Archive for November, 2012

App of the Week: Heifer International’s World Ark Magazine

by Teresa Demel

Just in time for the giving season, Heifer International and Bates Creative Group released World Ark magazine and catalog, powered by Adobe Digital Publishing Suite. World Ark not only showcases the inspiring stories of individuals and communities impacted by Heifer International, but also includes “The Most Important Gift Catalog in the World,” which allows readers to invest in the lives of individuals in developing nations.

In this app of the week video, I share the story of a woman in Bangladesh, who was able to become financially independent through gifts from Heifer International. Her story of transformation is inspiring, brought to life by slideshows and video footage. In this example, we can see photos of children happily learning in school and a video of community members dancing together.

I also walk through the process of purchasing a cow through the catalog. Using buttons and slideshows, it is easy to navigate through the gifts, such as goats, chickens, and stoves, and learn how they will benefit recipients. Without leaving the app, readers can purchase a gift from the online store and return to reading about Heifer International’s work.

And yes, I did donate part of a cow on behalf of my dad. That wasn’t just my fine acting skills. :)


8:16 AM Permalink

Optimized for iPhone

Publishers looking for new ways to connect with audiences on the go need look no further than the device many people carry with them every day—their smartphone. Rodale, publisher of Men’s Health magazine, is doing just that with an enhanced version of the magazine now available on the iPhone. You have seen our App of the Week videos and news announcements. Today, you can learn directly from the Rodale Publishing team, featured in our latest customer success story.

Using Digital Publishing Suite, Men’s Health was able to create the iPhone version in-house in just 40 days, without hiring outside programmers. Icons and strong, consistent typography provide visual cues that help readers navigate and each animated workout exercise is presented on a single page, sequenced to walk the reader through the entire workout tutorial.

Built-in analytics in Digital Publishing Suite show that readers are spending up to an hour or more interacting with the brand. The Men’s Health enhanced edition is also causing spikes in circulation. In just the first 60 days after its release, Men’s Health for the iPhone grew to 16% of Rodale’s digital edition iOS audience. By 2013, the year marking the 25th anniversary of Men’s Health, the publisher projects that the digital editions of the magazine will surpass 100,000 paid subscriptions.

Read the Success Story PDF here:
Rodale Inc. and Men’s Health: Publishing icon—optimized for iPhone


10:17 AM Permalink

How Do You Drive Digital Sales Using DPS?

Join the Adobe Meets MPA series on Thursday, November 27th to learn how to promote and monetize content built with Digital Publishing Suite. Presenter Gerald Farro will share strategies for growing digital audiences, developing incremental revenue streams, and extending brands with in-app stores, social sharing, and geo-targeting.

Gerald Farro has been working with many DPS publishers over the past three years. Prior to Adobe, he worked in the trenches at top media organizations such as Wenner Media, Source Interlink and Bauer Publishing. The Adobe Meets MPA lunch is intended to be an open dialogue with publishers to build creative strategies for monetizing digital content.

12:44 PM Permalink

Ad of the Week: REI in Backpacker

By Teresa Demel

As part of my job, I read a lot of magazines built with Digital Publishing Suite. (I know, I know… rough life.) I often stumble across great ads worth sharing, and you will sometimes see an “Ad of the Week” in your feed instead of an “App of the Week.”

For publishers, advertisements are an important revenue stream. For advertisers, their placement and value are carefully scrutinized to maximize return on investment. Ads built in Digital Publishing Suite apps can be extremely high value for both parties when executed well.

REI ad using the Scratch-off Effect

The REI advertisements built into Digital Publishing Suite are both targeted and engaging. REI, a supplier of outdoor gear, sponsored the “Gear Guide” issue of Backpacker, a surefire way to reach the target demographic: people passionate about exploring the outdoors. They use interactivity in order to not only lengthen the amount of time that readers spend in the ad, but also provide moments of joy and entertainment.

Check out three ads featured in this video

  • Watch a video introduction with a personal message from the people at REI describing why they are sponsoring this issue.
  • Swipe the snow off the page to reveal an REI ad underneath. The designers used the scratch-off effect to create this interactivity.
  • Rotate your iPad to change your perspective of a man standing on a cliff. This is the parallax effect in action, built with three jpeg layers and javascript, utilizing the iPad’s gyroscope.

A tutorial for the scratch-off effect is available in DPS Cookbooks. There is a great discussion in the DPS forum on creating the parallax effect. If you have found any other helpful tutorials on these effects, please post them in the comments below.

