I was certainly hoping to end the week with the discovery of a new, natively designed tablet magazine – a tablet-only magazine would have been even better, if using native design, that is. But are few and far between, though the good news is that they are appearing.
Success Best Practices is a new tablet-only magazine to be found inside Apple's Newsstand. Its publisher, Nick Nicholls, has a company in Houston, Texas called Digital Factor. The exact same site is also mirrored at Digital Marketing Tools.
The pitch online is that you, too, can publish your own tablet magazine for your business – in other words, he is selling custom publishing services.
The magazine, on the other hand, is all about marketing. It is as if his first custom publishing customer is himself, not a bad idea really.
The digital magazine, though, is a bare bones affair. The credits page lists Lise-Mari Coetzee for design and layout. A look at Ms. Coetzee's website shows that she is in the magazine design template business. For sa price, she will either give you access to a pre-made template, or create a template, app store images, videos, etc.
The problem here, though, is that these are all static pages, essentially PDFs. There is nothing native to the tablet platform, no scrolling within articles, no text boxes, no layers, only the minimum.
My guess is that there is a market for this level of publishing expertise. Some business simply want to get their brochures on to the iPad, and this kind of publishing approach would do the trick. Though since a business would already have the files from their print brochure, making PDFs of them to get them onto the iPad would be easy enough. Shoot, a business could even make eBooks out them since iBooks supports PDFs.
As for the actual quality of the new digital magazine's content, TNM tries to avoid these topics. But I would say that a more interactive approach – dare I say it, a more native tablet approach – to presenting the content would have been nice.
But the actual design of the pages is clean and attractive. The font sizes are fine, and for the most part won't require pinch-to-zoom to read. But the layouts are definitely inspired by print. The tablet-only magazine that get me excited forget as much as they can about print, and explore the tablet platform itself.
If a customer is eager to see what a tablet magazine can do for their brand, I would recommend checking out the car maker magazines inside the Newsstand.
The car brands are an interesting situation to look at. Since the car companies have large marketing budgets, they can get their agencies to create very interesting examples of the platform.
A brand magazine for the tablet, more over, shouldn't mimic a print magazine simply because the tablet can do so much more. A brand magazine can serve as an interactive catalog, as a way to see different models or versions with the tap of a finger, to be able to communicate directly with the brand, to track orders, etc.