Tech Blog: Marie Claire’s Fall Fashion App Falls Flat

December 6, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Elizabeth Lowe

iPad Review: Marie Claire‘s “Fall Fashion A-Z”

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    Already an iPad cynic to begin with, I decided to try an app produced by one of my magazine mainstays.

    The Powerhouse Publication: Marie Claire (a Hearst publication)
    The App: “Fall Fashion A-Z”
    The Result: Unimpressive to say the least.

    Could an iPad app really change the way I experience one of my favorite publications? Would I really get more enjoyment from the digital version than my tangible coffee table staple?

    Marie Claire’s fashion app definitely provides a new experience for their fashionista readers. But it isn’t anything to jump up and down in your Louboutins about.

    With “Fall Fashion A-Z” readers can get a more graphically enhanced look at the latest fall trends. This type of editorial feature is usually in the front-of-book for Marie Claire in a clean, easy-flowing layout. The trends unfold page by page with one runway look and an array of similar pieces available for purchase.

    The app, however, comes off a little jumbled. I could see that Marie Claire was going for a fun, creative collage approach to display the content – but all that scrolling back, forth, up and down! It drives a classic page-turner like myself crazy.

    Let’s discuss the actual content and digital experience. All pieces in the editorial collage are “clickable,” linking the user to a letter in the alphabet and a set of clothing, shoes or accessories. Just like the usual front-of-book fashion layouts, these sets are accompanied by a runway look. Except on the iPad, it’s a video.

    The downside? The runway video is a continuous loop of one look in a collection. I would be impressed if I could watch the entire Marc Jacobs or Celine runway show to experience fall’s minimalist movement, for example. However, I get the same fulfillment looking at a photo of the runway look as I do watching it play repeatedly on my screen.

    This is just one example of room for improvement as Marie Claire makes the transition from print to iPad. Many aspects of the app gave me the exact same content as the magazine – editor’s favorites, pricing and store info, runway-to-street – just in a “clickable,” digital layout. There was no “new” content. It was barely multimedia-forward, with only the runway show video loops.

    To ditch my tangible and page-turner-friendly print version, Marie Claire will have to step up their game in the iPad app. The legacy publication is packed with fresh, in-the-know content on not only fashion, but also other aspects of culture and society. Its pages are full every month with the best shoes, society commentary, and inspiring features. With so much content, its organized page design still make the magazine highly engaging and easy to read.

    However, the iPad app fell short of what I usually enjoy about Marie Claire. This digital version (though only a piece of the Marie Claire sphere of content) is actually less content-packed and harder to read.

    Though I look forward to more digital publications by the Hearst legacy, I’ll stick to my paper version of Marie Claire for now.

    Dallas Journalists Come to SMU to Give the Lowdown on What’s Happening to Journalism and The Media

    October 26, 2010 by · Comments Off 

    By Kalyn Harper
    KHarper@smu.edu

    Distinguished Dallas journalists discussed the growth of social media and strategies for students to enter into a professional career in journalism at SMU’s Meadows Symposium 2010: The Art of Entrepreneurship Friday.

    The panel discussion, “From Citizen Journalist to Professional,” was held by Matthew Haag, writer and blogger for the Dallas Morning News, Linda Leavell, editor for DallasNews.com, and Callie Wall, KETK-TV anchor were invited to discuss the growing world of social media.

    Linda Leavell is managing editor of The Dallas Morning News website, where she has worked since January 2003. MU graduate Matthew Haag, who interned under Leavell, covers Plano and Plano ISD for The Dallas Morning News. SMU graduate and journalism major Callie Wall was hired by KETK, an NBC affiliate in Tyler, where she co-anchors a 2-hour morning show, KETK Today, and a one-hour midday show, East Texas Live.

    Each journalist on the panel were invited to discuss where journalism is going, how it’s changing and what people can expect. Students were encouraged to ask any and all questions about what their careers and perspectives on the future of the media.

    The underlying question of the day: What do we, as journalists and future members of the media, need to know to make it?

