Observations of Digital Publishing UX

You can thumb through a magazine in a shop, and most people do so before making a purchase. So it’s surprising that a number of Digital Publishers don’t allow users to do the same thing in their digital editions.


© Randy Weiner

Try before you buy

Before users commit, they most likely would like to see what it is they’ll be getting for their money. Restricting users from inspecting their potential purchase will reduce the number of users that complete a purchase. It’s the same as letting potential customers try on clothes at a shop before asking them to make a purchase.

I’m willing to bet that 90%+ shops selling clothes will let a potential user try on a garment before asking them to pay. Digital publishers should all adopt the same strategy by allowing potential customers access some part of a publication before asking them to commit to purchasing the whole thing.

Don’t keep them waiting

Users are used to the wait waiting a maximum of a couple seconds for thing to happen online. Preloading all of your 400mb magazine before allowing the user to start reading is going to piss them off. And on that note…

Don’t create a bloated magazine

Does your digital magazine need to be 400mb? What can you do to trim some fat back to reduce the file size. Keeping the image sizes optimal for one. Don’t put the same 300dpi image that you used in your print magazine in your digital publication. Stream video’s wherever possible. Look closely at the interactions to see if they make sense, and create a better experience for the user. If they don’t then remove them.