WIRED for iPad

Background

Back in 2010, I had the privilege of working with Adobe’s XD Customer Engagements Team and content partner WIRED to help introduce Adobe's first magazine application for mobile devices: WIRED Magazine for iPad. This was a pilot launch for Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite. Back in late 2009, print content was pronounced dead. Subscriptions were in decline. Magazines were hurting for revenue. And ad sales were way down. There was no iPad yet, but consumers had expectations for more dynamic experiences around content. It was the wild west of digital publishing ready for disruption.

Assignment

So Adobe, maker of the industry-standard for desktop publishing—InDesign—decided to disrupt, with a new digital publishing platform based on InDesign CS5. A partnership was brokered with Condé Nast's WIRED for content—an excellent choice given WIRED's tech savvy audience and high design aesthetic. I have a prior career as a print designer and I know InDesign exceptionally well. I was brought as an experience designer to help craft the authoring experience and also work with the print designers at WIRED to troubleshoot workflow issues.

Results

It was initially very slow going (the dev team had to port the entire app over from Flash to Objective-C in less than 5 weeks when support for Flash on iOS was withdrawn by Apple), but the final product—with lots of snazzy features such as in-magazine video/audio playback, slideshows, image pans, and panoramas—was heralded a great success. The released app shot up to the number-one paid slot the week of its release and sold 24,000 copies in the first 24 hours, generating nearly $84,000 for its publisher Condé Nast.

Adobe's Digital Publishing Suite is now a mature product that lets customers design, prepare and package an unlimited number of interactive iPad apps for delivery to the Apple App Store, using InDesign. With Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite, users can quickly generate fully-interactive apps along the same lines, taking advantage of the built-in support for rich multimedia, as well as HTML5.

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