Archive for April, 2012

App of the Week – The New Yorker

This week we are featuring The New Yorker as App of the Week. An iconic magazine with a loyal following, The New Yorker has implemented a Custom Store using HTML. Watch the video to see how the Custom Store can be used to upsell content to engaged readers.

Other fun features:

  • Video overlay: Ashrita Furman practices for his entries into TheGuinness Book of World Records
  • Audio overlay: Margaret Atwood reads aloud her story, “Stone Mattress”

Check out the video here! 

10:48 PM Permalink

Build a Custom Store to Promote In-App Sales

As publishers hone their tablet publishing sales strategy, they have new tools to upsell and cross-sell content to readers. Both publishers and corporations pay close attention to the visual presentation of products and services in order to entice customers toward purchase. Digital Publishing Suite, Enterprise Edition customers can build a custom store in the app to showcase fresh content and drive incremental sales to a captive audience. All Digital Publishing Suite multifolio apps include a Library view allowing readers to scan the publication’s titles and purchase new content. While this has been a fruitful business practice for publishers, Enterprise customers can build custom stores with HTML in order to more accurately reflect the publisher’s brand and promote top-selling titles, ultimately driving folio sales to a fully engaged audience.

What is a custom HTML store?
A custom store built in a Digital Publishing Suite app showcases products, services, and special features available for sale. It is accessed through a “Store” slot in the navigation bar. In contrast with the existing Library view in Digital Publishing Suite, it can be organized to feature and promote top-selling titles or products, influencing reader purchase. The publisher can use the store’s flexible design to incorporate images, typography and layout that provide a richer, branded experience.

Two Condé Nast titles use the same custom store structure, different branding

Several Condé Nast titles have created custom HTML stores in order to merchandise content and drive incremental sales to their readership. Download a copy of WIRED or The New Yorker to fully experience the features. The landing page showcases the most recent issue with a more prominent cover icon and a short description of featured articles. When the reader taps on the cover, he not only sees an enlarged view of the cover, but can also scroll through the table of contents, similar to the selection process at an actual newsstand. Swiping through back issues, the reader can scan the table of contents for each issue and carefully select and purchase relevant content.  The tabs on the top of the store navigate to featured items – such as the WIRED App Guide or The Year in Gear.

New Yorker has the same organization as WIRED, but uses colors, typography, images and content that reflect The New Yorker brand. Whereas WIRED’s customers are drawn in by the latest technology (such as apps or gear), The New Yorker customers are enticed by collections of stories from renowned authors.
Build your own custom store

The article “Build a horizontal swipe storefront with folio preview” provides developers with a template for creating and customizing your own store within a viewer app. This template enables users to swipe horizontally through store pages, view folio previews, and navigate to different sections of the store which can feature different categories of product offerings.

Two views of the custom store template included in the “horizontal swipe storefront” article

Custom Stores in Business Publications
The custom store is not limited to merchandising digital publications. Rather, its capabilities extend beyond content to products and services that readers may be interested in. For example, a fashion retailer may use Digital Publishing Suite to publish a catalogue that contains physical products for sale within the custom store of the app. A membership organization could sell t-shirts and mugs to its members. This streamlines the purchasing process without asking the reader to change gears and leave the app.


  • HTML provides the flexibility required for a custom store. Web pages in the custom slots of the navigation bar can be hosted by the publisher if desired, rather then embedded them in the viewer app. If a publisher needs to revise the price of an issue or feature a timely promotion, hosted HTML allows the designer to modify the content and immediately update the store without requiring the end user to update the viewer app.
  • HTML allows for transactional capabilities, allowing customer to purchase content or physical goods within the app.
  • HTML allows for highly customized visual design and user experience, and also allows existing web assets to be re-purposed.

8:47 PM Permalink

Martha Stewart’s Whole Living Released on iPad3

We’re seeing more publications built with Digital Publishing Suite for the new “resolutionary” iPad. Last week, Martha Stewart Living was updated to be retina-capable, meaning it is optimized for the new iPad. In addition, MSLO released its inaugural digital issue of Whole Living for all versions of the iPad. Stewart previews Whole Living on her iPad3 in the following video, pointing out fun animations and delectable recipes.

