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Q: Have you found that writers and editors are increasingly interested in the visual representation of their pieces? What images and video work best for translating words to images?
Writers and editors always want to make sure that the end product reflects the brand aesthetic and vision of their publication. Publishing to all sources of media from one platform resolves the problem of brand discontinuity. Right now, there are different options that can achieve this kind of collaborative effort, such as Adobe’s CQ5 , WoodWing, and vjoonK4. In terms of visuals, a static publication can be turned into an immersive interactive experience. New webfont tools that allow for experimental use of navigation and layout design can turn full page spreads into immersive videos, animation or interactive games.
Typography has always played an integral role in dissecting information for the user by highlighting key messages in an appealing, digestible way. With webfont advancements, a website is no longer beholden to Arial, Verdana, Georgia and friends. In fact, a whole new host of fonts have been redrawn just for web use. If content is to be spread out equally for the web and mobile applications, design needs to account for that level of content which leads to smarter and more flexible design. Flexibility doesn’t mean that you’re giving up on formatting and visual interest, but rather accounting for the amount of content, knowing it will not change for each type of media display and properly addressing it.
Q: Do you feel publishing websites are too cluttered and visually noisy? Is the desire to push information making visual design more difficult?
A: It’s less about difficulty in design and more about constant education. In trying to give our clients the best of our services, keeping abreast of technology and new options on the horizon is part of our industry and what defines us as the top dog amongst our competitors. As a rule of thumb, I like to think that if a publishing site is designed with the right editorial approach and rules of aesthetics, no amount of content could make it feel cluttered. It’s about cataloging information appropriately so that it’s findable and implementing appropriate information hierarchy.
Q: What roles are mobile and tablets playing in all this? Do content and design need to be more flexible since apps pull info and recombine it for different screen sizes?
A: According to an 87-page report from Morgan Stanley , the mobile web is set to rule above all by 2015. For interactive design, this transition from desktop mediums to tablets creates a wonderful new world, allowing us to create designs that have various renditions. We can now form visual families that, while structurally different, form a cohesive language and a united suite of tools for our clients.
iPads and other tablets allow for a larger and richer user experience by providing more room for instantaneous content and freedom of layout and design. While design has to be flexible enough to account for different dimensions, mobile and tablet app design can and should be individual to each medium. The simplicity of design and navigation that can exist on an iPhone might lose its luster when living within an iPad screen. Therefore, the iPad should keep design treatments in context but also branch out into more content rich experiences.