Shedify: Shed Magazine iPad app via Padify

shedifyShed Digital Magazine via Padify
Alina Cerminara, Jesmine Cham & Andrea Gyarmati

iPadCover

Shed Magazine

Published in the heart of Vancouver, Shed is a lifestyle consumer magazine focused on minimalist living in Vancouver, BC. It informs, guides, and inspires its readers to shed the excess from their lives and experience more of what this world has to offer, right now. Shed embraces the everyday adventure and encourages readers to try versatile ingredients, see how small spaces can be made fabulously sparse, and seek new ways to explore with less—both locally and globally. Designed simply and beautifully, Shed offers a surprise on every page as we serve up the stories and images that show yes, you can do this!

Readership

Shed readers live in Vancouver, have a space they call their own, and a job they find fulfilling. 82% of audience members are female, ages 25–45, take transit or ride a bike, walk their dog twice a day, and buy quality food for a quality body ecosystem. Their bank account balances are healthy, they frequent local eateries, and are avid Pinterest perusers. They shop at local businesses and enjoy an active and adventurous Vancouver lifestyle. iPads are becoming a fifth appendage to our Generation Apple readers, therefore there is an opportunity for them to consumer magazines through their mobile devices, hence the following goal to develop a digital magazine platform. See appendix for user experience.

Goals

Just as there is room in Vancouver’s market for a magazine on living minimally, there is room in the readership experience, between print and the web, for an iPad app. Digital magazines are the best of both worlds: easily accessible and interactive. Shed magazine aims to build a digital magazine which will take the best of the print magazine and the magazine’s website resulting in one convenient, interactive, thoroughly long-form package. The print edition is a package (a.k.a., container): organized content which reduces the readers’ need to navigate and search for articles through its table of contents, a traditional structure which makes for an  easier reading experience in comparison to browsing a website. Online website magazines are all about navigation: they force readers to search through overwhelming layers and links listed at various points of entry, including a menu bar, side tabs, and carousel, which may result in being unable to find what they’re looking for and giving up.

However, where a print edition is based on mostly non-interactive participation, a website encourages active engagement through its interactive elements, specifically multimedia and social media links which allow for commenting and sharing. Readers are able to link to other websites for more information, watch videos, listen to correlating sound/music, peruse bonus photography, and interact with articles via social media channels (easily ‘liking’ or sharing an article for example). This is only the beginning. The digital magazine takes the effective elements of print magazines, such as the subscription model, which guarantees long-term readership for the publisher while establishing an exclusive community for the reader. With this model, no work is required on the part of the reader, as the magazine will arrive directly to their inbox/e-newstand, as opposed to having to go to the website for information on their own volition. The expected arrival of a new copy each month gives readers something to look forward to – this is similar to the anticipated mail delivery of a print version but at a cheaper price point. Another advantage of the digital magazine is the ability to easily go back to the issue after it has been read, while not cluttering the minimalist reader’s physical space. The digital magazine is a bundle instead of a fragment.

The digital magazine uses technology to its fullest potential, the way e-books should. It is not just a replica of the print edition, but provides a reading/browsing experience that expands across platforms with focused depth, and it gives the reader the ability to be in touch with everything to do with that topic at once, while interacting with and sharing that experience, in a linear format.

SWOT Analysis

Strengths:

  • less costly to readers than print at $2.99 an issue

  • available offline as opposed to a website

  • appeals to Shed readership / technology consumptions trends / because our clients want it

  • aligns with Shed’s digital-first model and eco-friendly ethos

  • more room for long form content more so than website through readability

  • less initiative required of reader (Shed goes directly to them rather than reader having to go to website)

  • community interaction (through social media sharing)

  • readers can read in bed without turning the light on

  • less clutter

  • links easily to more information on the same topic

Weaknesses:

  • no newsstand marketability – lack of visibility

  • immediate start-up costs greater than print runs

  • steep learning curve for Shed team

  • While it is less initiative to get the mag, it still requires initiative to open it

Threats:

  • currently not a worthwhile advertising revenue stream (low ROI)