Watch the video here

Whole Living features gorgeous photography of lush gardens and beautiful foods, enhanced by the rich colors on iPad3. I particularly love the step-by-step recipe instructions featuring fennel, fiddlehead ferns, and fava beans. Last week Apple featured it in the Newsstand rotator and named it the iPad App of the Week, surely capturing readers’ attention and driving sales.

Download Martha Stewart Living and Whole Living from the iTunes store.

6:38 PM Permalink

Changes to UDID May Impact Digital Publishing Apps

Apple announced with iOS5 that due to privacy concerns, they would be moving away from unique device identification number (UDID) tracking.  In response, Adobe plans to deprecate or stop usage of UDID in applications published by Digital Publishing Suite.  Adobe has now updated Viewer Builder to publish applications that now leverage GUID (app-specific viewer generated number) in place of UDID. Using GUID will ensure that  each DPS application will have its own unique identification number and should align with Apple’s privacy policy.

This change may impact publishers in areas such as analytics, authentication, push notifications and custom storefront.  Please review UDID Deprecation on iOS white paper for more details and recommendations from Adobe on how to address this change.

10:27 PM Permalink

Evangelist Colin Fleming Shares the Latest Digital Publishing Features

In his latest set of videos, Colin Fleming articulately summarizes recent developments in Adobe Digital Publishing Suite. Take a tour through the exciting new features in Digital Publishing Suite, including Scrollable Frames overlay, enhanced restricted distribution, iPad3 authoring methods, auto-archiving, and linking to custom stores.

Scrollable Frames and Pan & Zoom – V19
The most recent update to Digital Publishing Suite adds a new type of overlay called “Scrollable Frame” and refines how Pan & Zoom is handled. Colin provides step-by-step instructions on building trays with the Scrollable Frame overlay – and shows a creative use now that scrollable frames can be positioned anywhere on the page.

In addition, Colin does a cursory discussion of iPad3 authoring for Digital Publishing Suite. For more thorough guidance, watch the Ask a Pro session that Colin hosted last week, or read the white paper on authoring for the new iPad.

Viewer Features: New iPad, Auto Archive, and Bookmarks
The mid-March update to Digital Publishing Suite includes new features for custom viewers for Digital Publishing Suite applications. Colin discusses iPad3 support in Viewer Builder, bookmarks, auto-archiving and sharing to Facebook.

Enterprise Features: Restricted Distribution and Custom Store Navigation
The latest enterprise features include:

  • A new and improved method for restricted distribution (publisher’s ability to control reader access to folios)
  • Linking to the custom store

To walk through the steps of navigating to the custom store, watch the Enterprise Features video below.

Scrollable Frames and Pan & Zoom – V19

Viewer Features: New iPad, Auto Archive, and Bookmarks

Enterprise Features: Restricted Distribution and Custom Store Navigation

10:19 PM Permalink

Authoring Guidelines for the New iPad

The release of the new iPad has created quite a stir in the publishing community, and designers are eager to learn best practices for delivering high quality content for all versions of the iPad. Colin Fleming and the designers at Adobe have provided several resources for publishing to the new iPad. Fleming wrote a white paper, Best practices for using Adobe Digital Publishing Suite to publish to the new iPad, which was updated this week. In addition, he hosted an Ask a Pro session on Friday, April 6th. These recommendations are written with the intent of helping designers work most efficiently:  to build the highest quality display with minimal effort.

The Basics
Before you dive into our recording of Fleming’s Ask a Pro session or open up the white paper, it’s helpful to understand the three basic rules of publishing to the new iPad.

1. Create your articles in PDF format
Compared to raster formats like PNG, the PDF file type results in smaller folio file sizes.

2. Use renditions
Build folios with the same folio name at both 1024 and 2048 resolutions; these different sizes of the same folio are known as renditions. When renditions are used in multi-folio apps, Content Viewer will detect the correct folio size according to the device size, and only the correct folio size will be downloaded to the device.

3. Rebuild the branded app using Viewer Builder and publish
Rebuild your branded app in Viewer Builder using high-resolution app icons and UI assets so that your brand assets look crisp on the retina display. Also make sure you publish both renditions (1024 and 2048) before sending push notifications.

