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Designing the Streaming Media Future

Until recently, factors such as steep learning curves and the high costs associated with full-featured content creation tools held back the rapid adoption of streaming media. As streaming media technologies stabilize and content capture systems leverage the general purpose computing platforms’ audio and video components, product architects as well as the producers of streaming content need to turn their attention away from the mechanics of capture and focus more on the elements of good design.

I don’t just mean the graphic design of a window or how text is arranged on a page. While pleasing compositions are important, there’s also the design of navigational options, and other elements that produce interesting and compelling experiences for content producers as well as their target audiences.

Those preparing content for live or on demand distribution should anticipate the behaviors of audiences they invite to participate in and, in some cases, to "consume" the experience. Streaming media has more to offer users than merely imitating a lecture or a book. "We shouldn’t aim for merely recreating what is available in the analog world in a new medium," explains Gale Moore, the interim director of the Knowledge Media Design Institute . "Those offering digital media content and tools have a responsibility to create new experiences based on what we know about how people learn and work, exploring the pros and cons of the traditional forms of preparing and providing information."

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