The online experience and physical paperback Pelican books were designed by Matthew Young. During his talk he discussed the topic Books Vs Ebooks and discovered the following.
Ebooks tend to imitate the layout, appearance and behaviour of their paperback printed version. However reading on screen provides a whole new user experience and comes with a number of limitations:
Text doesn't have a fixed layout
- In a regular paperback book you know that each reader will have the same reading experience.
- Whereas in an ebook text has to adapt to different screen sizes and resolutions, flowing in and out of containers. You also need to consider that fact that the user is able to increase/decrease font size if they wish.
- It's important to use spacing and margins around the text to provide a legible and comfortable experience for the user, regardless of the device size.
How they support non-text information, including images, videos, maps, diagrams, tables etc.
- Large diagrams and maps are often illegible in ebooks - users are often required to pinch/zoom/pan to view the information.
- Pelican Books use maps and diagrams that are re-drawn especially for the screen, enabling them to be readable at any size.
- If an author references a video, these can easily be embedded into the text in an ebook, whereas in print you can only show a screenshot or still image.
The use of footnotes
- In regular books footnotes can be found at the very end of the book.
- Pelican Books have used footnotes so that when you tap the asterisk or number in the text, the footnote details smoothly slide up from the bottom of the page - enabling the user to still refer back to the main text if needed.
Matthew also spoke about the appearance of the Pelican ebook.
With a regular book the user interacts with the cover each time they open and close the book, whereas in an ebook the cover is no longer required. In a Pelican ebook, the cover can be found throughout, as each chapter opens with a full coloured page which imitates the front cover of the regular book.
He advised that you shouldn't copy print books, but take features from them to provide the best user experience possible.Back to all talks