The white paper contains information on:

  • Working with overlays to minimize file size
  • Building renditions
  • Managing metadata
  • Creating assets for both resolutions in Viewer Builder

 Watch the Ask a Pro session here

For more information, read Bob Bringhurst’s Guidelines for Creating Folios for iPad3 and visit the Digital Publishing Suite Developer Center.

7:06 PM Permalink

SoDA Report Released Today on the iPad!


Today, SoDA (Society of Digital Agencies) released the SoDA Report on the iPad using Adobe Digital Publishing Suite. Formerly known as the Digital Marketing Outlook, The SoDA Report is released quarterly to an eager audience of tech-savvy digital strategists and marketers. SoDA is embracing the technology that its member agencies use in order to build the app. Creative and digital agencies are using Digital Publishing Suite to drive new client revenue at a higher margin, expand their skills, and provide innovative services to current clients.

Tony Quin, SoDA Board Chair and CEO of IQ, introduces the app in an embedded video, sharing the story of this thoughtfully crafted publication replete with insights for digital marketers. SoDA has a highly exclusive membership, and the content is written by some of the most influential thinkers in the industry.

SoDA’s mission is to provide education, advocacy, and best practices for digital agencies. Open up the app, and you’ll find a mix of consumer data, agency strategy, modern marketing trends, and tech talk.  Perusing the articles, I was intrigued by a case study on Occupy Wall Street’s viral communication strategy. I also loved the article on marketing technologies that, contrary to popular belief, aren’t dead. Learn more by reading SoDA’s press release, and then download The SoDA Report from the iTunes Store today!

12:50 AM Permalink

Hybrid Design Creates Digital Publishing Sales App

To show off the value of Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, Adobe recently worked with Hybrid Design to create the internal DPS Sales Tool iPad app. The experience benefitted both Adobe and the agency. According to Dora Drimalas, principal at Hybrid Design, “Digital Publishing Suite opens the door to create all kinds of apps and services for our clients that drive merchandising, brand loyalty, customer acquisition, and more.”

Hybrid Design easily created the feature-rich app for Adobe in just four weeks using Adobe InDesign software. Apps developed with Digital Publishing Suite can increase merchandising, brand affinity, and boost conversions. Instead of passing around tablets to showcase apps that customers have created, Adobe can simply use its own app to demonstrate the interactive feature set.

The DPS Sales Tool app gives Adobe global sales teams immediate access to content that can be updated with ease. The app lets account managers engage with customers using Adobe’s own app as an example of a direct sales use case. It also enables sales professionals to showcase customer implementations, white papers, slideshows, and videos—which makes the presentations even more visually compelling. Using the app, Adobe can illustrate to customers how app content can be distributed behind a firewall for internal groups.

Integrated analytics within the DPS Sales Tool app also provide Adobe with a way to track usage and decided on future enhancements to the app. The company can see what salespeople are showing most, and determine which interactive features and sections are gaining the most traction. For example, analytics show that up to 80% of the account managers or solution consultants who downloaded the application spent up to 30 minutes per application visit and, 55% of monthly visitors leveraged the Digital Publishing Suite Pitch folio included in the application.

Lynly-Schambers-Lenox, group product marketing manager of Digital Publishing Suite at Adobe says, “We’ve experienced it ourselves: Adobe Digital Publishing Suite can empower enterprises and publishers in a vast number of useful and productive ways.”


7:43 PM Permalink

A Healthy Relationship: Medical Companies and Digital Publishing Suite

The medical manufacturing, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries have a real opportunity for improved patient and healthcare provider engagement through tablet applications. Apps can help life science organizations in myriad ways – including establishing positive, ongoing brand relationships between health care professionals and patients, accelerating the sales cycle and delivering higher recall rates to drive revenue and build market share, leveraging mobile marketing channels to expand reach of brand and content, and maximizing organizational efficiencies. The following types of apps are showcased in the App of the Week video, which features medical and dental apps.

