sits, somewhat uncomfortably, between Twitter, Apple’s News app and Snapchat. What is it really about?
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Editorial Strategies
Far from Home: The Distributed Content Landscape — Part 2
The arrival of distributed content platforms such as Facebook Instant Articles is a formidable challenge for publishers and media-producers, a call to action to redefine what professional media is all about - and an instigation to question oversimplified assumptions. This second part of an in-depth analysis of key distributed content initiatives focuses on the major players and their core audience.
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Editorial Strategies
The Distributed Content Landscape: an Overview for Publishers — Part 1
The arrival of Facebook Instant Articles, Apple's News app, Twitter Moments and Google AMP are the beginning of a profound change in publishing: extreme content fragmentation, driven by social media platforms. In this first installment of a three-part essay, we analyze the impact of distributed content for publishers.
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Distributed Content
Why Apple’s News app is interesting after all…
Apple's News app is now available as part of the upgrade to iOS 9. While it seems similar to news aggregation apps like Flipboard, it could play an important rolein the advent of distributed content...
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Digital Marketing
Content Marketing: What’s Next?
Content marketing is all the craze, but what are the emerging challenges and impending evolutions? The Pfeiffer Report speaks with Rebecca Lieb, analyst, author of Content Marketing: Think Like a Publisher and one of the world's experts on the subject.
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Media and Advertising
Adobe, Salesforce, and the Battle for Post-Digital Marketing Supremacy
Digital Marketing is all the craze, but there are bigger battles looming. Who will dominate in the emerging post-digital marketing space?
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Digital Device Ecosystem
Google vs. Apple. vs. Amazon: The App Store Maturity Shootout
Apps are essential. When we buy a tablet or a smartphone, it is a world of apps we are acquiring; by that token, the app store’s efficiency in pinpointing exactly the right apps for our needs is paramount to the overall value of a device. But how good are they? This report answers two simple questions: first, how mature are the three major app stores, and, more importantly, how good could they be? The answers may surprise you…
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Understanding Tablet User Experience: Cognitive Load
Cognitive load—the sum of elements you need to get familiar with in order to use a device spontaneously and intuitively—is one of the key aspects of user experience for a non-technical user. Differences between different devices and mobile operating systems are significant.
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Understanding Tablet User Experience: User Experience Friction
An ideal device should provide a completely natural user experience. We should be able to use it without having to learn anything, Interactions should be intuitive, every operation should be smooth and natural. We should not have to wait for the device to do anything, nor should the device keep us guessing at what is necessary to achieve a certain goal.
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Understanding Tablet User Experience: The Device Universe
The device universe is probably one the most important aspects of tablet and smartphone user experience, and has hardware becomes more and more commoditised, its importance can only increase.
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Tablet User Experience Benchmarks: Basic Principles
User experience is one of the key aspects of connected digital devices, yet it is very difficult to discuss in an objective way, and even harder to quantify.
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7-inch Tablets: What the User Experience Benchmarks Show
They may have comparable hardware features, but there are significant user experience differences between different tablets. Find out more...
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Digital Device Ecosystem
The 180-billion Conundrum: Why App Store Download Numbers Are Meaningless
Apple just announced 50 billion app downloads; Google is still slightly behind at the time of this writing, with 48 billion apps downloaded to date, but given the number of monthly downloads, it is only a matter of time before Google will claim the top spot. What is wrong with this picture?
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User Experience Research
How iOS 7 stacks up: Smartphone OS User Experience Shootout
Why is it that the arrival of iOS 7 is necessarily a momentous event for the smartphone market? Simple: Unlike any other operating system out there, it will be in the hands of millions or tens of millions of users within a few days after its launch. And that will make it a force to be reckoned with. The question is, of course: How good is it really?
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Digital Device Ecosystem
Apple, Google and the App Store Responsibility
How good are the app stores really? Do they live up to the potential of 1 million apps? Shouldn't there be a more sophisticated way of cataloguing, browsing and making discoverable the vast array of apps that are out there?
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Salesforce Identity and the Rare Art of Shapeshifting Technologies
Big changes often start with relatively small steps. Frequently, the first iterations of groundbreaking technologies are initially not perceived at their true disruptive potential. Is Salesforce Identity one of these technologies?
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Media Strategy
Amazon’s Matchbook Program: A Glimpse of Media 3.0?
Amazon has started offering customers of real books e-book versions at reduced cost. Nice gesture - but what does it really tell us about emerging patterns of media consumption?
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iOS 7: Can Apple Pull it Off?
There is only one big question about iOS 7, and that is: can Apple pull it off? Meaning of course: can Apple make the market, the average consumer, actually get excited about what it is trying to achieve with the new version of its mobile operating system? Is the market ready for reasonable efficiency, ready to do away with visual gadgetry to focus on what really counts on a device?
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Technology Analysis
The Feature-Value Gap: Why can’t we talk about technology any more?
User experience, comfort of use and other seemingly intangible aspects are often assumed to be by definition unmeasurable, unquantifiable. Yet when you start looking more closely, that is not entirely the case, or shouldn’t be. If there is the perception of a difference, there should also be a way of describing it, and, at least to some extent, quantify it.
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Introducing: User Experience Benchmarks for Tablets and Smartphones
When it comes to the crunch, it's user experience that makes the difference between a merely functional device and an excellent one. But is it possible to measure something as elusive as user experience? That's the question we were trying to answer. The results may surprise you...
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Technology Analysis
Why Features Don’t Matter any More: The New Laws of Digital Technology
This essay was first published almost 8 years ago, years before the first iPhone or the iPad. Have things changed that much since then?
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