Stewart will be hosting a half-day workshop on Responsive Web Design on 24th June in Dublin, helping designers get their sites responsive.
This week we look at advertising, accessibility, Vogue, and toilet reading. Happy reading and enjoy your weekend!
Shelley from Vogue has a great review of British Vogue and their focus on a cross-platform experience and typography.
The National Federation of the Blind reviews Amazon’s new Kindle app to see how it scores for accessibility.
A (brief) Q&A about advertising, native ads vs banner ads, and the importance of “big ideas”
Want to get a cool looking “real world” shot of your publication on a tablet or mobile? PlaceIt has you covered. (Expect to see these everywhere)
Pitchfork have produced yet another fantastic long-form interview with scrolling hypermedia elements, this time with Daft Punk.
Quote of the Week
— Cennydd Bowles (@Cennydd)
Useless Gadget of the Week
Douglas from one of our favourite publishing blogs reviews an iPad stand - for your toilet!
Let’s say you have a magazine for your customers on your plane/train/cruise ship, and you spend time sourcing great content and advertising to help them plan their journeys and enjoy their travel more. You have an eager, focused audience with a lot in common. Wouldn’t your readers appreciate the chance to purchase tickets for the tours you’ve recommended or book the restaurant your magazine raves about? Wouldn’t your advertisers appreciate the chance to reach out even more?
Most print magazine advertisements can, at best, list a website or phone number.
Most digital advertisements bounce in readers’ faces, annoying them until they navigate away.
We can do better by not only respecting readers but providing something of more value to both them and the advertiser.
A few months ago, I was on a flight reading the complimentary airline magazine as I always do. Airline magazines often have surprisingly great writers (Paul Ford for example) and many have interesting tips for wherever you’re going.
In this case, it was not anything in the magazine about Reykjavík, my final destination, that caught my eye. This time it was a piece of jewelry. That might sound normal for many people, but I’m honestly not much of a jewelry person. Advertisements from Tiffany’s and other jewelry brands usually bore me, and I flip right by them.
This one was different. A necklace like nothing I had ever seen before. I was fascinated by it. I flipped back to that page in the magazine several times to stare before the flight ended. I looked through the duty free catalogue to see if perhaps by some amazing coincidence it would be there but no dice. I snapped a picture of the ad with my phone just to save the company’s name. I was sold.
When I got home I spent some time trying to search for the piece in order to find it online & buy it. Shockingly, this jeweler who put together such a stunning magazine advertisement had basically zero web presence. How can this be?! It’s 2013! After much searching, I found a company who sold a small set of this jeweler’s collection, but not the piece I loved.
Eventually I exhausted my energy after finding there were no distributors in Ireland for this jeweler – only in Denmark. And while there were a handful of online retailers selling their collection, none had the piece I liked. It was late. I was pretty sure I could call their store in Copenhagen the next day and ask about pricing, shipping, etc., but I did not.
Imagine how different this story be with a digital magazine?
If Scanorama, the Scandinavian Airlines magazine, had been a digital magazine, that advertisement becomes so much more powerful. I could have clicked and bought the necklace and had it waiting for me when I got back from my holiday. In this case I would have. Whatever about the other products usually in Sky Mall, this was different and special and spoke to me. Now that sale will probably never happen as I unfortunately have no plans to go to Denmark any time soon. Even if they had had a website I could buy things from, it would have been a more likely sale.
Apply this thinking to other potential commerce
When we provide crappy, ugly advertisements in our publications, no one wins. The reader is now annoyed and the advertiser gets basically zero traction. Why let your advertisers chase away your readers? You probably need them both.
When we put thought into our advertising, we can create beautiful and more effective advertising. I bring this up with our customers at Woopie to convince them not to put banner ads in their publications. At first, they often think their hands are tied. Then I show them ads like this lovely interactive domain search and this fun developer ad, and their eyes light up as they understand the potential.
(image courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/will-lion/2698179649/)
It’s About Respect
Is it time-consuming to be thoughtful about your advertising? Yes.
Is it easier to just sign up for ad services and not care if the ads are good and just forget about it? Well, yes.
Ultimately you have to do what makes sense for your publication. If your publication is fully reader-funded through subscriptions or memberships, well done. If, like many publications, you rely on advertising to help fund your magazine either partially or fully, why not see what happens when you raise your expectations?