  • low readership numbers

  • lack of traditional physicality

  • readers do not always want to be in front of a screen

  • no tried and true formula for what readers want

  • may not appeal to older demographics

  • learning curve for new readers

Opportunities:

  • can include more content (larger ads and images, interactive ads) than a print magazine (e.g., full page ads, as per Russell Clark)

  • room in the market for a digital minimalist lifestyle magazine

  • tablet accessibility means that commuters can store a limitless number of magazines without weight restrictions

  • long term potential to be part of NextIssue (the Netflix of the magazine industry – expands audience/reach because all subscribers will have access, and is another revenue stream)

  • potential for cross-platform promotion

  • increase readership of consumer content (since studies show that there is a tendency to read digital editions from start to finish)

  • expand readership Canada-wide and internationally


Persona/User Experiences:

For this project, we developed paper prototypes and user experiences to more fully understand how we wanted our digital magazine to look for the best experience for readers as possible. What we found was that Heather (our target reader), wanted to be able to read the magazine both online and offline, she wanted to be able to find more information on the subjects being talked about easily and at that moment, she wanted to be able to give her thoughts publicly on what she was reading (comment or share), and she wanted to be able to navigate the pages easily (better than fragmented website pages).

While multi-media (videos and audio) were not functions that Heather needed from her digital magazine, she didn’t mind having the option to utilize them if online. See appendix for user experience

Resources

Firstly, the thoroughly excellent Shed business plan has already been developed, therefore Shedify has a sturdy knowledge of all aspects of what the digital magazine will look and read like, along with the existing design approach, and the assistance of Shed team members. Also, to develop the digital magazine in Padify, Shed’s available resources are digital magazine designers Russell Clark and Haig Armen; Michael Kowalski and Giles Currington, lead production designer; online how-to articles like the Padify “getting started” tutorial; Padify Support knowledge base; and, John Maxwell. Most of the content and multimedia (photos, videos) is developed in-house, therefore the Shed team is a resource too. We also have a stock photo subscription, as well as a list of local writers and photographers for content curation.

Requirements

  • develop scenarios (interaction designs) by creating persona user experiences to find the needs of readers

  • draw paper prototypes

  • create Dropbox account from which to sync content into Padify and import existing images and text into Padify

  • write additional content for magazine including a long-form article

  • convert original InDesign files (including cover and feature articles) to HTML or JPEG

  • test Padify features/tools to figure out how to physically build the app

  • build the app

  • test the app on peer focus groups (our classmates who own iPads)

  • create a presentation which outlines the step-by-step process to our class, including an iPad demonstration

Deliverables

On April 9, 2014, Team Shedify will unveil a Shed digital magazine sampler on the iPad. We will include high level screen shots of the process – from paper prototypes to app development, and highlight the SWOT analysis of the platform. (And mention what it was like to work with those English blokes.)

The three of us are on a trial separation from Team Shed in order to build a digital magazine with Padify. Our smaller group makes decisions by consensus – if consensus cannot be reached, a majority vote (2 out of 3) wins. Our aim is to build an iOS app for a digital version of our magazine using Padify, one which is responsive to both the iPad mini and regular iPad. Through the process we want to examine Padify and its effectiveness in developing a digital magazine, with a look at factors such as: time consumption, styling options, usability, and the extent to which multimedia can be incorporated.

The assignment’s specific goal is to create a 12-page sample edition with varying content, including: a title page, table of contents, articles, back cover, full page advertisements, and multimedia including video, sound, music player, links to website (if readers want further information), bonus photography and social media channels (for further interaction).

Padify First Impressions:

  • Overall, the Padify framework appears clean and easy to use. The “getting started” function under “publications” provides user-friendly step-by-step instructions (with screen shots) on how to format layout, including frame styling, text alignment, typeface choices, and image management.

    • The menu offers helpful explanatory names for each icon upon hover, but the close proximity between the “view” and “rotate” buttons may cause some initial confusion.