    “Journalism has always been about being first and being the most current,” Wall said.
    “This industry is moving so much faster than it ever has and social networking, amongst other things, is repelling it forward.”

    The future of journalism is changing because of the incorporation of multimedia, and flexibility is the key to success in the business.

    “Flexibility is huge and your willingness to experiment—maybe Skype live to do an interview—you have to be willing to be on the cutting edge to see what works and what doesn’t work to better reach your audience,” Haag, who co-writes a beat blog about Plano on DallasNews.com, said.

    Journalism students are learning the implications of live blogging—an experience that many older reporters aren’t comfortable with. CoveritLive and other mobile sites are becoming more important because people want to get their news on the go.
    Haag uses Twitter and Facebook for reporting, which “adds more social responsibility” to what he does. People expect news from a number of platforms: newspapers, websites, mobiles, iPhone apps, and iPADs.

    Now, reporters must know how to distribute news that is valuable in various forms of media because the receipt of information is different. “The immediacy of it all is indicative of how fast things are changing,” Wall said.

    After the panel discussion, SMU sophomore and journalism major Erica Penunuri asked Wall, “What makes you happy about choosing this career?”
    “Feeling like I’m bringing information to people is a pretty powerful thing, I never go day to day with the same thing going on because news is always changing,” Wall responded.
    “It’s not an easy industry to be in, but if you thrive on a changing environment, it’s a fun a one to be in.”

    Tech Blog: Time Magazine’s App for the iPad is App-solutely Approvable

    October 5, 2010 by · Comments Off 

    Posted by Felicia M. Logan

    iPad app review: MTV News

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    I can’t give the iPad enough superlatives when it comes to rating what I consider the hippest new Apple gadget.  As a forty-something college student, who, by the way, is not the most technically savvy, I found the iPad to be quite user friendly … once I got the hang of it.

    I called my daughter in Ohio for her expert teen help when I got stuck.  Usually, it was just a matter of sliding my fat nubby fingers across the sleek screen, and SHAZAAM! Guess what, another page, or rather screen to view.

    Although reading is my favorite pastime, and I love to curl up in bed with a good read, I think the iPad is fantastic.  I actually spent more time reading the Time Magazine app, than the print version.  Of course, that may be due to the novelty of the great gizmo’s gadgetry.

    The iPad is far more easy and quicker to scan, and as an added bonus, the font can be enlarged by up to 500 percent. That’s great for those of us with impaired vision.

    You have the option of reading a story and/or watching the accompanying video, too, which is great if you’re trying to multi-task, and don’t have time to actually read.

    The iPad offers a couple of features the print version didn’t, such as some pictures that went with stories. “Going To The Birds” was one such article.  The five best pictures of the week are beautiful, poignant shots that are worth mentioning, too.

    The app pays for itself, and there are few advertisements to deal with.

    Overall, I give the iPad five stars, gold stars at that!

    Tech Blog: iPad Finds Its Soulmate in New Yorker App

    October 2, 2010 by · Comments Off 

    Posted by Meredith Shamburger

    iPad app review: The New Yorker

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    If there’s one thing the iPad is made for, it’s media consumption. Naturally, the distinct long-form journalism of The New Yorker shines on the iPad.

    The iPad does not allow multiple applications to be open at the same time. This allows the reader to actually focus on those stories whose word count can run into the thousands. The scrolling feature does away with the page turns of the print product and the multiple pages of a web, providing a much nicer feeling. The app’s various navigation features (there are a lot from which to choose) make it easier for readers to experience the magazine in a non-linear way.

    The iPad loves magazine design. Big, bold photographs. Lovely typography and layout. It’s all on the app. Even better: because the iPad is a computer, The New Yorker is able to embed audio, video, documents and other additional items to the story. The reader gets the joy of the print product with the usefulness of the web, giving it high points for multimedia and interactivity — you can even enter the caption contest directly from the app. Below, watch actor Jason Schwartzman demonstrate how to use The New Yorker iPad application.

