Should You Design a Digital Magazine for the iPad? • Nxtbook Media

Should You Design a Digital Magazine for the iPad?

Written by Nxtbook Media

Actually, it’s a bit of a broader question. Assuming you were to design a digital-only magazine, what aspect ratio would you use? Curiously, despite the fact that the iPad is barely out of its cyber-womb, the question was posed to us by a publisher looking to do a digital-only magazine specifically optimized for the iPad.

In this particular case, the publisher had already decided to go with a landscape only design. Not a bad idea for a digital-only magazine, except for one thing: the iPad is a product with a 4:3 aspect ratio, not the more trendy 16:9.

Is this awful? Probably not, but it’s worth thinking about. One blogger has gone so far as to say that the aspect ratio of the iPad is an indication that Apple thinks you’ll like holding it in portrait mode more than in landscape mode.

Want more food for thought? Here’s a chart detailing the common monitor sizes. Alongside, we’ve written in the % of the more than two million people that viewed a Nxtbook last month. What’s interesting is that while 1024 x 768 (a 4:3) ratio gets 25% of readership, 4:3 is now responsible for less than half of all readership. NOTE: Wondering why the numbers only add up to 86%? Because more than 2,000 different ratios were used all in all, which is a pretty good justification for our dynamic scaling!



All of which goes to say that if you were to design a digital only magazine today, you’re probably better off designing in 16:9, because that’s what most of your readers are using today and what more of them will be using tomorrow. Unless they’re on an iPad.