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Magazine Digital Publishing 101 – My Wife’s Perspective

Keyla and the kids

Today I was talking to my lovely wife about apps and showed her a couple of posts about how the new Wired app was not living up to expectations. As I told her about the monthly cost ($5), the massive download (why?), and the inexplicable need for the app to look like the printed version (PDF anyone?), she broke it down to me why it wouldn’t work and not for the reasons I described above, but because of the obvious, ownership. For this reason I told her that I need to capture her thoughts. This is a user experience that many can relate.

Without further interruption, I am proud to introduce my guest blogger, my lovely wife, Keyla Ruiz:

As I read the reviews of the Wired app, I turned to my husband and ask what I thought would be the obvious, how do I express ownership of this magazine? He looked at me with his adorable confused look and replied, “what do you mean?” I then broke it down to him how my sister and I love to read our magazines.

Tear and share

When I see a photos of clothes that I love or an article that is compelling, I tear it out and collect it for my sister. I then hand those photos or articles for her to read or outfits for her to find when she is shopping for me. This is an important physical activity that I do with friends and family. Sure I do some of that online but there is nothing more tactically satisfying than scrapping articles for other to read. That is one of the reasons why I still pick up a magazine today. Newspaper never had that bonding experience with me but magazines do. If I am to move to digital versions of my magazines, I need the ability to select any portion of electronic edition and share it with anyone. I would prefer to ‘cut it out’ with my finger if possible. I think that functionality would keep alive that tactile feedback I enjoy most.

Shop now or later

Another nice aspect of reading a magazine are the ideas I get for decorating and shopping. One thing a magazine cannot do that I would love a digital version support is the ability to create lists. Let me explain. When I click on an image, a product, or a company, it would be great if the app could store what I click elsewhere and gather information about what I select. Then I could organize my lists for say a living room group, home project, or children’s first week of school. This would help me create a task list and allow me to explore similar options.

Interaction

Another nice feature a digital version of my magazine should have that I would throughly enjoy is the ability to interact with products. I would LOVE more video and the ability to rotate an item. It would give me the ‘I am there’ experience. This would reduce the shock of paying for the app.

Cost

One thing I did agree with my husband was the fact that the price for the app was ridiculous. First off I need a compelling reason to pick up a magazine off the store shelf and plop it down at the cashier. A magazine app must allow you to preview the articles similar to the physical version. Maybe some do, but all should.

Ownership

Finally I keep all the magazines I purchase. Call me a pack-rat if you must but I do find value in going back to older magazines and reviving a lost idea. I do not understand how I could do that with a digital version. As I understand from my husband, current magazine apps require a full download of the edition. Now that I understand the concept of cloud storage and streaming content, my husband is an excellent teacher, why should I have to manage all previous editions on my device? I already have a large messy collection in my house, I do not want to start another virtually. I should only have to worry about the history of my purchase, the rest should be managed by the magazine company.

I am sure there is more to say on the topic but I think this will do for now. Thank you hubby for listening to me. Maybe you should make the app my dear.

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