Watch the Ad of the Week video here:

12:15 PM Permalink

ABC Completes Initial Certification of Digital Publishing Suite

Digital Publishing Suite passed the test! The Audit Bureau of Circulations—now known as the Alliance for Audited Media (AAM)–has successfully completed an initial audit of the metrics captured by the Content Viewer included with DPS. DPS is the first digital publishing solution to be certified by AAM.

Working with Adobe customers, the AAM ascertained and verified how Digital Publishing Suite, as well as the metrics available through Digital Analytics included in the Adobe Marketing Cloud, are measured and reported. The following metrics have been certified:

  • Number of readers for a magazine and each individual issue
  • Total number of article and content views within an issue
  • Total time spent with an issue by all readers

What does this mean for the magazine and newspaper industry? It brings publishers and advertisers closer to achieving the common goal of accurately measuring consumption and engagement of digital issues and delivering verified data that is critical to the industry as a whole.

And this is just the beginning. AAM will continue to audit DPS over time and expand the scope of its review to additional metrics.

Read the press release: AAM Certifies Adobe Digital Publishing Suite

9:06 AM Permalink

The Latest Release: New Device Support and Robust Analytics

Digital Publishing Suite, Release 24, is now live. We are excited to announce support for new devices, analytics on end user behavior, and improvements to the publishing workflow and reading experience. For more detail on any of the features, visit the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite Help Site, hosted by Bob Bringhurst.

Support for iPad Mini
DPS apps built for iPad2 will automatically work for iPad Mini. With no extra effort, your app will be available for iPad Mini users as well. This benefits our Single Edition customers, as well as Pro and Enterprise.

Support for Kindle Fire HD 8.9” Device
The Kindle Fire HD 8.9” device is planned to ship on November 20th, and your publication can be immediately available for early adopters. In order to target the device, designers can develop a 1920×1200 folio.

Web Viewer on Windows 8
If you use social sharing, articles shared by your readers can be viewed on Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 8 web browsers.

Folio Download in the Background
Your readers can now download a folio, leave the app, and do other activities on their iOS devices (check email, play Angry Birds) while the folio finishes downloading.  Publishers must update the app to R24 in order for this to work.

Track Reader Behavior
For Site Catalyst users: Find out how long readers are using your app, the number of times they are opening it, total days spent reading, as well as peak usage hours. See a sample “App Usage” chart below.

URL Navigation Tracking
For Site Catalyst users: Track the number of readers that click on URLs associated with hyperlink overlays (e.g. “Buy now” button) and web content overlays (e.g. Twitter feed) and also understand how people are opening the URLs (in Device Browser or in app Viewer or in Webview). Now you can tell advertisers how many people opened up their website within the app or clicked on a link in a web content overlay. The chart below provides a sample of URL tracking.

Track User Device and Operating System
New analytics will show the devices and operating systems that are being used by readers to download your publication. Data will be broken down by the following information. See the chart below for a sample.

  • Device type (e.g. mobile phone, tablet)
  • Devices (e.g. Apple iPad, Amazon Kindle Fire)
  • Device name (iPad 2, iPad 2 CDMA/GPS)
  • Manufacturer (e.g. Apple, Samsung)
  • Operating System (e.g. iOS, Android)
  • OS Version (e.g. iOS 5.11, Android 3.2)
  • Connection Type (e.g. LAN/Wifi, Mobile Carrier)
  • Carrier Name (e.g. AT&T)
  • Screen Size (height & width)

Renewal Options
When it is time to renew your DPS license, you will be able to update your account through the reseller you purchased from or if you purchased online you can renew on

Workflow Enhancements for Designers
The engineering team has made several changes to improve workflow efficiency for your designers:
1)   They can update multiple articles at once, instead of needing to update a single article at a time
2)   If a folio fails to publish due to server error, the publishing process resumes from the point where it stopped publishing.
3)   Folio Builder UI enhancements force designers to select the folio orientation before proceeding. This helps prevent publishing issues down the road.
4)   Error messages now point designers to Knowledge Base articles to aid in troubleshooting.

Workflow Enhancement for Enterprise Developers
You can now sign an in-house application with an enterprise mobile provision file that contains an explicit (non-wildcard) application ID. This change lets you manage the application independently from other apps in your organization.

Small changes

  • Publishers can disable the Cover view in the iPad viewer library
  • The dialog box that asks readers to restore purchases has been eliminated. Readers can restore purchases using a button in the top right-hand corner.
  • Publishers that distribute private publications can remove an app from the collection without removing others.

