Smith's Comic Idea • Nxtbook Media

Smith’s Comic Idea

Written by Nxtbook Media

In an article last week, Steve Smith from MIN pointed out iPad navigation ideas that he felt publishers should attempt to mimic. I’ll never be accused of being a Steve Smith fan – when he mentions Nxtbook, which is rare, he usually butchers the name, but in general I feel his ideas are often wrong and rarely applicable to most BtoB publishers.

In the latest example, Smith encouraged publishers to copy a navigation style used in comic apps. While clever, it’s one of those ideas that only makes sense until you consider it for more than ten seconds. While I did submit the following comment on the MIN article, I’ve come to learn that the chance of them printing my comments is about on par with the likelihood Smith will give us any press at all, so I’m reprinting it here:

Yet another example of how the writer is swayed by the sizzle, rather than the steak. While the Guided Zoom concept is intriguing, it’s far more suited to the comic realm where the readers’ path is chosen for them. Two of the core qualities of magazines are multiple forms of navigation (page flip, TOC, jumps, etc.) and levels of built-in distraction – both of which hold little water in a navigation scenario with only one path.

How do we know this? Because we beta tested it with a dozen publishers and that’s what they told us.

Marcus Grimm
Marketing Director
Nxtbook Media