December 6, 2012
The largest consumer magazine publishers in the world are powered by Adobe Digital Publishing Suite
Adobe is excited to announce that Time Inc. is publishing Real Simple to the Apple App store using Adobe Digital Publishing Suite (DPS). With launch of this app, Adobe now powers mobile and tablet apps to the top five largest consumer magazine publishers in North America who collectively deliver content to over 200 million readers in North America. Time Inc. now joins Meredith, Hearst, Condé Nast, and Reader’s Digest, all of whom are partnering with Adobe to digitally publish magazines as apps for iPad, iPhone, Kindle Fire and other leading Android tablets and devices. With support from Adobe, these leading publishers are demonstrating innovation through stand-out mobile applications that have been lauded for their high quality design and extended consumer engagement.
The publishing industry has undergone considerable transformation in the last three years. With the initial launch of WIRED on the iPad, a cascade of applications have followed Condé Nast in publishing highly regarded magazine and newspaper applications to a variety of tablet and smartphone devices using Adobe DPS.
Reading behavior of magazine and newspaper apps continue to be shaped as we move into 2013. However, Digital Publishing Suite applications are setting the standard for excellence in readership. A recent report from iMonitor shows that the top five apps to achieve a perfect iMonitor app rating were built with DPS. These apps were highly scored because they are “easy to navigate and appropriately leverage the iPad’s capabilities to both fully engage their users and to expand upon the service typically provided by more traditional media forms.”
In the last 12 months, there have been over 50M issues downloaded from applications created with DPS. Additionally, data from these applications indicates that users are willing to pay for digital content with over 60% of readers purchasing an application as a single issue or a digital subscription.
The successes go on. National Geographic recently stated that they are expecting to exceed their goal of 300,000 paid digital readers before the end of the year. Hearst has over 1M digital readers and continues to grow. Rodale recently noted that they predict that Men’s Health will surpass 100,000 paid digital readers this year. While still small compared to print circulations, digital circulation will continue to climb as the number of tablets and smartphones accelerates. Case in point, roughly 1 in every 2 adults in the US is expected to have a tablet by 2013 (117.4MM users). That is a lot of potential magazine and newspaper readers.
Adobe is proud to be working with many of the world’s most renowned publishers. Our goal is to empower publishing companies with innovative tools, technology, workflows and support to ensure their brands can be designed and delivered to readers where and when they want to engage with their content.
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.