I asked an Art Director of my favourite magazine Top Gear that does he think about DPS and if there are any alternatives to Adobe DPS.
Owen Norris is a TopGear Magazine Art Director.
How long have you been using DPS? I’ve been working in DPS for a couple of years now. My background is a print design one. I’ve been in magazines for 18 years on mags such as Stuff, FourFourtwo, Xbox and for the last 9 years TopGear. Pros and Cons of Adobe DPS? Flexibility of page layout is one of the things I find tricky. A html page layout system would enable us to get on more screens. And text searching would be great. The main question. Who is Adobe’s target audience?(huge publishing houses or corporations or small agencies)? I’d say DPS is great for big publishing projects like ours as the reach is so good and it’s all tested and secure but also perfect for the person on their own who just wants to try some things out and get something out there. The middle ground is where the pricing seems to be a problem for some. What should publishers take into account when they’re choosing the tool? What are your needs in terms of reach or flexibility? We need those good links to Apple and the size of DPS helps with that but if we’d wanted to be on more screen sizes easier it would’ve been a trickier choice. Maybe html but published through DPS is the answer like Wired. What do you like most about DPS? The best thing is being able to do all the things I’m trained as a designer to do in Indesign knowing that they’ll work on the screen and look just right. What do you dislike about it? The publishing areas of it require a bit of work. The Folio Producer frustrates me on a daily basis. It’s not very user friendly. How does DPS analytic help you? Enable us to see what users are using and the ability to track whether they’re using our navigation devices Have you tried another DP tool? We started off using Pressrun (now Mobile iQ) but it was very hard to use as a designer. It required scripts to get things to work and specific naming in layers. That and the lack of type control made it a non-starter for us. I asked to go over to DPS knowing it just works. Is there an alternative to Adobe DPS? I hope so for the market. There are a few other platforms that I’d use if I were trying something myself but as a big magazine the only way to go at the moment is DPS Your DPS advice? Read the tutorials and don’t be afraid to give things a try. Sometimes you surprise yourself with the things you think aren’t possible.
Oh, and simplify. We started off a very complex magazine but over the last year we’ve simplified the design and processes and I think it’s a better experience now. For us and the user.