  • One of the most important elements – importing and archiving content – seems straight forward. Text documents can be imported from Word or InDesign (once converted to HTML). Photos and logos can be uploaded as various image files and managed in a media folder/photo gallery, in a process similar to other content management systems such as SharePoint.

  • Padify auto-saves all changes made to a document, recording those changes in a version history, which allows us to revert to an older version should we need to.

  • Padify recommends syncing content from DropBox, which works since our content for Shed Magazine was originally stored in DropBox anyhow. Apparently linked images will be kept intact upon syncing, which alleviates us having to relink images (to websites or social media etc.) once imported into the Padify layout. We’ll just have to ensure the “sync” button is pressed each time.

  • A stylistic concern at a glance is the limited font selection, of which there are only a handful of serif and sans serif faces. Unless we can import additional fonts, this poses an issue to our style guidelines since the Albertan Pro typeface used on our website and print edition is not available in the Padify library.

  • Bug Report: Another concern is the inability to directly edit the HTML and CSS. The Padify Support knowledge base states that it can be done, but the information presented appears to be outdated.

  • Bug Report: Occasionally, a clicked link will lead to an error page. For example, “Cannot GET /pages/532f860748f3bc05000045c0” but hitting the back arrow and clicking on the same link a second time will lead to the correct page.

  • The “getting started” opening pages are amazingly simple and are easy to follow for the least experienced user.

Notes on Padify Tutorial:

  • The view button is great. In grid layouts, you can click on View and click on Show Guides and they pop up on that very screen.

  • It’s convenient to flip between tablet and phone view, which allows us to see how our magazine will appear on different types of devices.

  • It offers the option to drag pictures and text around, but does not let you place it in the exact location preferred. We’ll see if we have the option later or if there is an option to do it through HTML or CSS.

  • Also, when dragging text around, sometimes the text will take on the styling of whatever section it is dragged into OR other text will take on the styling of what was dragged.

  • Works like InDesign in terms of dragging images and and text off the page to use at another time.

  • The caption option is not clear. For instance, sometimes dragging captions makes them disappear. As well, you replace it on top of an image and it adds another image on top of the image, which is not what a caption should do. Make the style inspector caption options more clear.

  • You can create a photo gallery simply by dragging the images on top of each other, which is a good feature, BUT there is no option to reorder images in the tool menu like it says there is.

  • Inspect menu is over black and is thus very hard to see when you’re using it.

  • The ability to add padding and margins is useful.

  • Rotation is not exact. No way to make the rotation precise. We can’t assign a number, like 0 to get it back to normal.

  • Bug Report: Sometimes links don’t respond, and we have to refresh the page in order to try again.

  • Bug Report? You can place a popover into the text but it won’t let you type into the popover like it says it should. There’s no option to select the popover corner either, to drag it around.

  • Layers isn’t immediately clear as to what it does or why we need it.

  • It’s so great that you can just go in and type away on the whole tutorial.

  • Bug Report: Sometimes, when you try to get into the ‘getting started’ file it says: Error when trying to go into the Publications – Getting Started button: Cannot GET /pages/532f860d48f3bc0500004618

  • It needs to be more clear what file types Padify does and does not allow: opened a new project and tried to upload an image. It said: files of type image/jpeg are not supported, as well as an application/pdf.

  • When there is not enough free space in Dropbox, having to use it is inconvenient.

  • Bug Report: Doesn’t work first time when you open media library almost every single time.

  • Padify recommends using Dropbox to sync folders but doesn’t allow images going into the media library to come from dropbox. They have to come from your desktop. And what if your files are not in JPG format?

  • Difficult to find how to link in a page.

  • If all of your files are the wrong type (like pdf), what can you do?

    • Giles, the lead production designer, responded to this question, advising that we need to copy and paste the content from the PDF into the Padify document.

  • Trying to apply an action to a button on a page is difficult; the menu does not appear on screen properly.

Summary of First Reflections 

Padify’s Getting Started feature is great. It offers a whole publication filled with instructions that you can use to play with as you familiarize yourself with Padify. This function seems to make Padify very user friendly. BUT, once we created our own publication to start to build our digital magazine, confusion arose. Shed magazine’s files are mostly in PDF format which Padify does not support. Therefore we have to figure out how to either get the original content or make new content which will be a large amount of work.

