November 10, 2014
The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) has created a new way to immerse students in underwater exploration. From iOS or Android tablets, trainees can dive into the PADI Open Water Diver Touch folio, created with Adobe Digital Publishing Suite (DPS), to learn the latest techniques and safety information for scuba diving.
With student convenience in mind, PADI wanted to advance scuba training beyond its classroom, print, and online offerings. Creating an app seemed like a natural next step. People are spending more time with devices and a tablet app could still provide an engaging, interactive experience in areas without Wi-Fi access.
“We set out to invent the future of diver education,” says Karl Shreeves, technical development executive for PADI Worldwide. “PADI Open Water Diver Touch is a fully interactive application that engages students with the materials. It combines the entertainment factor of video with the rich content of a book all rolled into one.”
PADI develops its app and diver curriculum with a team of experts worldwide and uses a performance-based approach—including integration with a learning management system (LMS)—that only allows students to progress once they have demonstrated mastery of certain requirements.
In fact, the organization’s content and instructional design teams collaborated with a design team to create an uncompromising, self-paced experience for learners. The beauty of DPS is that creative staff at PADI were able to produce the app without expensive or time-consuming software development resources. The resulting app offers interactive videos, eye-catching illustrations, quizzes, and a picture gallery navigable through gestures—all in an integrated form that engages students. Push notifications within the app let users know when an updated version is available.
One reason PADI chose DPS is built-in analytics dashboards that help the organization learn how users navigate the app. The ease and speed of folio production in DPS is also paving the way for a series of interactive digital training publications from PADI, including an interactive publication for scuba gear specialists and another for former divers who want to return to the water.
Read the PADI success story.
View the video about the app.
November 7, 2014
There’s much more to architecture than designing and constructing buildings. Design is the core of any project, and compelling visual communications can make or break it. Ennead Architects – a leading firm that has completed notable projects such as the Clinton Presidential Center, Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History and Natural History Museum of Utah, and many others – has taken this to heart.
Today, Ennead is innovating not only with its architectural designs, but also in how it’s helping clients communicate with stakeholders with vested interests. Using Adobe Digital Publishing Suite (DPS), Ennead created an app for the new Robert B. Rowling Hall at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas (UT) at Austin, set to open in 2017. The app is a leading example of how firms in the architecture, engineering and construction industry can transform their client communications.
The app allows users to scroll through design plans, view floor-by-floor information, track the progress of construction, and more. Designed by Ennead Architects and Jacobs Engineering, the new building will help physically bridge Austin’s downtown scene with the UT Austin campus. In addition, its location on the northeast corner of Martin Luther King Boulevard and Guadalupe Street will encourage local involvement and information exchange with the community.
For the McCombs School, the app has taken communication about the project to the broader community and brought excitement to new levels. Equally important, it has added another dimension to the already successful collaboration between Ennead and its client. McCombs sees the value of working with a firm that helps to create a vision for a major facility and then delivers a way to explain the process, communicate the vision and provides tools to help raise money for it.
“Architecture has always been about inventiveness, and we created an interactive app to help UT express its vision and mission in a very tangible and visual way,” says Alex O’Briant, associate partner at Ennead Architects.
The app, developed in-house in roughly two months by Ennead designers Aleks Dawson and Margarita Calero with valuable input from UT, has received a lot of attention and interest – it’s even being used at the groundbreaking ceremony on November 7, 2014, to build enthusiasm for the kick-off of the construction phase. With beautiful renderings, as well as animations and audio, the app is proving to be a successful way to engage multiple constituents, including donors. Sustaining momentum for fundraising is an especially important factor now, because UT’s development efforts have gone beyond focusing on single, larger donors to reaching a broader audience of contributors.
“Rowling Hall wouldn’t be a reality without engaged alumni, corporate sponsors, students and parents,” says Eric Hirst, Dean of Graduate Programs at the McCombs School. “Reaching these audiences and telling our story in compelling and varied ways is a top priority. The iPad app is one of the best possible ways to invite audiences into the fascinating details of the project.” Having broken new ground with its first DPS app, Ennead Architects wants to tap the potential for future apps. Working with public and institutional clients who have a variety of stakeholders, Ennead sees DPS apps as powerful communication tools that can make a genuine difference and help clients show and tell the world about their new building projects.
October 13, 2014
The financial services industry is notorious for fiercely competing for customers. Leading investment research firm Morningstar knows this, and is developing new ways to care for its most valuable assets.
Morningstar is investing in customer retention and satisfaction by standardizing on Adobe Digital Publishing Suite. Originally, the company developed a native iPad app version of its newsletter StockInvestor to capitalize on investors’ increasing use of tablet devices. But Morningstar quickly realized ongoing maintenance of a custom app required extensive development time and effort.
