Peter Meyers, TJ Zark, Scott Stevens

Author & Consultant, Best iPad Apps; Chief Design Officer | Co-Founder, 955 Dreams; Founder/Creative Director, Tall Chair, Inc.

Tablet Success
15 minutes, 7.3mb, recorded 2011-03-31
P. Meyers, T.J. Zark, S. Stevens

In this presentation, different approaches to touch-device technology are discussed briefly. Remaining a publisher of apps for the iPad didn't suffice, so the staff of Tall Chair Games & Apps decided to create a tool enabling creatives to concentrate on design instead of the underlying technology when moving their ideas to the iPad for the public. According to Scott Stevens the important objective was to remove the need for the programmer or programming team from the creative professional's process. This would allow them to convey their story and vision more effectively in the iPad format. Stevens contends that their innovation frequently facilitates collaboration with competitors instead of making Tall Chair a big target among app development rivals.

Making magical experiences for people was top priority for 955 Dreams according to T.J. Zark. They submitted an app titled The History of Jazz to provide an easier entry point into the world of jazz while shining light on the unique strengths of their approach to the iPad. The result was to be honored as Apple's iPad App of the Week. This has been a significant boost to the company as far as publicity. Zark admits that although her job description is ideal, the one thing that is not her passion involves having to wrestle with contracts, benefits, and legal paperwork.

Peter Myers hosts this presentation and is a digital book author. From his entry he writes the following:

I write about and help companies create reader-friendly digital books. I specialize in the “reader’s experience” and content design. Author of “Best iPad Apps” (O’Reilly, 2010). Currently writing: “Breaking the Page: A Digital Document Design Guide”.

I co-founded one of the first multimedia textbook publishers (Digital Learning Interactive, sold in 2004 to Thomson Learning). I’ve also written extensively about the strange and wonderful effects of computers on mainstream culture for many publications, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Wired, Salon, and the Village Voice. Some of my favorite pieces include a profile of Norwegian programmers who used pigeons to transmit information between computers, the evangelism of Edward Tufte’s information design seminars, and one of the earliest articles on Wikipedia I also did a tour of duty at O’Reilly Media, where I served five very happy years in the Missing Manual group, finishing up as the series’ associate publisher.

My undergraduate degree is from Harvard, where I studied American history and literature, and I have an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. I live with my wife and two daughters in “upstate Manhattan” (aka Washington Heights).

T.J. Zark is presently co-founder and Creative Lead of the 955 Dreams marketing firm, based in San Francisco, California. Most recently responsible for design on the iPad app, The History of Jazz, T.J. Zark has been immersed in creating profound user experiences on technology platforms. She has brought her experience to projects and products that inspire and challenge people to expand and grow, using technology as a path of self discovery. Zark is known for guiding a project through the development process as a thought leader in conception, UX design, production, branding and deployment. Clients have included Coca-Cola, The Gates Foundation, Microsoft, McDonalds, AIG, US Department of Education, US Department of Defense, Capital One and 955 Dreams.

Scott Stevens is co-founder and Creative Director of Tall Chair. He is also Art Director for Hive Media, Inc. Scott comes from a background of mobile development, game design and animation. Scott comes to Hive Media from his previous company, Tall Chair (which he co-founded with Ben Acevedo, now of CosmicCube). Tall Chair began as an art services company, but quickly evolved into full mobile game development, then pivoted in 2010 to the interactive books market with our suite of custom tools called The Active Reader.


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