We then made separate pages for the magazine, which was easily done. When we found a previously designed JPG file that we could use, we uploaded it to the cover. Unfortunately though, it is one whole image that cannot be broken down into parts. It seems as though it would be easier to design your pages within Padify which really limits you.

We have tried exporting an InDesign file as an HTML file. However, when uploading an HTML file to Padify, the CSS styling is not retained, which means that the ideal process would be to place the text in Padify and style the pages in the program itself.

The next thing we wanted to try was linking areas of the image. We wish to be able to link headlines to their story within the magazine, and there will be circumstances where we wish to link to other websites. Linking to other websites is clear, but not when you only want to link one part of the image.

We e-mailed for support.  Giles responded saying that we could add a button to the page, place it where you would like and add a link to that. This worked on the first try, although there is no option to link within the magazine’s pages and Giles did not respond to that question in the e-mail. Also, it would seem as though you cannot add another button to the page, and it’s quite difficult to figure out how to use the button once you’ve left the page. A popover keeps appearing, which we do not want, and the link option isn’t relating to the button.

There were many bugs throughout the process as well. Options that opened to blank screens, errors, and more.

Anyway, what seems a very user-friendly program, is not that user-friendly once you dig in. Giles mentioned in his email that it is probably worth having a read through of the Getting Started guide. Well, we went through it thoroughly, and it did not mention any of this.

Also, you are able to upload your own fonts. The Padify team just has to allow your account to do so, as Giles said in his email. After asking him, we have now received the feature to upload fonts.

On first thoughts, if we had had to pay for this, we would be way more frustrated than we are now. Especially with the time difference meaning that you won’t get an answer until the following day.

April 1 Reflections:

To preface: the Shedify team was not entirely clear on what it was that Padify was offering.

We thought its main purpose was to be user friendly to those who are not technologically savvy. Because of this, we wanted to maintain our design that we had created in InDesign and import it into Padify. But this is not doable because the design images are not responsive. And Padify is actually aimed at creating a multi-platform responsive document without having to code anything. So all of the following reflections until the section after John visits should be kept with this in mind.

~Thanks

·      First, to make all of our files appropriate for Padify was quite a bit of work. We had to export all of our Indesign files into HTML. One version of Indesign doesn’t have an option to export documents in HTML.

·     So we had the option of exporting these InDesign files as a jpeg which will keep the image intact and lessen the amount of design. We tried this one first, even though it’s not what Padify recommends.

o   Thoughts: it works!

o   Since we want to link from certain areas into other pages, we’re taking the text out of the Indesign files, using the image as a background and laying text over it in Padify. We just have to remember to upload the fonts

o   We had to increase the resolution while exporting to jpeg (dpi)

·      The eye and the “I” icons on the top bar are confusing

·      We tried to link between pages using an image, so we applied a button and then selected an action to link to another page but the menu that popped up on screen wouldn’t appear properly. A bug was sent in to the Padify designer and he alerted technical support. It is a week later and it still has not been fixed.

·      When we click on the view button to see how it looks on both a tablet and a phone, the pages don’t extend to fit the mobile format.

·      Hard to find how to delete images from the photo gallery.

·     Some features aren’t available to us from the beginning. We had to know to request them. Such as to allow fonts and CSS.

·      Bug report: Black/grey frozen screens on uploads. We have to go around and refresh. You have to press inventory upload several times before it works (we’re using Chrome and Safari and it happens in both).

·     It’s unfortunate that you can’t edit hamburger titles in the list. It can only be done on the direct page.

·      Page sizes were confusing. When we tried to design a page in Padify, the page was a different size from the other pages that had big imported jpegs. How do we make the page the size we want in Padify?

·      If you figure out how to put a text box in, it goes behind the image you already have up.