“Adobe Digital Publishing Suite allows us to incorporate video and multiple live data feeds, something that was not easy when we were producing our native mobile app,” says Christopher Cantore, Morningstar design manager. “Even more importantly, Adobe Digital Publishing Suite supports an initiative to move to market more quickly and standardize design wherever possible.”
Since migrating to Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, Morningstar has been able to integrate its print and design processes and launch a new app, DividendInvestor, without adding staff. Plus, customer engagement is at an all-time high, reaching 99% of all self-identified subscribers with iPads.
Read the full success story.
October 9, 2014
New DPS Export for Office PowerPoint now available.
Since its launch almost 25 years ago, millions and millions of Office PowerPoint presentations have been created annually by business professionals, government officials, educators, and students. Whether you believe the rumor that 30 million presentations are built daily or not, let’s face it, there are a lot of PowerPoint presentations out there. They are a staple of business communications, government negotiations and increasingly, classroom education.
The majority of PowerPoint presentations are delivered from desktop computers. But, in an increasingly mobile world, presenting from a mobile device is now a priority. This is especially true for enterprise sales teams on the go.
With the latest release of Digital Publishing Suite , you can now transform your PowerPoint presentations into interactive mobile content consumed in a DPS app on Apple, Android and Windows mobile devices. Using the new DPS Export for PowerPoint you can quickly and easily convert existing presentations to .folio files. Sales staff, marketing teams and other business people who don’t have access to InDesign or HTML authoring tools can now use this simple plug-in to turn existing PowerPoint presentations into dynamic, engaging mobile storytelling experiences.
The DPS Export for PowerPoint installs directly in the PowerPoint toolbar (Office 2010 and 2013) and allows users to preview folios converted from PPT on the desktop before publishing. Once ready, you can then go through the process of publishing your PPT deck as a dynamic .folio that maintains the static, interactive and animated content originally built in PowerPoint.
The DPS Export to PowerPoint workflow is one more tool within DPS that marketing and sales teams can use to publish mobile content, without relying on design or developer resources. In addition to existing DPS integration with leading CMS systems including Adobe Experience Manager, WordPress and Drupal, this new PowerPoint plug-in enables business stakeholders to efficiently create and update content in DPS apps using templates and tools with which they are already familiar. Enabling your marketing and sales departments to support mobile apps is important as best practices indicate that keeping mobile content current and fresh is a reflection on your brand and a tool for driving increased customer engagement and loyalty.
Because DPS is hooked up to powerful metrics, you can track and measure the performance of a PPT presentation when converted to a .folio. Marketing teams can know if their sales colleagues are using critical mobile sales presentations published to a DPS app, including which slides (which become articles in a .folio) are shown and how much time is spent on each. This then indicates to the Marketing team if published content is effective and being used in the Field. Lastly, because DPS integrates with Salesforce1 Platform, you can further track content metrics associated with a sales opportunity as well as build powerful dashboards that correlate sales performance with mobile content.
The DPS Export for PowerPoint is a simple tool that can help DPS Enterprise customers create and publish interactive presentations to mobile apps. Access the plug in here and check it out soon.
Watch this helpful Adobe TV video for more information on the process of converting PPT presentations to .folio files.
For more information on DPS, please visit the DPS website.
September 23, 2014
Historically, sales success was driven by a sales rep’s ability to manage the customer conversation from first engagement to final deal. That’s all changing. Now, through technology, customers are more in control. They have access to information about products, pricing options and the competitive landscape at their fingertips, long before they meet with a sales rep.
How can companies transform their sales enablement to take advantage of new opportunities? And where do they see the future of sales enablement leading? These questions—and more—are answered in a new study by Adobe released today—Closing the Deal: The State of Sales Enablement.
According to the new research, 89 percent of sales and marketing managers believe their company is on the right track with its sales enablement strategy, but believe a shift in approach is needed to stay successful. Driving this confidence is evidence of improved sales effectiveness and increased sales volume, however, in an increasingly mobile environment where pitches and deals are made and closed on the go, less than 30 percent of companies are actually implementing sales enablement solutions that allow teams to adapt to this technological evolution.
To solve sales enablement challenges, enterprise sales teams must embrace technology. According to the research, 86 percent of sales managers believe that digital tools will help improve job performance, with mobile sales enablement tools fundamentally changing the nature of enterprise sales (U.S.: 84%) and to shortening the sales cycle (U.S.: 84%).
Other key findings
- Training staff (U.S.: 27%), ensuring proper communication about products and services (U.S.: 29%) and measuring sales effectiveness (U.S.: 27%) are cited as top sales enablement challenges.
