We are the dawn of the ebook revolution, it’s reminiscent of the beginnings of so many other new technologies. Look at the PC era, prior to IBM entering the game, none of them could work together, they were all their own silos. IBM then entered the game to build PC based more or less on standardized and readily available components, and yes one darn MSDOS, then you saw the whole industry ignite. People could actually copy files from one computer and use them on another, that fluidity led to so much more efficiency, productivity and more use cases than what was possible before.
The parallel with ebooks we’re at this point right now where the fluidity wants to make a big entrance, but the technology complexity and lack of attention to Design is slowing it down.
Short comings are as follow:
- Lending is for 14days only
- on some you can only lend a book once
- lending to compatible devices or reader
- cumbersome lending process with complex user ids etc
- The 14days limit, or lending the book once, could be seen as an industry using technology to force people into buying. Using technology against the users, since they can.
- The lending compatibility between devices, is the players making sure their devices are out there, and getting the coveted #1 spot.
The lend/borrow solutions with ebooks readers today are after thoughts at best, they are accommodations, a check mark on a box to state they do it.
The end game to borrow and lend is in my previous post. It requires collaboration of the industry players and clear intentional UX design. As a user we want to have the ability to lend and borrow an ebook as naturally or better than the real thing.