    The app does not do well in terms of immediacy. The New Yorker app is delivered in issues on a weekly basis (you pay per issue); there’s no frequent or daily updates to be had. But I didn’t feel that this was an entirely bad thing. The nature of The New Yorker allows this. However, the magazine’s website does update frequently with blog posts. It would have been nice if the app included the blogs.

    Overall, I give the app high points. If you’re already a reader of the magazine and an iPad owner, I’d strongly encourage you to check out this app for at least one issue.

    Tech Blog: Review of USA Today’s iPad App

    September 22, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

    Posted by Nicolle Keogh

    iPad app review: USA Today

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    I chose USA Today for my review of its iPad application versus the hard copy version. This was my first time using an iPad, so my overall experience with it was interesting and eye opening.

    The USA Today app offers a lot of interactivity for the user, but is very organized at the same time. The layout of the page, as well as the text and images, are orderly. It’s really neat that the sections of the paper such as Travel, Money, and Sports are listed at the top of the page and will open within milliseconds of the user tapping any of them. The iPad app simply moves to the section you click on and opens to a full page instantly, without having to wait for a page to load like in a web browser (not to mention flipping several pages to get to a certain section in a newspaper.) Navigation on the iPad app for USA Today is simply easier, faster, and less confusing, and that’s what I found most impressive about it.

    I could see what time stories were posted to the web app, and they were updated often. Comparing the app to the daily newspaper, I see how the iPad app is an essential tool to receiving urgent news. With a hard copy of USA Today, the consumer would have to wait until the next day to get the news. For this reason, I give the app a 5 for immediacy/urgency. I already mentioned that the app has an organized presentation, but the first thing I noticed when I opened it was just how many characters there were crammed onto one page. Though organized, I’d say the amount on the page is a little overwhelming, so I’m giving a 3 for non-linear presentation. For interactivity, I’ll give a 5 because I am impressed with the surprisingly simple navigation with the application.  I did notice a good deal of multimedia content, including maps on the weather page as well as many, many photos (and galleries.) I’ll give the app a 5 for multimedia content because the images really do break up the huge amount of text on the page.

    Overall, I enjoyed my experience with the iPad and hope to be able to use it again in the future for news as well as communication purposes. I’m interested to see how other apps compare when the other students write their reviews.

    Tech Blog: Review of Wired Magazine’s iPad App

    September 22, 2010 by · Comments Off 

    Posted by Amanda Oldham

    iPad app review: Wired Magazine

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    Sleek and shiny iPads deserve sleek and shiny apps. Thankfully, when it comes to technology and gadget news, the iPad couldn’t ask for more than the Wired Magazine App. Given that Wired’s main content is discussions and news pieces about new and upcoming technologies, I could only expect the best from their iPad app. I wasn’t disappointed.

    Immediately upon opening the app, I was greeted with a short video about the main subject of the current issue: whether or not watching shows on television is out of date. As I scrolled through the issue, each page was as glossy and finished as the hard copy, just embedded with videos that expanded on the stories on the virtual page. It allowed me to quickly glance at all of the pages from a distance, which made finding what I was looking for easier until I discovered that clicking on the title of the story in the Table of Contents skipped right to the story anyway, which only makes searching for a specific article to share with someone that much easier.

    Although the smooth multimedia and non-linear presentation of the app was enough for it to win a place in my heart, the only issues I found was in how often the app was updated and its questionable interactivity. Wired produces its issues monthly, thus the app is only updated once a month, and in the world of technology, one month can mean all the difference in a rapidly evolving industry.

    However, I understand that the magazine is not Wired’s main focus, and that information is constantly updated on the website, which offers a huge amount of communication between readers and those posting. The app only downloads the pages and videos of a certain issue. While iPad readers may pick and choose which stories they want to read about, Wired mostly leaves the interactivity to the website.

    The Daily Update: Monday, April 5

    April 5, 2010 by · Comments Off 

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    The Daily Update: Tuesday, March 30

    March 30, 2010 by · Comments Off 

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