OSNOVA and Designing Effective In-Bible Interfaces

Of the few complaints that you tend to hear from those using Kindles/Nooks/Kobos and similar eInk-based reading devices, the primary ones have to do with the speed of navigating while inside of a book. Getting around to different materials isn’t so much the problem for some. Its when they want to get around inside of the materials that there’s a challenge, and sometimes a disappointment.

Over at This Lamp, a commentary on the user interface (UI) refinements made with OSNOVA have been published. This gets me excited because of my personal history with mobile Bible interfaces (Palm Bible+ and Katana specifically) and the amount of work that needs to go into making just getting around as efficient and productive as possible. Here’s a snippet of This Lamp’s observations:

…So, if a Kindle user wants to go directly to a verse, in many non-OSNOVA Kindle Bibles, he or she would have to go to the menu on the Kindle, then table of contents, then scroll through the pages until the book of the Bible sought after appears. Some ebook Bibles have chapter numbers listed, but I’ve seen other Bibles in which the Contents merely takes one to the first chapter in the selected book. With OSNOVA’s DVJ, a specific verse can be accessed directly by typing in an abbreviated form that works with the Kindle. So, if I want to go to Romans 1:17, I’d type ro 1 17 and the Kindle immediately jumps to that location in the Bible…

Read the rest of This Lamp’s experiences with OSNOVA. Also, check out the OSNOVA website for optimized documents for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and other eInk devices. There are also several tutorial videos on this interface at the OSNOVA blog.

The Efficient Interface Is the One That’s Transforms Lives

One of the best selling features for a Bible/reading application is the efficiency of the user interface. In talking with friends about my iPad during Thanksgiving meals, one of the comments against the iPad was that people couldn’t see how a device like a tablet would be conductive to annotation behaviors such as writing on margins, highlighting, proofreading, and cut-pasting-mashing up more than just lines of text. In that conversation, I demonstrated the abilities of Good Reader (an iPad document reader with many of those features). Upon using it for themselves, the viability of eReaders and tablets became more relevant.

Hence the challenge for user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) folks:design into content pleasurable experiences which take advantage of the technology, not simply repeat the behaviors of less capable media.