BREAKING NEWS & VIEWS
The Knot for iPad: Pretty Bride - Shame About The Make-Up
Monday, August 6, 2012
The iPad edition is at heart repurposed print with some welcome enhancements. There are some nice tappable moments in the TOC and all of the URLs in editorial and ads are hot-linked to the embedded browser. The splash pages for most features provide links into the article sub-sections. And in some columns there are gratuitous small windows of scrollable text.
The drop down TOC is woeful. The same section title is repeated across multiple images in what seems more like a thumbnail view than an informative TOC. The drop down scroll is so relentless that it makes quick navigation across sections of the massive wedding book much more difficult than an interactive magazine should be.
The best uses of interactivity come in the pop-up text, which enhances some of the many product-oriented features and occasional quizzes. Tapping the now-standard “plus” icon will bring up captions. There were more than a few ads and other places with such teeny tiny text we were wishing for a zoom capability, however. And the pop-up captions feature was used unevenly. Some features that could have used the feature for visual efficiency lacked it. There are many moments in a busy wedding tome like this for interactive enhancements. In fact, some photo features have so many annotated references to teeny text, we were wishing for some easy magnification of the references.
The uses of the plus icon also were annoyingly inconsistent. In most cases they called up captions as one would expect. But in others they invoked the embedded browser to pull in more content from TheKnot.com, which is itself not very well optimized for a tablet. Just try navigating those left-hand and to-line text-links in the nav bars even with a pinkie.
The reams of print advertising all are reproduced here, with hot links to any referenced sites. The good news is that many advertisers are becoming touch-aware and either directing users to a mobile-optimized or are iPad-friendly. The bad news is that the performance of the Knot magazine app is sluggish overall, so all of that ad-filled page flipping starts to feel more like dragging after a while, especially on the ad pages with higher density images. Even the page view slider often had lag. And we were using an iPad 3 for this. There are a couple of embedded videos that we could find in the Beauty and Real Weddings sections of the book, but they were frustratingly small and with no visible zoom or internal nav options.
Perhaps most curious about this wedding title is the lack of sharing options. Even though the material is subscription-based, the typical wedding planner is swapping pages with friends and family. Aside from the Favorites button endemic to the Adobe publishing platform used here, there is no option for tearing or sending images or ideas.
Overall, The Knot Weddings is an uneven experience at best on the iPad. The halting performance, tiny and sparse videos and difficult navigation undermine what should be a more elegant and enjoyable approach to a wedding book.
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