Former NY Times Design Director Bashes Magazine iPad Apps
Despite all the talk of newspapers and magazines soon to become extinct in their tangible forms due to the increase in web publication, various magazine apps designed especially for the Apple iPad have been a failure, at least according to former New York Times design director, Khoi Vinh.
Vinh called the apps “bloated and user-unfriendly,” and said that their failure is due in part to the “tired pattern of mass-media brands trying vainly to establish beachheads on new platforms, without really understanding the platforms at all.”
Vinh downloaded the iPad app for the New Yorker magazine, and complained that it took too long to download, cost him money although he is already a paid print subscriber, and it useless without Internet access. He also criticized an Esquire magazine app, noting that it leaves him unable to link to other sources about it, leaving “the world outside just a rumor to be denied.”
Who is to blame? According to Vinh, magazine publishers have done a horrendous job of making the digital transition, and Adobe for “doing a tremendous disservice to the publishing industry” by making these magazine translations into iPad apps far too literal and bland.