Non-app app for digital magazines -- need feedback
I'm not sure if this is the right place for this but let me give it a shot.
I am a magazine editor and publisher and have developed a viewer that runs inside your browser but provides a simplified, app-like presentation.
I want to get feedback from as many people as possible on what they think of the way we are presenting content, both on Android smartphones as well as tablets. (From my IT guy I've been told that about 5% of our readership is viewing the magazine on a smartphone and thus far, the limited feedback is very positive. I don't have a breakdown by type of smartphone yet.)
Our approach is browser-based so that it works on any device and since the content isn't downloaded, I guess you can also say it's cloud-based as well. It works on any device that runs a browser and I think that the presentation is especially good on larger screens, 8-inches and up, especially if your browser can go into a full-screen mode.
I typically go down to Best Buy to get a handle on how things look by pulling up the page on a variety of devices -- I think it looks especially good on the Asus EeePad Transformer -- but would love some unbiased, third-party feedback.
If you're a car buff, I think you'll like what we're doing and we have three other titles already in the development stage. Actually what I'd love to do is to do an Android-focused magazine using this platform, if I can find the right person to serve as the editor. Anyone here think that's a good idea?
Editorial Director, ,
After looking at the magazine on my gTablet, I think it looks pretty good. The down side is that the layout is made for landscape viewing only. I tend to read ebooks and magazine articles (via Zinio) in portrait mode. When I look at your magazine in portrait mode, the layout doesn't even fill half the screen. Switching the article to text only mode does the same thing - fills only half the screen.
I did find that if I double click the text, it will zoom in and fill the screen properly (in text mode), but hitting the back button displays everything in text mode. It's not to bad to switch out of text mode with one additional click. It just feels a little clunky switching back and forth between modes.
Re: Non-app app for digital magazines -- need feedback
Thanks so much for your feedback.
It's obvious to me that you missed the main point of our presentation, that Automotive Traveler was designed from the ground up to be displayed on a tablet or computer in landscape mode. It was NEVER designed to be viewed in portrait mode; the design of the "page" is much like holding a traditional magazine open and viewing the double-page spread as an integrated layout. As the designer, rather than the editor, that was my goal.
You mentioned reading magazines in Zinio. Doesn't it bother you having to zoom in to read the text, and when you get to the text in the first column at the bottom of the page, then have to scroll up to pick up the text at the top of the next column? With our presentation, on screen sizes seven inches and bigger, that's simply not necessary.
I've designed our layouts for my tired, 57-year-old eyes. That's why the font is so big. (I use a 16pt font with 20pt spacing where printed magazines typically use 8pt fonts with 10pt spacing, that's why you have to zoom in to read them, even on a 10-inch screen like that found on an iPad. How big is the screen on your device?)
Quite frankly, I never thought that someone would even try to read Automotive Traveler in portrait mode. I guess I'm way too close to the publication to realize that.
Also realize one more thing. Many, many more people are reading digital magazines on laptops and desktop computers and most can't twist their screens to go into a portrait mode. On 10-15-inch laptops, our presentation works perfectly. Also note, when we launched Automotive Traveler back in 2007, there were not any viable tablets so our initial intended market was those people camping out all day at Starbucks, tethered to their laptops. <SMILE>
I do hope you go back, put aside the way that you have read digital magazines in the past, and take another look. Then tell me if you think the reading experience of reading a traditional magazine ported to the digital environment via Zinio is still better than the Automotive Traveler presentation of content designed specifically for your tablet.
Remember, our content can be viewed on any device that runs a browser and that unlike a native app, all of the content is indexed by search engines like Google. That might not be important to you as a reader of the publication, but the indexing issue is critical for publishers like me.
Thanks so much for your feedback. It is greatly appreciated. I would love to talk more directly with you so feel free to PM me so that we can exchange E-mail addresses and possibly phone numbers.
Editorial Director, ,
Last edited by autotraveler; 12-04-2011 at 12:46 PM.