I’m a fan of Design Within Reach. I know that the name of the company is deceiving since their product line is not within the reach of many. I know DWR has also had it’s share of controversy in the past, and that many times you can find products they cary elsewhere. I’m a fan because they have championed high quality modern design, and exposed modern design to so many people over the last 15 years.
Today DWR introduced their new iPad app. While the app is primarily a shopping tool for DWR’s inventory of products, it is much more. The app is a rich interactive tool that features designer profiles, timelines, videos, interviews, a room designer and more. In many ways this app reminds me of an interactive book, similar to Phaidon’s Design Classics which was introduced for the iPad a few years ago.
DWR’s app is a nice example of the changing face of interactive content, and how the iPad and other tablets are forever changing the way we absorb and interact with digital content. While this app could be ported to a website, the result wouldn’t be the same. Like so many applications designed specifically for touch screen devices DWR’s app encourages the user to do more. It creates an experience that goes beyond online shopping, educating and inspiring. Even if you are unable to purchase the products that DWR sells, this app is a great resource for those interested modern design. By making the inspire and learn sections equal to the shopping section DWR has created an experience that is open to all and reinforces their brand. I hope we see more of this kind of thing in the future. Companies like IKEA have already jumped on this band wagon, and frankly I’d rather experience something like this over Amazon.com any day.