Way-finding is a term used to help a person move through a particular system through the use of definite visual cues or interaction points. Imagine a person using public transit system and how they would move through this environment. Way-finding is a way to guide you through these channels / experiences using signage, symbols and language in any particular system.
So using this in a publication (especially a digital publication) is critical. Considering the amount currently available on tablets, it’s particularly important to set a number of rules that speaks to the reader’s expectations of the journey which makes it that more richer in experience from that fact the reader feels not only confident but can take away that feeling of where am I? Did I miss something? Where to next?
A good example of this is the Coles Magazine. Allowing the user to enjoy the magazine without loosing the readers attention from the content.
Using Swipe or Scroll
The point here is to be consistent with the term. A key point is readers are either card swiping or page scrolling. Scrolling is very much web metaphor for moving down the page and widely understood by most. Swipe is associated more with gesture control but again this is very widely understood by readers thanks to Apple’s marketing as how to move between pages.
If you are to use one we would recommend using swipe as it is more understood because of the nature of the tablet and gesture paradigm. Swipe fingers across or down rather than scroll fingers across or down which is very much based on web paradigms.
Using arrows as navigational paradigm
Avoid the use of arrows for items that can tapped. These are best used to indicate a swipe or scroll gesture in the direction indicated. This will help avoid confusion for the reader but also add clarity to the meaning of the arrow when used.
Using the Card approach as a navigation feature with IPS or VIPS
Don’t mix using dots and arrows in the opposite directions. For example if using an IPS and you would like to use dots (ala Apple) to indicate the amount of pages in the slideshow then ensure if you use arrows with these they are on the correct horizontal plane this goes for VIPS also. It only confuses the reader as to what direction the swipe gesture should be to interact with.
See this diagram for examples:
Page swaps (SWP) are a great feature by being able to tap an area (Hotspot) on screen and it swaps the current page with the new page. You can read further about the functionality of these in the publishers guide. We recommend that you don’t use Tall pages with this feature and use standard pages only. We would also recommend not using with B pages either. Using standard pages allows the reader complete control of being able to tap back or further interact with page on the same screen. Tall pages however allow the reader to scroll down the page, therefore potentially losing key navigation to allow the user to continue using the feature and thus feeling lost and frustrated that they can’t return to a previous screen.
It’s worth noting that you should always provide hotspot links to the articles from the table of contents. Readers regularly tap on these to go straight to the section and by not providing it is point of frustration to your readers.
Steering Wheel Zone
The resting points for both hands when holding the device in either orientation. This is good to know when designing a layout and you’d like to have interactive features in your publication. Having interactive features in these areas helps by allowing the reader to interact/read without having to take their resting hands off the device. We are not recommending that all types of interaction are in these areas as sometimes it may not be appropriate but its nice to be aware and allows you to plan and design your layout with a little more confidence.
Interactivity should not interfere with navigation. The safe area ensures that the reader can move left or right between sections or up and down between pages. For example, don’t put a VIPS on bottom right hand side of a page, this can trap the user who wants to swipe to the next page but gets stuck in a VIPS loop. Same thing applies to an IPS. If one puts a full page IPS on a page as you are trapped and then can’t swipe right.
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