 April 2 Reflections:

·      Bug Report: server error when trying to get into Shedify Publication

o   Button: we’re supposed to be able to link within pages with this feature, but when you hover over it, it says “popover”, and when you click to link it, options do not appear. It’s often hard to move around.

·      Still waiting to figure out how to link to another page in the document.

·      Padify works better (less glitches) with Chrome.

·      Padify does not easily allow you to test what you’ve uploaded. For example: while it seemed easy to add a website link to the whole image, we can’t test it to see if it works.

·      To upload fonts, you have to upload each individual file separately, which is very time consuming.

·      Control + z does not always work to undo things and the undo button only works a few times. How far back can you undo? This should be told upfront.

·      VERY difficult to figure out how to move text around the page. And to figure out sections.

·      Bug Report: the edits to the texts aren’t previewed automatically. We have to switch out of the page and return to the page to see the changes take place.

·      Possible to upload an audio clip? We don’t see an option.

·      Can we manually adjust the dimensions of page? When we upload an image, the page size changes.

·      When we try to navigate around formatting a page, highlighting and moving things and such, they often disappear.

·     Bug Report?: when we try to resize an image, it works but reverts back to the size when we let go of it

·      Not totally clear what you’re grabbing when formatting a page

THEN JOHN VISITS AND SHOWS US ALL and everything above was a waste of time and figured out. John convinces us to format our pages directly in Padify for a responsive design and teaches us that this is easier to do than coding, although everything must remain in boxes; therefore design is semi-compromised.

April 3 Reflections:

·      It’s hard to format a page and make each section and piece of the section the same as others for exactness (different thicknesses of lines, placement of headers and paragraphs, sizes, etc.)

·      It’s difficult to delete a section that has been made.

·       After many examinations of the Getting Started tutorial, with our noses up to the screens, we figured out how to do sections and columns! Because the Getting Started page on layouting is a little bit more convoluted and confusing than the other pages, it was easy to overlook. Maybe it could be broken down further?

·      When we figured out that we can make columns and sections, and duplicate pages that needed the same layout, everything got way easier.

·      We can’t do full bleed pictures in columns.

·      We can’t delete images in the gallery.

·      When we re-upload revisions of a png file, it doesn’t replace the old file, so the revision has to be renamed and uploaded again.

April 4 Reflections:

·      We have had problems/bugs with Padify all day. The Getting Started publication disappeared. Every time we clicked on anything, it would either try to load or do nothing. Server errors galore when editing pages and navigating around pages.

·      Deleting many things that were added, including sections, seems almost impossible and only works after several tries and clicking on different areas.

·      Clicking around a page while creating a layout is difficult. It’s hard to know what areas of the sections are hard to grab. Highlighting is quite difficult. Sometimes highlighting drags a box rather than highlighting the text.

·      We have successfully created photo galleries!

·      We have successfully uploaded a video to our page!

·      The pull quote button only pulls the quote away from the other text and doesn’t stylize anything (it only indents). We cannot create our own designed pull quotes without making it non-responsive though, because we want the quotation marks to be bigger than the text. So we just screenshot the pull quote we wanted outside of Padify.

Why does the text linking to other pages change colour and have a line under it?

Some text isn’t taking on the correct styles.

April 5 Reflections:

·      Opening in Safari showed all of the windows across the page horizontally so the blue bar to add sections on the side wasn’t showing.

·      Opening in Chrome, there was already a couple server errors and the need to reload pages several times.

·      Almost every time I add in a section, etc, it says at the top: An error has occurred.

·      Sometimes clicking backward and forward between pages gives you the loading wheel for a long time and doesn’t load.

·      Sometimes when you highlight something and click on the fonts, it will only show you two and the rest of the spots are blank. An error has occurred will eventually pop up at the top.

·      Just very unresponsive in general.

·      Sometimes command + S works and some things it tries to save.

·      When you press on inventory upload, the page turns up blank and doesn’t load.

·      Placing lines is the most frustrating thing in the world.

·      Making sections today is terrible.  When you highlight a section with the blue bar, it shows you what you want the sections to be and when you click out of the box, it snaps to other columns.