  • Sales apps can quickly deliver product information to busy healthcare professionals and increase the effectiveness of the sales process
  • Medical journal apps using interactivity can provide more comprehensive professional development for health care providers
  • Patient education apps can drive brand awareness and deepen patients’ health care knowledge, allowing them to take better control of their health care

The Digital Landscape

  • Everyone’s Going Mobile

Today’s environment is rapidly evolving, driven by the proliferation of devices people use to consume content –  both at home, at work and on the go. Not too long ago, healthcare professionals and consumers depended solely on their desktop computer or laptop to access online information. Now, a growing number of healthcare providers and consumers are likely to seek out content across a multitude of devices on a daily basis.

  • Patients are Researching on Devices

Patients want to be in full charge of their medical and health care decisions and are researching and learning about disease, disease management and therapies on their own.  Tablet applications offer the opportunity to more effectively inform patients and establish product preferences.

  • Health Care Providers Rely on Mobile Technologies

We know that healthcare providers are using devices while at work. Surveys conducted for the pharmaceutical industry in mid-year 2011 found that 64 percent of doctors have a smartphone, while 27 percent of primary care providers and specialists say they have a tablet.

In the past year, pharma investments in smartphone apps, social media platforms, and wireless devices have grown 78 percent, according to Ernst & Young’s Annual Global Pharmaceutical Report.

Ownership of devices by pharma/health sciences industry is 5X general population.  1 in 5 physicians plans to purchase a device in next year (Epocrates, survey, 2010)

Sales Apps
Today, sales reps are under increasing pressure to represent more products in less time. Historically, reps had seven to ten minutes with a physician, and now they only have two to four minutes. In addition, they are responsible for a broader array of products. Essentially, they need to entice the physician with more compelling information in less time.

Roche has armed their 31,000 sales reps with iPads in the last year. As tablets make their way into the enterprise as sales tools, sales teams can integrate all customer-facing information into one tablet app, such as white papers, product information, and surgery videos, reducing the cumbersome materials associated with the sales cycle. At the end of the sales meeting, the salesperson can also order patient brochures and other ancillary materials for the doctor without leaving the app, streamlining the sales process.

Product Detailing
Tablet apps can quickly and cost effectively deliver product information to busy health care professionals. In a survey conducted with 100 physicians, two-thirds had viewed details on a tablet device, and 68% reported being very satisfied with the format.

In this week’s app of the week video, we show a product detailing app for dental implants, which includes video tutorials and product specs. Product detailing is richer when Digital Publishing Suite features are applied to the app. For example, 360 degree rotation allows the dentist to see devices from all angles. After the sales rep shares information with the customer, the dentist or oral surgeon can download the app from the app store and refer to the tutorials as needed.

Medical Journal Apps
More than 30% of physicians have an iPad, which far exceeds the national average. This shouldn’t be a surprise — health care professionals are constantly on the go and need access to up-to-date information. Journals from medical associations and companies keep medical professionals on top on the latest advancements.

The high resolution iPad (both the earlier and the new version) allow health care providers to see a high level of detail. In the medical field, microscopy is instrumental in understanding disease formation and therapeutic mechanisms. In addition, videos are the most effective way to model interactions on the cellular level. Therefore, not only do tablet apps engage health professionals on their preferred devices, but they allow journals to more clearly communicate technical, peer reviewed information – especially for people who are constantly in motion.

Patient Education Apps
When patients have health care questions, they often seek it out on their own. In fact, approximately 80% of patients seek out health information on the web. The tablet is a great way to connect with and educate patients, especially since people tend to spend more time consuming content on tablet devices than they do on the web.

In this week’s app of the week video, we show the Mayo Clinic’s app designed to educate the general public about research being performed at the clinic. The articles use videos, pinch and zoom photos, and interactive quizzes to show how diseases progress, and how the therapies designed at the Mary Clinic help slow or stop disease progression.

Tablets are the perfect medium to distribute and communicate accurate medical information – for sales teams, medical professionals, and patients. Check out the app of the week video to see this in action!

