I hate e-book flippy magazines. I am repeatedly amazed at the collective delusion that seems to strike otherwise sensible engineering magazine publishers and editors when they are exposed to this Flash-based junkware.
The publishers try to make the magazine to look a magazine page: with excess white space, multiple columns, unnecessary page footers and page numbers. And usually the text is unreadable at full page size and you need to zoom in and scroll back and forth to read the article. Very annoying and not user friendly. And then there are those useless page-turning animations and idiotic “whooshing” sound that make magazine reading sluggish.
The problem is that I don’t want all that crap. I don’t want to start the reading by learning the bad interface to the magazine’s stupid e-reader. I want something that is fast, simple, and non-intrusive. Flash web sites do not give that. We can blame both Adobe and Flash site designers for that.
My advice to publisher: If you’re going to present the material online, present it in a way that takes advantage of HTML: content can be optimally displayed on many different kind of viewing devices.
I you can’t do that, offer a PDF file of the whole issue, so I can use my own machine to read that rather than having sluggish web interactions for every single page turn. Why is PDF not the default? Did we really need a proliferation of proprietary, inflexible, non-portable digital publication formats? No we don’t. Even thought the Adobe Reader and PDF stuff is far from ideal, it is better than this stupid Flash based magazine reader crap.
Some magazines have very well succeeded in putting their content on HTML readable form on web and also allow to download pdf version.
This posting was inspired by END blog posting that was once available at http://www.edn.com/blog/1700000170/post/170053817.html?nid=2433&rid=8103186 (but not anymore there..).