April 6 Reflections:

Bug report: Cannot GET /pages/5334dd7712856d0500099c0f when trying to get into our publication

Some pages won’t load

Can we link to other websites without the underline and with no coding?

Many more server errors along the top

Summary of Second Reflections

This was a big week for the Shedify team! Not only did we feel as though we wasted a week by exporting all of our InDesign files into HTML and JPGs and uploading them into Padify to be full images on each page (to save the pre-existing beautiful design), but we learned how to do a lot in Padify that was very much confusing us in the beginning. As John said: we forgot how difficult it was to navigate around InDesign when we started, and Padify was no different (albeit, quicker).

We realized that we came into Padify with the wrong expectations, as stated above. None of us are technologically savvy and we thought Padify was built for us. When really, it’s built to maintain a responsive design without having to code. When we got that through our heads, and the fact that we had to give up some design elements, we were able to really delve into Padify (and accept the learning curve, and the fact that we didn’t have as precise control over the design as we would in a design program – and accepting that WYSIWYG is not necessarily the case).

Once we very thoroughly examined (again and again) the Getting Started publication that Padify offers, we figured out how to do more and more. It took us about a week, we decided, which isn’t that bad. Our biggest problem was sections. There is a blue bar that appears on the left side of the screen to highlight and move columns around. When we realized what this bar did, we were able to create columns and sections to put all of our content into. And when we wanted to figure out how to get the same column layout onto other pages for consistency, we figured out how to duplicate pages and work from those. It might be nice to have the Getting Started tutorial be on everything that you can do in Padify. While that may be overkill, it takes a long time to figure some things out that are not mentioned at all in the Getting Started tutorial.

Formatting a page can also prove difficult because it is hard to figure out where to click to move content and highlight text, etc. Along with this issue, it is very hard to delete what has been done. Sometimes hitting delete works, and other times it doesn’t, and it would be nice to know how many times we can delete an action until it is permanently there.

Another difficulty the three of us have had is the inability to work on the publication at the same time. Working on the digital magazine was really slow because of this.

Server errors and unresponsiveness has proven to be a major problem accompanying Padify. Some days are better than others, and sometimes Chrome seems to be better than Safari, but one day of working on the project brought about constant problems. For example, server errors constantly popped up when navigating through pages and stylizing, and the loading wheel came up and didn’t load, and sometimes the page would turn grey when we tried to click somewhere and didn’t change. Constant reuploading of the page and logging out and logging in and trying different places to click helped us get back to being able to work with Padify.

Aside from these problems, difficulties, and glitches, we are successfully putting together our digital magazine! It is very exciting!

Final Summary

Process aside, three non-technical students were able to (almost) create a responsive digital magazine app for the tablet quite quickly. This is pretty amazing, given that we did not have to be familiar with coding, or with web design.

We loved the “Getting Started” tutorial, but found that it could have been more comprehensive, and even more clear in some parts (for example, the blue bar section was difficult to figure out), and it went into depth in some areas (styling) and did not cover others (like the button, the linking, etc).

The Padify team did offer a tutorial through Skype when we first started, which we should have utilized, as we found the design options very limiting because we were coming from a fixed layout design background, like InDesign. We therefore were not used to the constraints of designing in boxes (sections) to make it more responsive. When John Maxwell took a look at Padify, he understood it right away and was able to explain this to us and we could then relinquish our wish for fixed design, and design in Padify to the best of our abilities. And we were very surprised at how close we came to replicating our print version! Although, we are well aware that we should let go of replicating print, and design for the platform. As we only had a few weeks for this project, we did not have time to discover a new way of conveying this information, but are sure that professionals will be able to utilize Padify in such a way that digital magazines will one day be a must-have.

At first we found the inability to not upload our own fonts or to do our own coding restrictive, but our account was just not given permission. This may have just be been because our account was a trial account, but if not, it would be good to know what Padify users are all able to access.

