In what is a good lesson for newspapers building mobile strategies, another university has decided that the Kindle is not effective as a tool in classroom settings. Following similar experiments and results from Princeton and Arizona State, the Darden Business School at the University of Virginia has decided not to continue using the e-reader in its MBA program.
The lesson is that not all devices are suitable for every purpose. While students overwhelmingly rejected (80%) the Kindle as a classroom tool, they also reported favorably (90%) on it as a personal reading device.
” ‘What that says to me is that Amazon created a very well-designed consumer device for purchasing and reading digital books, magazines and newspapers,’ [director of MBA operations Michael] Koenig staid in a statement. ‘It’s not yet ready for prime time in the highly engaged Darden business school classroom.’ ”
Media organizations planning mobile strategies need to perform similar testing and experimentation for their own content. Publishing for mobile consumers requires a very specific understanding of not only reader needs but also how your content will interact with the strengths and weaknesses of the devices you are using for distribution.