The Art, Science, and Business of Killer Content Experiences MIX Session

I hope some of you who are attending MIX were able to attend this talk this morning. If not, here's a short summary of the chat along with some screen shots of the Silverlight Times Reader prototype that was demo'ed during the talk.

  • Kevin Gjerstad, Group Program Manager of WPF, walked through some of the history of typography, the problems with reading today on screen, and how WPF aims to address those problems with features like multi-column layout, pagination, dynamic hyphenation, and optimal paragraph.

  • Robert Larson, VP of Product Development at the New York Times, walked through the WPF based Times Reader and the business model that they're employing with it. Also, the most exciting part -- at least for me -- was hearing about their user metrics. The most staggering statistic is that there's a average 7x increase in user page views when compared to the web site!

  • Warrick Fitzgerald, CTO at LiveTechnology, demonstrated WPF adaptive ads produced from their LiveAdMaker system. This system automates and drastically reduces the cost of producing WPF based ads that adapt to the ad space that they're given in the Times Reader.

  • Then Nathan Dunlap, Senior Iteractive Designer at IdentityMine, joined everyone on stage for an open panel Q&A.

One of the demos Kevin showed was a technology prototype using Silverlight to present the New York Times Reader. This prototype was shown on a Mac in Safari but can run on any device and browser Silverlight supports. The prototype uses a server side pre-pagination technique that sends down the content and layout data via XMLHttpRequest from a web server down to a client.

 Here are some screen shots of it:

Silverlight Times Reader Article


We'd love to get your feedback on this prototype. If you're here at MIX, stop by the sandbox and come find me if you want to take a closer look or chat about it.

Happy MIX'in,

Chris Han


BDM03 The Art, Science, and Business of Killer Content Experiences

Speaker(s): Kevin Gjerstad - Microsoft, Robert Larson - New York Times, Wayne Reuvers - LiveTech

Audience(s): Business Decision Maker

A new wave of Rich, Interactive Content Applications are emerging and are poised to revolutionize the way content is displayed, read and monetized on screen. Hear how various content applications were built and learn about the business goals and usability principles that drove design. Discover how to use the same principles and technologies to create a killer reading experience of your own. A panel of industry insiders, including guests from the New York Times, ad agencies, and design firms, will share their experiences and participate in a Q&A session about creating rich content experiences.

Comments (2)

  1. anony.muos says:

    Hello, can you give your blog readers a list of apps (especially the productivity and developer apps) available today which use the WPF text engine/API? So far, I’ve only come across Expression Blend and Expression Design. Also, does this basic word processor OpenXML Writer ( use the WPF text engine? What use is the WPF text engine and its advanced OpenType functionality if it’s not being utilized by developers even 6 months since the release of Windows Vista and RTM of WPF?

  2. text says:

    Hi someone,

     There are a number of application being written on WPF (any app displaying native WPF text will utilize the WPF text engine). Tim Sneath has a blog post series that actually lists his top 15. I’d love to see more developers write applications that take advantage of WPF’s OpenType feature support — but keep in mind that even applications using fonts like Palatino Linotype are subtly utilizing OpenType features.

    Here’s one of his posts:

    -Chris Han

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