Saturday, June 30, 2012

iPad: The magazine will arrive more tomorrow

More than two years after the release of the iPad, magazines available on the Apple tablet are still relatively few. Those who have made the jump to the vast majority, like carbon copies of the paper version, they do little to exploit that allows the digital enhancements, in terms of multimedia, for example. However, the design tools offer more options, newsrooms are organized and equipped themselves gradually, and one begins to imagine what might be the electronic magazine of tomorrow ... if it does come tomorrow.

It is trivial to note that today the periodical press is wrong. Faced with competition from countless news sites, traumatized by the fall of their readership and the collapse of advertising revenues, magazine publishers may play on their shelves last chance of survival. Much better than the computer keyboard with his bulky, the iPad indeed promotes intuitive ergonomics that helps to replicate the experience of reading a magazine.

Beyond the strict variant identical to a print magazine (known as version "homothetic"), which interface, what enhancements can be suggested to the reader to convince him to drop his mite, in an environment where the free reign supreme?


Unlike the content of a site, used to paying a magazine, after the "physical" world, is permanently anchored. With this advantage, oh so important for publishers, the magazine concept combines other assets in the virtual world. The web is full of information, jostling on sites whose theme, structure and ergonomics required whenever an effort to understand. In addition, countless sources have higher levels of reliability, style, technicality vary greatly, and the user is forced, even unconsciously, to assess and weigh them.

We have known since the invention of windows and menus: the use of a metaphor facilitates the understanding of the interface software and its operation. The magazine that is discovered on the tablet has a familiar and comforting metaphor. It is an "information container" whose source is identified, architectural control, and consistent editorial tone. Each magazine has a well defined editorial line, which is exerted on both the organization of information, the sectioning of pages, and style (text and graphic) of each article.

If the Web has allowed everyone to become a journalist, reading a "real" magazine can rest on an editorial team that is knows: a journalist whose article you read then plays the role of a "trusted third party" in the face of uncontrolled wealth of information which the web is a carrier.

Here are some of the qualities of a magazine that the reader hopes to find on his shelf, and it is to preserve when converting paper-screen. But the size constraints, readability and manipulation imposed by a tablet may lead to get away from the metaphor, for easy use. In addition, the software used to convert each offer different options that affect the final result.

An overview of publishing solutions available today list more than two dozen tools! Some involve InDesign plug-ins, and others are based on web apps. Many of them, including the most common as Adobe DPS or Aquafadas Publishing, integrate interactive tools developed ... that magazines are still using that very carefully.

Two opposite approaches

If you ask some of the players in this market, we realize the vagueness in which publishers find themselves immersed. "The digital switchover is a perilous journey to a media group" acknowledges William Monteux, the founder of miLibris. The Paris-based pilot, among others, the platform that ePresse members include securities as important as the item, the Team or the Figaro.

"To simplify the work of editors, two approaches are possible," says William Monteux. "Insert the print workflow of a" branch "dedicated to the digital version, as did Adobe with its Publishing Solution, or Aquafadas, or conversely, radically separate tool for producing the same transformation as proposed miLibris. To create digital magazines, we start from PDF sent by the publisher: there is therefore no change in the normal workflow of writing. "

"The proposed strategy is progressive Aquafadas publishers. "Analysis, however, Matthew Kopp, the director R & D Aquafadas. "With the same software, one can in an editorial choose to publish initially PDFs homothetic, then without changing tools, publishing a number with multiple enhancements. "

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