In the day job, I produce Newcastle University’s alumni magazine, which goes out to 26,000 graduates in print and a further 52,000 online. Until recently, its digital presence had only comprised an RSS-driven website and an Issuu widget. So when our design agency, Infinite, offered us the chance to experiment with the iPad, we – quite literally – swiped it.
Infinite uses QuarkXPress to lay-out the print edition of Arches, and a plugin called the App Studio Xtension to adapt the spreads into an iPad ready format – with rich content including video, audio and hyperlinks to enhance the reading experience. I was really chuffed with the results, and send my thanks to David Whitfield and the team at Infinite for all their graft.
Although it’s not certain whether tablets will be the platform of choice for magazine readers in the future, they certainly offer a user experience which fuses the tangibility and portability of print with the rich content and versatility of digital. And, behind the scenes, readership, circulation and feedback are much easier to monitor and evaluate. I, for one, am sold.
You can download the Arches app for free from the App Store, and read a case study on the Infinite Digital website.