Good print design is bad browser design

Case in point: Spin Magazine has put it’s entire February issue online – without modification – as a digital magazine (Texterity seems to be the vendor used). Guess what? It is just as cumbersome, awkward, and user-hostile as most attempts at this kind of thing.

What looks to be a wonderfully rich print design is cheapened in the browser by the inability to navigate the thing with any sort of grace. Spin has shoved it’s portrait oriented design into a landscape oriented window with the same mindless determination that a small child might repeatedly smash a square peg relentlessly into a round hole.

Once you get past that first “gee whizz that looks like a page turning” reaction you are left with precious little to chew on. This one trick pony dies a slow death as the reader starts to realize that they are getting a thin and artificial approximation of another media experience instead of an authentic encounter with an organic and thoughtful presentation of editorial content. A simulation instead of a revelation.

Please… for the love of God… when will somebody come along and make this format really work?

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