Friday, April 19, 2013

Association launches simple, effective native tablet edition for its magazine 'Communication World'

Right now the world's attention is glue to events in Watertown as police try to track down the last of two suspects involved in the Boston Marathon bombing. There is no reason to fight it, news hounds will not be very interested in talking about media tablet editions, but for those hardcore media pros here is a final post for this week on this new B2B media app.

The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) has released a nice, simple native tablet edition for its magazine Communication World this week. This is the type of tablet edition I'd like to see more often: native, yet simple, designed for the iPad or other large tablet, yet not so different from print that the art director has to reinvent the wheel.

Not every publisher is in a position to create an entirely new tablet magazine from scratch. But at the same time, making sure their readers can actually read their publication on a mobile device or tablet is still important. I think Natasha Nicholson, executive editor of Communication World, and her team has struck a good compromise with this new app.

"Welcome to the IABC's digital CW magazine!" writes Nicholson in the editor's column. "Well, it's actually a prototype of the new digital magazine, composed of selections from the November-December 2012 print issue."

Nicholson goes on to say that the first all-digital issue will appear in May.

CW looks to be using Mag+ . (Update: I was able to confirm that the team is using Mag+ for the tablet edition. Also: the print magazine was shuttered following the January issue. The magazine was bimonthly, now the team will be producing a monthly digital edition.)

But the choice here when designing the tablet edition were not to blow away anyone with digital technology but to simply present the magazine well in digital form. There are a few scrolling graphics, articles the are multiple single pages where the reader scrolls within the story, then swipes to go to the next, and there is some embedded video that take you out of the app.

This minimalist approach keeps the file size down to a modest 50 MB, but allows the tablet edition to be read in both portrait and landscape.

As an association for business communications professionals, one would think that reaching readers clearly and effectively would be the primary goal. The publishing team of Communication World, which works with Grayton Integrated Publishing on the magazine, has accomplished that goal, now they can further explore the tablet publishing platform in their subsequent issues.


Pieter Claerhout said...

Sad they didn't take advantage of the Retina screen...

Douglas Hebbard said...

Obviously another reason the file size is so modest.