SOURCE: Portigal Consulting

September 21, 2009 12:49 ET

"Reading Ahead" Project Fuses Consumer Reading Habits With Opportunities to Enhance the E-Reader Experience

Portigal Consulting & Core77 Challenge Designers to Envision "Rich Future Digital Reading Experience"

PACIFICA, CA--(Marketwire - September 21, 2009) - What will reading be like in the future? With the age of e-readers and ubiquitous broadband upon us, Bay Area-based consumer research firm Portigal Consulting undertook an exploratory research project that led to the discovery of opportunities to enhance digital reading by replicating social and other elemental aspects that are key to the enduring pleasures of traditional book reading.

Portigal's "Reading Ahead" project includes an in-depth study that revealed reading to be a highly individualistic ritual that enables important social experiences for readers. The nascent e-reader device industry has not begun to address some of these less tangible -- but significant -- elements of reading. According to Portigal, doing that is the great challenge and opportunity facing the e-reader industry.

"The challenge for the Kindle and other e-readers will be to embrace and somehow replicate some of the essential aspects that are intrinsic to the complete reading experience," said Steve Portigal. "That will require incorporating the sensual and kinesthetic facets and supporting the various social elements that consumers associate with reading, as well as creating an enabling ecosystem of products and services, much like what has grown up around the iPod and iTunes."

As part of the Reading Ahead project, Portigal is teaming with leading design magazine Core77 to sponsor a design challenge on the future of digital reading. Designers are challenged to envision a rich future digital reading experience that draws upon Portigal's Reading Ahead research findings and recommendations. The winning entry will be announced by Core77 in October. Portigal Consulting and Core77 will each be donating $300, in the name of the prizewinner, to 826 Valencia, a San Francisco nonprofit that helps kids with expository and creative writing.

For more on Portigal's Reading Ahead research findings and recommendations, click here.

Portigal Consulting will present "Reading Ahead: Considering The Book's Future in the iPod Era" at the UC Berkeley Center for New Media "Design Futures" series on September 30.

About Portigal Consulting

Portigal Consulting ( brings together user research, design and business strategy to help innovative companies discover and act on new insights about their customers and themselves. Founded in 2001, Portigal Consulting is based in Pacifica, CA, in close proximity to San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

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