Once we had Padify figured out (as much as we had time for), we were able to quickly design the pages we wanted. We easily linked within pages, and outside of the magazine! We uploaded videos easily and created image galleries just as quickly! It was very quick to do anything we wanted to do. There was only one problem to this, and that was the glitches. We experienced more and more glitches as we went along. We figured out that we had to work in Chrome because Safari had more glitches, but they were still nonstop in Chrome. This includes links leading to error pages, non-responsive links to navigate Padify, media libraries that do not load the images, frozen screens showing up grey or with a constant loading wheel, or a constant message at the top while styling saying “an error has occurred”. We worked our way through these by continually re-uploading pages, clicking elsewhere first, logging in and out, etc. This unfortunately turned a 30-second task into a few minutes task.

This also extended into viewing our publication as it would look on an iPad. There was a handy button to view the publication on a tablet or a phone, but it still of course does not show you exactly what it would look like on an iPad (because an iPad can be smaller). When we finally tried to view it on an iPad, we realized we should have been trying much earlier in the process. You have to download the Padify Preflight application, but unfortunately, there are issues with the app that Padify developers were working on, so not only could we not preview it on an iPad, but we did not have it to show on the presentation day.

We asked the Padify team about adding audio and commenting/sharing abilities, (because they are not offered anywhere on our pages), but did not get a response. With more time, we would be able to add everything we had imagined from our User Experience scenarios, and with even more time (years), we might even make something that just has to be read on an iPad.

Another area that we unfortunately did not have time to explore (which our paper prototypes were focused on) was navigation. This was not offered anywhere that we could see as we were exploring Padify, so we do not know if navigation options are changeable depending on the Padify customer or if Padify only offers fixed navigation. An example of this is how we display the table of contents, and zooming in and out of the publication while reading, etc.

Overall though, the Padify team is very friendly (as is evident from even letting us try Padify for free), responsive, and makes you feel like a team building something great together. However, for the cost of the software, the staff should consider fixing the glitches (which are detrimental to the work process) before selling it.

APPENDIX

Paper prototypes: hard copies submitted

Persona:

Heather: 35-year-old architect, residing in Lonsdale, North Vancouver, BC. Single and looking, dog owner, seabus-rider, DIY-lover (Pinterest), adventurer, Netflix-watcher. She buys quality over quantity and has plenty of evening time for hobbies, socializing, and trips (almost too much time, really).

Heather’s User experiences:
On a sunny Spring day after finishing a big step in a work project and feeling the need for some sun, Heather checks Facebook before going outside to read and eat. One of her friends posts an article about a couple living in a storage container in Richmond, BC. She clicks on the link and it brings her to the Shed website. She reads the article and peruses the few pictures that accompany it. It turns out that every article on the website interests her. She would love to read more but she wants to get outside before her lunch break is over. She’s about to close the window when she sees: “Got an iPad? Want this mag in an instant? Subscribe!” She had never bought a digital magazine for her iPad before. She clicked the link and found that the digital magazine was only $2.99 for an issue, and she didn’t even need an internet connection. She didn’t know whether she would like reading a magazine on a screen or if the magazine would be any good, but for $3, why not try? And no pesky stuff to throw out after too! She clicked ‘Buy’ and went through the simple iTunes purchase process, which she was already familiar with. She hooked up her iPad, synced it up, and jetted outside for some time in the sun.

User experience #1:
With a smoothie by her side, Heather opened up her iPad and brought up Shed Magazine from iTunes. The bright, yet simple cover took over the screen. The image was sharp and it all looked very high-quality. Heather was excited, a $3 high quality mag, what a good deal! Usually Heather reads from start to finish of a magazine but with her twenty minutes remaining, she really wanted to get to that bibliophile cover article. She was about to click the arrow to move to the next page, but her cursor seemed to be highlighting an article on the cover. She moved it around and realized she could just get to the cover articles from there. She clicked the title of the bibliophile article and it brought her straight to the article. The article had over a dozen crisp images, and was five pages long (way longer than the storage container article on the website). Heather was excited to see that she could find out more about where to get the bookshelves mentioned and which publishers were printing compact editions by clicking embedded links, but she was disappointed to see that they didn’t work without wireless internet, and neither did it work when she ‘liked’ an article. Even so, the mag was cheaper than her smoothie, and she still had so much more to read! She clicked the ToC button at the top of the page to see what the other articles were before going back to work, and it brought her straight there. No page flipping or dropdown menus to sort through. She looked forward to trying out all the bonus features she was seeing offered, like virtual tours through small spaces, and music which minimalist Steve Jobs listened to when he was trying to get in the zone. She hit escape, shut her iPad and wandered back to work.