9:45 PM Permalink

Your Audience is the Center of Your Universe

By Debra Bates-Schrott, President
Bates Creative Group

Publishing today means your audience must be at the center of everything you do. This may present a paradigm shift in your thinking as a publication (or maybe it’s old news, if so, good for you!), prompting the question – “Wait, isn’t my content the center of my universe?” Yes and no. Your audience has changed, their media habits have changed, and the way they engage with your content has changed. For instance, a report from the Pew Research Center (“State of the News Media 2012“) shows that “27% of the U.S. adult population now gets their news on smartphones and tablets.” The report also lists that “70% of desktop/laptop owners report getting news on their computers, half of smartphone owners (51%) use their phones for news, and a majority of tablet owners (56%) use their devices for news.”

What does this mean?
Change your thinking and start your strategy with:

  1. Defining whom you’re talking to.
  2. Meeting them where they are.
  3. Giving them the content they want.
  4. Designing it so they can’t put it down.

How can you put this perspective into practice? As creative people we always want to start with the fun part, “design so they can’t put it down.”  But design only gets better if we do the other parts first and embrace a strategic approach. The right strategy starts with questions – Who is the audience? Are they using tablets? What do they want from your content?

The tablet question is THE question now, because the tablet market is undeniably exploding, reaching more and more consumers every day. In fact, Rick Levine, Condé Nast’s director of editorial operations, stated at this year’s South by Southwest Conference that all of the Condé Nast titles from Vogue and Arch Digest to Vanity Fair will have a tablet version by the end of 2012. “We like this technology so much that by the end of the year every magazine will have a digital edition,” he said.

It’s more important than ever to get up to speed on designing your publication for the tablet. At Bates Creative Group, we’ve refined our expertise in transforming publications from a print magazine to various other media platforms, and mastered the process of making a magazine’s tablet app its flagship media piece – all while using Adobe Digital Publishing Suite.

Taken from our experience, here are the top eight considerations (you get the top ten when you hire us) to get your tablet vision and strategy headed in the right direction:

  1. If there is no difference between a PDF and the functionality of your tablet app, you’ve missed the mark.
  2. Your tablet app is not a “small version of your website.”
  3. Whenever possible “show don’t tell.” The tablet is perfect to tell your story through the use of video and interactive graphics. Be considerate of article length. For instance, a story that seems an average read in a printed magazine may be overwhelming on the tablet.
  4. It’s about “user experience” not reader experience. You cannot design apps without considering the tablet user.
  5. Consider the dynamics of the horizontal and vertical formats.
  6. Designing for tablets is a new way of thinking compared to print design.
  7. Let your users make you proud by sharing your work. Social media has the power to grow businesses. Make it cool and get your tablet users talking about it.
  8. During the planning stage, brainstorm how you can add interactivity to your content. Overlays and HTML 5 can make an app come alive.

Getting back to your audience – let’s say you build your tablet app and send it out into the world. How do you know if your design is a success? Measurement. Learn how the analytics work. It’s like a window into your audience. Learn from the data and interpret it so you can design better apps with user preferences as your first consideration. Learn what will drive the user from screen to screen and what drives engagement. This is a huge advantage of the app – real-time feedback on performance of your content, design and user experience. Now you can think of your publication as if it were in continual beta testing. This data should also drive everything from your editorial strategy to your photo selects. If you use this feedback effectively as a tool, you will undoubtedly keep improving your product and see your numbers climb.

This is very exciting time for publishers and designers. The world is open to us to explore and use new tools to deliver our stories as real experiences in amazing, memorable ways. I encourage all publishers and designers out there to keep pushing the envelope and to get your audience talking about your work.

Debbie Bates-Schrott, President, Bates Creative Group
Debbie is the founder and chief communications strategist of Bates Creative Group. For more than 20 years, she has led award-winning teams in creative art direction, branding, magazine design and marketing collateral development. Debbie’s more than 70 design awards recognize her exceptional work for organizations as diverse as Cisco Systems, the American Marketing Association, the Land Trust Alliance, the Pentagon Memorial Fund and the U.S. Marine Corps.

Debbie has a strong understanding of marketing communications and design issues, and is intimately involved with every client project. She has a proven ability to anticipate changing business situations, make a rapid and accurate assessment of the opportunity, and respond with creative communications solutions. Debbie thrives in high-pressure, dynamic situations

6:10 PM Permalink