Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A new way to read the news

I have worked with a variety of newspaper clients over the years, so I've been watching with great interest as newspapers struggle to find a business model that works in this time of rapid economic and technological change.

The New York Times just released a really cool application called Times Reader 2.0. You've got to try this. It's an application that allows you to read the each day's edition of the New York Times with print-like typography and layout features, either on- or off-line. You can read front page stories and a few other items at no cost to get a feel for how Times Reader works. A subscription is required to read the full content of the paper.

I'm really impressed by the thought that went into the user experience by the New York Times. The interface is clean and obvious, the layout dynamically adapts to different window sizes, the typography is excellent and navigation is easy.

A few notes about the technology behind the product: Times Reader is an Adobe AIR application, which is what makes it cross-platform and able to work off-line. Adobe Flex was used for the code, and the amazing typography and dynamic paragraph composition is provided compliments of an underlying Adobe technology called the Text Layout Framework (TLF). TLF is the result of Adobe incorporating much of the composition and typography technology from products such as InDesign and making it available to Flex programmers. There are several interesting articles about the design and technology behind Times Reader in Issue 04 of Adobe's online publication Inspire.

1 comment:

Rick Graf said...

Thanks for the heads up on the new reader.