Why is responsive design key to digital reading?
September 10, 2016
September 10, 2016
In our previous post, we have discussed the differences between PDF and ePub files. One of the most outstanding features of ePub is its versatility. PDF has a fixed design that seems similar across devices. Of course sometimes that mean unreadably small. The joy that EPUB offers is that it automatically reflows its contents (mainly text) to fill the available display space. Exactly due to its responsive design, ePub encourages readers to use the device that they like using. Forcing readers to use a definite device or reader app is not acceptable nowadays.
When it comes to optimizing content to be readable on mobile devices, responsive design makes this possible. It fits the constraints of the device. User experience designers see responsive design as the victory of the users’ needs over their own aesthetic vision. Some users prioritize mobile over desktop reading, as they have spare time when travelling to work, or when waiting on another queue. What ePub’s philosophy lays on is that when you offer content, making it accessible and flexible from the get go will grant your target audience an enhanced user experience. The days of lengthy pdf files on little smartphone screens, text overlapping images etc are gone.
Many apps, devices and platforms have tried to nail interactive reading. Many have failed. However, the minimum expectations of the user nowadays should be met:
- The way I want it and where I want it. Content must be tailored to my preferred device, not the other way around.
- I can always change my mind and switch between devices. This must be easy to do.
- I want to have a smooth reading experience without any page breaks, pictures being misformatted, missing videos and non-working audios.
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