When the NY Times published the digital version of Snow Fall on their site in December of 2012, it became abundantly clear that if you are under 21 years of age, you would no longer have any desire to read a static print-based newspaper.
Correction… if you are not yet lying in a coffin, and you experience this digital article, the only reason you might go back to print, is out of guilt and the love of newsprint ink on your finger tips.
Anyone comparing the print version to the digital version would find a huge engagement disparity. Print cannot compete with an interactive and immersive experience that upgrades static text with the sensory depth of motion, audio and video content. The insight gained from the supplemental information call-outs and the pure entertainment value of reading, listening and watching, cannot be matched by print for our visually hungry culture.
I can’t speak for the Yanomamo indians of the Amazon, but for me this experience quietly declares, “Print is Dead.” Bravo to the staff of the NYT digital team! I expect that many from the traditional paper side are now enrolled in NYU’s School of Continuing Education desperately studying up on new skills the brave new digital world of publishing.
The influence of this one article has been far reaching. Not only has it resulted in great conversation about avalanches, but it has caused many companies to ask how they can tell their story. The product may be underwear, game consoles or financial services – it doesn’t matter – everyone wants engagement at this level.
In the UX and design fields, we’ve got our work cut out for us. Onwards!
Article Link: NYTimes.com Snow Fall