Lend us your research

Monday’s post about user interfaces wound up generating a Twitter conversation among Brett Sandusky, whose work had motivated the post, Julieta Lionetti and Marie Bilde. At one point, Bilde asked if anyone was aware of resources (books, articles, research studies, thoughtful essays) that had documented what she called the “phenomenology of reading”.

Bilde, who works for the Danish publisher, Gyldendal, is interested in the state of what we know about navigation, sense of progress, anchorage and flow for reading in general, as well as any research that would guide efforts to facilitate reading in differing environments (print, large-form digital and small-form digital).

This was the first time I’d heard these things described as a phenomenology, but the term resonates. Unfortunately, I didn’t know if there really has been any good work done to understand how reading “works” in different situations, with varied texts and across different groups of people.

Our ability to answer questions like this seems like the basic research that I described as part of the call to action in “The opportunity in abundance“. Even if the work has been done somewhere, we probably lack a mechanism to share it widely and make the studies actionable.

One of the best parts of my work: I am always learning new things. So, here’s a post to ask if anyone reading can direct Marie Bilde (and me) to resources that would start to answer the questions she has been mulling over for some time. Comments are open for 30 days (more if you ask for an extension).

About Brian O'Leary

Founder and principal of Magellan Media Consulting, Brian O’Leary helps enterprises with media and publishing components capitalize on the power of content. A veteran of more than 30 years in the publishing industry and a prolific content producer himself, Brian leverages the breadth and depth of his experience to deliver innovative content solutions.

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