5 Things to Know Before Developing a DPS App
Digital Publishing Suite Evangelist Bob Levine is a graphic designer and digital publishing services consultant with a primary focus on serving small to medium size businesses.
Know the Difference between Supported and Unsupported InDesign Features
You don’t have to go back too far into the past to a time when Adobe InDesign was used to produce printed output and all features were geared toward print workflows. Fast forward to today and InDesign is being used for output to multiple digital platforms (Epub, Interactive PDF, DPS, SWF) as well as print. Because of that, not every feature works with every publishing intent.
As an example, native animations, some button actions, and blend modes between interactive and static content are not supported in Digital Publishing Suite.
Understand the Concept of Overlays
All interactivity for DPS is added as an overlay which sits on top of static content no matter what the stacking order is in your InDesign document. Because of that I’ve found myself pointing out “they’re called overlays for a reason.”
In other words, you can’t put static content on top of interactivity. There are of course workarounds – either include the static content in your interactive content or convert it to interactive content.
Dual Orientation is All or Nothing at All
While it may look like magic on an iPad, having two orientations for your folio is not magic. It involves creating two layouts for every article. Think carefully about whether it adds anything to the experience for the reader since not only does it involve extra work, it also can double the file size of your folio.
You Must Have Access to a Mac
While the production of a folio can be done on either Mac or Windows, the actual process of building and submitting the app must be done on a Mac. This is an Apple requirement, not Adobe’s so be prepared. And finally, speaking of needing a Mac…
Apple iTunes App Store Requirements
This can’t be emphasized enough. It’s their ball and their bat so they make the rules for the game. The biggest thing to be aware of is that glorified PDFs, that is apps that have little or no interactivity in them, will be rejected for being too book-like. Things to include to minimize rejection risk:
- Scrolling Content
- Audio and video
In short, keep it engaging for the user. Also, when submitting your app, avoid the book category and don’t use book terms such as table of contents, page, PDF, and of course, book.