After the iPad debuted last spring, Wells Publishing was one of the first b-to-b publishers to the game, launching an iPad edition of Insurance Journal in September. Guy Boccia, VP-design, oversees print and interactive production at Wells and was a key member of the iPad launch team.
Media Business: How did that first iPad launch come about?
Guy Boccia: In November 2009, our management team set out to create an interactive edition of Insurance Journal magazine. We weren't sure how, but knowing we had to create it was the important step. Using several of our existing technologies and a few outside vendors, we were able to proudly state we were the first b-to-b insurance magazine on the iPad.
MB: What's your biggest challenge right now?
Boccia: Retraining graphic designers from print how to design and produce interactive apps for devices, such as tablets, smartphones and television.
MB: How are you doing that?
Boccia: Training staff to use programming tools. Using tools that implement HTML5 frameworks helps designers get rid of desktop browser items, such as back buttons, refresh buttons, bookmarks and other old-fashioned features that don't translate well on the mobile Web; helps create an engaging experience for the user; and cuts down on coding time. We are starting to learn Sencha products (which allow the creation of apps using Web standards).
MB: What do you think the industry needs to pay more attention to?
Boccia: The industry has to start thinking how much engagement time a user has spent with your product or app instead of how many users downloaded this or that app.