Visit Bob Bringhurst’s site for details on any of the new features.

8:58 AM Permalink

Digital Publishing Suite App Available Now!

Are you curious to learn how other publishers and business use DPS to transform their businesses? Do you want to see examples of a custom HTML store, iPhone publishing, and creative use of overlays all in one place? Download the Adobe & Digital Publishing app now on your iPad.

Some featured items:

  • Reader’s Digest uses custom, in-app stores, allowing readers to shop for more products and services without leaving the app
  • Embedded videos in trade publications provide effective and engaging product detailing
  • Men’s Health publishes to iPhone to reach a broader, highly connected audience
  • Backpacker uses social sharing to allow its brand ambassadors to spread the word about great content
  • National Geographic uses Adaptive Design Tools to publish to iPad and Kindle Fire

Download the app from the iTunes store today. Let us know your favorite features of the app. Or you can simply vote with your fingers! We will use the analytics built into Digital Publishing Suite to see which features are most popular.

11:35 AM Permalink

Adobe Dinner at IMAG Boulder Conference

On November 14, 2012, Adobe will host a dinner for IMAG members at the conference in Boulder, Colorado. After a day of scintillating conversation rife with best practices and debates, Gerald Farro, Business Development in Digital Publishing will sit down with independent publishers to discuss business opportunities provided by Digital Publishing Suite.

If you are attending IMAG Boulder, tell the MPA team that you would like to join us for dinner.

Visit the IMAG Boulder site to register for the conference and dinner.

1:03 PM Permalink

National Geographic Launched on the iPhone


It is exciting to see a surge in iPhone publications built with Digital Publishing Suite. With millions of iPhone viewers, publishers are seeing an opportunity to reach more readers. National Geographic has quickly adapted its print publication for the iPad, Kindle Fire HD, and now the iPhone.

National Geographic is renowned for its photography, and the images are vibrant on the high definition back-lit iPhone screen. The audio and video are crystal clear, allowing National Geographic to tell a rich multimedia story.

In the last few months we have noticed that DPS customers who launch apps on the iPhone in addition to the iPad are seeing an immediate 25% increase in downloads over the iPad volume. Our goal at Adobe is to help publishers grow their audience, and being readily available on their readers’ preferred devices is key to helping them grow.

Every time I have spoken with a publisher about creating content for the iPhone, the user interface is noted as the biggest challenge. The New Yorker, Women’s Health and Men’s Health have tackled this issue and built great user interface designs that are intuitive and easy to navigate on a small screen. National Geographic, assisted by Joe Zeff Design, created a clean Table of Contents. Each article is divided into up to four sections: Read, Look, Watch and Listen. This showcases National Geographic’s capability of creating and communicating a multimedia story for its loyal following.

6:48 PM Permalink

App of the Week: Women’s Health on iPhone and iPad

By Teresa Demel

Rodale Publishing has established itself as a leader in designing magazines for the small screen. They have already launched Men’s Health, Women’s Health, and Best Life on the iPhone, showing their commitment to being widely available to readers across some of the most popular devices.

This app of the week video compares the iPad and iPhone versions side-by-side, so that you can see for yourself how they adapted the layout to include the same great content on a smaller screen. The difference in layout is not just based on size, but also on use case. When people are reading content on the iPhone, they are looking for smaller bits of “snackable” information. The layout allows readers to scan across articles, and then read more deeply about an eye-catching topic.

Careful Balance of Images and Text
As a general rule, Rodale uses a minimalist approach to page layout on the iPhone. Readers will either see text or images on the pages, but will rarely see both. As an example, this video shows a how-to article on the Sun Salutation yoga pose. The iPad article shows all 10 poses on a single page, with the description text adjacent to the images. On the iPhone, this layout would be completely illegible. Rodale redesigned it so that readers can either toggle between the poses, and then click on a button to open up the description. This is incredibly clear and allows readers to focus their attention on one thing at a time.

Color Coding Cues
The DPS-based Table of Contents is color coded to delineate between sections.

  • Style & Beauty – Yellow
  • Fitness – Blue
  • Food – Green

This color coding is not just in the icons, but also on the article pages. When I’m reading a print magazine, I can tell where I am based on the page numbers and the footer of the publication. As an iPhone reader, where real estate is smaller, the color frames are clues for where I am in the context of the larger magazine.

While the following app of the week video outlines a few tricks used by Rodale, download the Women’s Health app from iTunes to experience more methods for conveying information on a small screen.

Watch the Women’s Health app of the week video

10:36 AM Permalink