- Data and analytics (U.S.: 89%), app-based solutions (U.S.: 84%) and customer relationship management (U.S.: 86%) integration viewed as important for digital sales enablement solutions to effectively increase sales productivity.
- Investment in mobile sales enablement strategy is high across countries; apps recognized as top investment in the U.S. (82%), UK (84%) and Germany (74%); Web noted as priority in France (84%).
- Spending on sales enablement solutions is predicted to continue to increase over the next three years with France showing the most long-term potential (U.S.: 65%, U.K.: 56%, Ger: 71%, FR: 65%).
Today’s successful organizations are those that implement digital tools to help reps have more informative customer conversations about product and services that add value to the sales discussion. Because strong investment in digital/mobile sales tools will occur over the next three years, make sure your organization reinvents its strategy ahead of the competition.
Closing the Deal: The State of Sales Enablement was commissioned by Adobe and produced by Edelman Berland. The study surveyed more than 1,000 business-to-business sales and marketing executives in the U.S., U.K., Germany and France.
Check out the full results of the study here.
November 14, 2013
Ready to accelerate your readership and revenue? Attend our webinar and read the Driving Digital Readership white paper
You’ve created your immersive and beautiful digital magazine and delivered it to the Newsstand, but now what? If you’re ready to take your digital magazine strategy to the next level, be sure to check out our jam-packed white paper that focuses on all of the consumer marketing tools available within Adobe Digital Publishing Suite. You’ll learn how to:
* Offer freemium content with tools for converting readers into subscribers
* Leverage the power of your readers social networks
* Monetize your web traffic by embedding a high-fidelity version of your magazine
* Keep your readers coming back from more with custom push notifications
* And much more
Read the PDF here:
Best practices for driving readership with Adobe Digital Publishing Suite
Plus, don’t miss the free, one-hour webinar on Thursday, November 21 at 9am PST where all of these topics—and more—will be covered! You’ll learn firsthand how and why to use these features and see terrific examples of how publishers are using them today.
August 28, 2012
Tips from Rupert Knowles, Senior System Engineer, Adobe
Over the past couple of years I have worked with many clients building publications with Adobe Digital Publishing Suite. One of the great things about Digital Publishing Suite (DPS) is that it allows publishers to use existing in-house graphic design expertise to create both their paper based publications and their digital cousins.
I am constantly amazed at how a designer from a pure print background can very quickly create stunning interactive publications. However, the designer will still need to learn new skills unique to digital production. In particular you need to think about the user experience, and the journey that the reader will take as they navigate the publication.
There is a tendency with any new technology to sometimes overuse the features just for the sake of it. It is always worth using them in moderation and where appropriate. And remember, with Adobe DPS analytics, you can measure whether people are interacting with the elements that you create.
One of the first things to decide on is the size of the font. Typically, for body text, most DPS apps use 16-18 point. One of the most common mistakes I have seen is that the text size has been set too small.
Not all fonts look as good on screen as they do in print. This is less of an issue with Apple’s retina displays, but you should still make sure the typeface serves its purpose well.
And remember you can now choose to render your pages as PDF output. This not only reduces the folio size but also allows people to pinch and zoom on the article.
Navigation & Interaction
The display on a 10” tablet is a lot smaller than the page size of your average magazine. So an 80-page paper publication could translate into a much larger digital edition.
This is one of the reasons why publishers create publications that scroll both horizontally and vertically.
However some publishers prefer to flatten the folio so that the title only scrolls horizontally. This create a simpler user experience, but the reader now has to swipe through a lot more pages, and it can become a bit unwieldy.
To help with this scenario, we have just introduced a feature called 2 finger swiping. Swiping with one finger will take you to the next page, but swiping with two fingers will take you the next article or section.
An important aspect when adding an interactive overlay to your publication is to make sure that the dynamic element does not prevent or restrict the reader from moving to another page, for example creating a full screen swipe-able slideshow or image sequence would block the reader from changing the page. I would recommend leaving a consistent part of the page as “non-interactive” so that the reader quickly learns where to swipe from to change page.
We have made this process easier with the addition of another new feature, hot zone page control. Hot Zones let users tap the edges of the article to browse to the next or previous articles. You can define the width of the Hot Zones in Viewer Builder. Hot Zones take precedent over all overlays with the exception of buttons.
Whenever you create a publication it is important to establish a set of icons or symbols to denote which parts of a page are interactive. It needs to be clear to the reader where to swipe or tap to access a specific feature.
It is also good practise to provide positional cues throughout the publication to indicate if a story continues and show how many more pages there are to go.
We all know how a paper publication works, the goal here is try and make the digital variant as intuitive as possible.
Finally encourage your readers to explore by making it fun.