Continuing on from this week’s Publishing in focus feature, in which we ask digital luminaries to name their favourite apps, here David Curless of Precedent and Moving Brands’ Camilla Grey critique the app scene.
David Curless, Precedent
Looking around the magazine world, it is a struggle to find any apps that really add value to the publication. The vast majority are PDFs on steroids. They certainly look good and at least we get to see the actual magazine fonts used on page, but that isn’t enough given the capabilities of the delivery mechanism. For example, the GQ app certainly has all the high-end quality you would expect from Condé Nast, but is basically a flick-through user experience. It exemplifies clear navigation and bold imagery, but with essentially ‘flat’ pages.
My favourite apps for browsing through are newspaper sites. One in particular I return to regularly – The New York Times Editor’s Picks. The navigation is simple and intuitive, with design reflecting the actual paper. In fact, all the quality papers seem to be doing a good job in this area. No bells and whistles, but well communicated content.
For now, I’m off to Magma to stock up on some real magazines.
Camilla Grey, strategist, Moving Brands
At a time when print media is having to pull its socks up on the digital front, most magazine apps fail to stack up to their digitally-native competitors. The Net-à-Porter magazine looks great and is regularly updated with new fashion tips, but many of the things that an app interface offers have been neglected. It is not possible to ‘shop the look’ by tapping on certain elements, nor can you share pages to your social network or through email. It’s not even possible to pinch in to get a closer look at the clothes. With iPhones and Blackberries now as much as an accessory as a piece of tech, fashion magazines have a real opportunity to collaborate with brands to develop profitable apps that mix great editorial with the chance to share, comment and buy.