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HD radio and good design

There’s a great article in Media Magazine on media design.

What, you ask is “media design”? It’s that interface on the TiVo box, the home page on the website, the look and feel of the iPod interface, and so much more.

Why does it matter? For this reason:

Graphic design — a company’s logo, its product packaging, an outdoor billboard, animation in TV commercials — has always been an important tool to engage consumers. But when good design is crucial to what a media company provides, like the ability to easily scroll through a DirecTV programming guide, chat instantly with like-minded Yahoo! music fans, or download movies on demand, design moves beyond the way a company looks and becomes what a company is.

As radio invests more and more energy and resources in HD radio, we must come to terms with the importance of design in the equation. For example, the decision on what to label your stations is not – I repeat, not – your decision. It is the decision of the audience. And if you don’t choose the simplest, most design-friendly process they will ignore your labels, your formats, and your HD.

Too many of the decisions about HD have been and are being made by radio executives in suits and ties. Few are being made with even a finger on the pulse of the market. HD radio is not about what radio wants. It’s about what the consumers want.

And whether they want it or not.

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