by Joseph T. Sinclair
I have been looking at digital magazines for a long time and have yet to find one that’s easy to use. Some of them are spectacular in their content and color, but virtually all are unsatisfying to navigate and easily digest. It’s enough to make one yearn for paper (horrors!).
Somehow I got a free 6-month subscription to the digital Economist recently. Can’t remember how. It’s a very robust and complex magazine on paper. I subscribed to the paper version for a year several years ago and was overwhelmed by the amount of information it contains. I didn’t resubscribe because it was just too much to look through and read. Thus, I was quite skeptical about the digital version.
I’m happy to report that it’s the first digital magazine that is fully satisfying. The layout and navigation are superb—simple and easy to navigate. This is extraordinary considering the amount of information it includes each week. It’s really easier to read than the paper version. I can pick and choose what I want to read easier, and I sure don’t have time to read the whole issue.
This as an example of what a digital magazine can be for those of you who are interested in digital media. The magazine is viewed on a phone or tablet via the Economist app. I read it on a tablet.
It contains type, color treatment, and color graphics (including photographs). It could easily contain additional digital media with subtle controls without interfering with the design. Embedded programing would take a little more finesse than other media, but I think that could be included too without stretching the simplicity of the design.
I’m quite excited about finding this. It shows that the current digital venues are fully capable of presenting information with substantial gravitas in an easy-to-use format that is actually more fulfilling than paper. The digital Economist is not a big gaudy presentation of information that looks like it should get some media award. It is an everyday workhorse digital publication model for the future.
The author of this article, Joseph T. Sinclair, is the author of twenty How To books published by national publishers.
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©2015 Joseph T. Sinclair. All rights reserved.