When you look at the screen above, you immediately notice a big difference in the way the Library displays Issues of the Magazine. We worked hard to simplify to UI and make sure the publisher’s content stands out.
For all publishers that use DPS as their digital magazine workflow, I highly recommend checking out what is new and what is applicable for their Magazine.
New Library Layout
We wanted to bring the publisher’s content to the front and keep the overall experience where simple, unlike in the previous releases, the Library UI more felt a place to manage magazines, rather than explore content.
We redesigned the Library using some swiss-style design. Not for the holes in the UI, but because we used Helvetica and a Grid. That helped us a lot in defining a invisible rhythm, although it is hard to keep that up all the time.
We have thrown out all the buttons and simplified the interactions on each cover. To remove issues form the device, there is now a separate place in the App that lists all issues on the device and also displays the size, making it very easy to remove multiple issues at once or choose the ones that occupy the most space.
Promo HTML Area
Our new Library displays a full size HTML Banner at the top of the Library Portion (for Enterprise Customers). Although this place was a little bit smaller before and called »Entitlement Banner« I would love to see publishers using that prominent space to engage with the reader.
Like you see in the example of »The Pluralist Mag«, publishers could promote articles, include content from their websites or have messaging depending on the reader’s status (subscriber, regular reader, logged in). Instead of just displaying the same (annoying) subscription message all the time, I would love to see some creative examples on how to use this space and turn more users into readers or even subscribers by promoting the magazine’s content and use this space dynamically.
First Free Folio
The other feature I am excited about is the possibility to give new users the latest issue for free. When a new reader installs the Magazine’s App for the first time, they can receive the latest issue for free (if the publisher enabled that feature) — and the best part: it automatically starts downloading when the app is launched for the first time.
That makes it very easy for new readers to get into the magazine’s content and a publisher can use this as a marketing tool to attract new readers. There are more options to it, that allow the publisher to send a message to readers of a free issue (in an HTML article).
Background Downloading (Release 24)
This is a feature that actually came into DPS as part of release 24, but I think it is a necessary improvement to the user experience that every publisher should use. It allows a running download to finish while the app is closed. That means a user can easily start the download and continue to use their iPads how they want and the download will finish in the background (actually, Apple allows for 10 more minutes of download time in the background, but it should be enough).
Improvements to the Reading Experience
There are a couple of changes to the look once the reader is inside a Folio. The most important change is the treatment of the scrubber. The little dragger at the bottom of the screen is now the focal point to navigate through the magazine quickly. Touching and Moving it now automatically opens into Browse Mode (similar to how the iPhone behaves).
You may have also noticed that there is no button in the top right corner anymore that previously evoked Browse Mode. A reader can also just tap on the scrubber dragger to Open Browse into Browse Mode.
There are lot of things that changed in the last few releases and we continue to develop, listen to feedback and improve.
I would be happy to hear your ideas in the comments, and I am interested to see how publishers develop to our new approach. I think the first one that released with the new UI is The Red Bulletin — congratulations!