Curating advertisements creates a better, more respectful relationship with both readers and advertisers. Installing set-and-forget advertising never makes sense unless you’re planning a short-lived magazine. If your publication’s ads are relevant and interesting for your audience, you’ll not only improve effectiveness but eventually will be able to charge more for your advertising slots.
Stewart will be taking part in a panel about education for web designers and developers. Tickets are sold out but some may be released if there’s a cancellation.
Crafthouse revolves around a set of regular meet-ups for those designing for the web. More info on the Crafthouse site
This week we look at advanced layouts, new thinking in news design, and more. Happy reading!
A look at some advanced and prototype browser rendering techniques to help create interesting and exciting layouts, including regions, exclusions and balanced text.
Fascinating piece about the design thinking behind the new look for Reuters, where every page is considered a home page. An interesting move, driven by the logic much web traffic comes via social and search direct to a deep page.
Virgin are going to allow passengers get free content for their tablets while waiting for their flight in lounges. Looking forward to seeing this in flights as well!
Eoin Purcell has a great piece with the editor of the Irish Independent and Brian Fallon from TheJournal.ie
Someone is going around a Brooklyn sculture park correcting grammar and typos on informational placards.
Quote of the week:
Responsive web design isn’t your site working on phones and tablets. It’s about your site working everywhere.— Scott Kellum (@ScottKellum)
Useless Script of the Week:
For developers who want their pages to fart when people scroll.
Book Review: Combining Typefaces by Tim Brown
Combining Typefaces is part of a series of ‘pocket guides’ from Five Simple Steps, and, like most of their publications, it is very well designed, researched and written.
Part reference book and part tutorial, the book helps designers answer the question – “What typefaces should i use?”
It begins with a refresher course on the anatomy of type - if you don’t know your ascenders from your counters then it’s important not to skip through this. A knowledge of this terminology will help later in selecting typefaces that work together.
The next section takes a spin on the ‘jobs to be done’ idea, by asking in what context your type will be used - is it for a user interface? headlines? long passages of text? and also what size and scale the type will be used at. There’s a very strong focus on context - using real text, in the browser, on devices, to assess the best typefaces to use.
Once you’ve an anchor typeface selected, the book goes beyond the typical ways of matching typefaces (using superfamilies, or choosing a time period, or choosing a designer) and looks at the actual visual elements that make typefaces work together - rhythm, shape, proportion, colour and anatomy.
Combining Typefaces is a short read, but makes for an excellent desktop companion for any designer who cares about type. It’s also a fantastic resource, full of links to useful tools and sites. And it’s only £2!
Welcome to our first weekly roundup of interesting links in the world of digital publishing and content. Happy reading!
Karen McGrane talks about the separation of content and form and how content management systems need to evolve.
Tools of Change Frankfurt are looking for talk proposals on the theme of “experience first” and ‘sessions and panels that will help everyone in our community of publishing and technology professionals improve how customers are experiencing our brands and content, as well as the discovery, delivery and consumption of that content.’
To help promote Office 365 Microsoft included a WIFI router and free access inside a recent issue of Forbes magazine.
A recent Deloitte report shows that readers are abandoning print newspapers for the mobile and tablet equivalent, but it’s a slow process.
A beautifully designed long-form article with some really nice typographic and interactive touches.
As a huge fan of Typecast App I was honoured to be asked to submit a guest post on what I’ve learned about designing for the web and ereaders and tablets all at the same time – you can read it here “Ditching the Shoehorn: Designing Type that Works on ePubs, Mobi and the Web“
In the article I discuss the importance of typography to your design, how to cope with the different device capabilities when publishing to multiple platforms, and provide some gotchas that will save you from a /headesk or two!
We’re headed to New York and London in February for the following events.
Will you be there? Say hi!
If you’re not going to either event but would like to meet up and see a demo of Woopie or talk about how you or your organization might be able to use Woopie, just let us know!
Tools of Change:
February 12-14 at New York Marriott Marquis
Publishing & Media Expo:
February 26-27 at Earls Court 2
Hall EC2, Stand M10
"We want designers to spend their time doing interesting things and pushing boundaries instead of trying to mash their product into a bad format."
from Viewport Industries’s interview with us about our work on their beautiful book, Insites: