Scan a Tag to Get Subway Reading Material

Patrick Donnelly
Wednesday, May 04, 2011 at 11:00 AM

This is a guest post by Patrick Donnelly. Donnelly is the creative producer for 2ergo, an international mobile business and marketing solutions company.


A few blog posts have been written about Microsoft Tag and publishing. On my metro ride to work here in D.C., I got to test out a mobile tagging experience for Camillia Lackberg’s crime novel The Ice Princess.


In a world saturated by social shares and flashy video, it was nice to have a simple mobile user experience tailored to the audience. Upon scanning the Tag, I received a link to the book's first chapter on my phone. One theme in mobile user experience discussions is the importance of featuring content that fits the situation and target demographic. What could be more relevant then a sampling of the author’s work? Additionally, since my metro ride was 15 minutes long, I had the time to consume the content. There was no call to action at the end of the chapter, but I assume a true paperback enthusiast would then either decide to buy the book or decide that it wasn’t for them.


Ice Princess Tag


For this mobile tagging experience, four elements were implemented very well to deliver a great user experience:


  1. The content was relevant.
  2. Contextually, this experience made sense.
  3. There were clear instructions on how to scan the code and what to do once I received my content.
  4. The content behind the code was optimized for mobile.


The experience brought some other questions and possible opportunities to mind:


  • What if a Kindle could do this, or an iPad 2 or a Xoom? The larger screen size would make the reading experience more authentic.
  • What secondary calls to action could there be? The author could exclusively appoint someone like Amazon for m-commerce, but this could alienate their other resellers. Why not include something like “Recommend to a friend”?
  • In an age where information can be media-independent, the vendor could have also offered audio snippets of the book.


If you like reading books, would this type of user experience help you decide to buy this book? We would love to know what you think.


Let us know in the comments below or on Tag’s Facebook or Twitter pages.



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