User experience #2:
That night, Heather’s two girlfriends came over for dinner. They were chatting and sipping wine when Heather mentioned that she found a cool magazine earlier, and they went on to talk about the articles. They went to the website to see it filled with current updates and short articles with a photo or two. Heather wanted to show them the bibliophile article. She thought it might be on the website homepage since it was a recent cover article, but no-go. She went into the ‘home’ section and scrolled for pages until she at last came to it. It was missing the photos and links she had wanted to show her friends. She had just been too lazy to get up and get her iPad, but Heather ended up doing just that and her friends read through the digital magazine. They flicked through each page, and ‘oohed and ahhed’ watching the tour of the storage container and hearing people actually say the quotes that were in the article. The reader’s comments under the article were hilarious and ridiculous. The girls refrained from using the comment function to tell the other commenters just how thick they sounded, but they read through all of them, finding them even more interesting than the article itself. One friend wanted to read one of the longer articles when she got home. Heather clicked the ‘share’ icon underneath it, and up popped a box asking for the email of the person to share it with. She typed it in and it sent straight away. Her other friend said she would never pay for something when she could just get the articles for free online, even if they didn’t have as much stuff. Heather thought that extra stuff was worth it though, even if only to not waste her time getting to the articles she liked.

User experience #3:
A few weeks after subscribing to Shed’s digital magazine, Heather was in the middle of a boring meeting when she got an email letting her know that April’s Shed edition had arrived. She quietly pulled out her iPad and turned the light function down at the top menu. She opened the magazine and started to read from the beginning. She had to admit, even the full-page ads were pretty stunning.  The first article was on where to leave your dog when you’re traveling. Heather had always had strong thoughts on pet owners responsibilities and she just had to put in her two cents (after ‘sharing’ the article with friends and mentioning her dislike of a few of the points in the comments section). She commented under the article, referring to the article and other people’s comments, right above someone else who also had some strong points as well. She checked out the embedded link to find that there were numerous cool-looking dog care/swap Vancouver places with contact info; this didn’t sway her, although it was great to have so much consolidated information on one topic. Moving on, Heather read each article fully and had even copied down some numbers of businesses that had sales on events (which she found out from clicking on an ad that led to their webpage). By the time she was done, there was still an hour of the meeting left so she just perused the internet, not focusing on any one topic, before realizing that there must be back issues of Shed Magazine. She went to the website to find that back issues only cost $2. She bought January’s (as she was not a big V-day fan), and uploaded it to her iPad.

User experience #4:
Heather stood on the seabus platform after work, heading home after a long day. The bus wasn’t coming for another 15 minutes and she forgot to grab a Georgia Straight on her way. Most of the magazine didn’t interest her anyway, other than some local shows going on and Savage Love (a must-read). Remembering that her iPad housed Shed’s January edition, and that she didn’t need the internet to use it, she pulled it out and started reading. She zoomed in on must-have shelving units sold in Lonsdale Quay stores (so close!), and bookmarked the page to easily return to it when she had an internet connection. Heather highlighted a quote and pasted it on her sticky pad app to remember it for later, happy to have a free hand to do so. The seabus arrived, and she kept it open as she boarded, knowing that even if she didn’t get a seat, she could stand while holding on, and continue to read, all at once. Heather did get a seat though, and she started to read. There weren’t as many articles she was interested in in this edition, so she flipped through faster than the previous issue. She did, however, find three pertinent articles with links to more info that she wanted to know, so she bookmarked these pages for when she got home and had internet access, as well as a page with a discount coupon to her favourite homewares store, Dream Design.

 

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