What would be good alternative to interactive pdf's?

Hi, I’m new here. I have a question I couldn’t find an answer to.

More and more clients (most of them non-profit organizations) ask to design interactive pdf’s (instead of printed publications). My main issue with interactive pdf’s is that the interactive elements such as buttons, video, … don’t work on tablets. The Online Publishing (or adobe’s digital publishing) on the other hand only works for tablets.
I’m looking for an alternative to use on tablet and desktop to make nice publications (annual reports, larger publications,…) with easy navigation and nice effects (like roll-overs, popups, …)

I’m not interested in sites like issue, or flipbooks. This is a nice example: https://www.behance.net/gallery/23885023/Verso-Digital-Magazine

But it then has to be viewed on desktop as well…

Any ideas?

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Hi Julie,
i still do not understand what you are really looking for.
Your excample is not really different to sites like you mentioned before - which you do not like.


Everything I can think of has it’s drawbacks. Web pages require a user to be online. They can be downloaded on desktops, but I don’t know about mobile devices. E-books provide some interactive features, but I don’t know if they are consistent across platforms. Mobile apps provide the best interactivity for mobile devices, but don’t work on desktops.

If you can’t use PDF, you’ll probably have to publish the same documents on multiple platforms. You’re best bet is to figure out a way to get the PDF buttons to work on tablets. There’s probably a work around.

BTW, how do you plan to distinguish a roll-over from a click on a touch device?

Something like this?

Or is this too much?

yee, Mathias, The product photos and titles on those pages took a 3-5 count to load and left me staring at tiny text way too long. On every page.
Waiting for visual content = BAD!!!

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As it is HTML, you can just enlarge the text. Or switch to a “reader view” on your device.

I think HTML is the only way to go. So it is a question on how much “interactivity” you need/want.

And yes, larger graphics will need longer to load, an issue all “high quality” delivery formats share. Not sure what server they use.

I think you need just to mention in obvious way that can understand by everyone that actually what your question ?

Just starting to dip my toe into this kind of thing. Would an ePub be better? Is that what the Sevenoaks Sound and Vision example from mguenther is?

Regarding rollovers, on a touch screen they are irrelevant so I plan to use only click effects - I can always add rollovers on any web page version but are they necessary?

HTML5 is the baseline for universal content deployment. It looks to me like most other formats will run on a come-and-go life cycle.

I mourned the loss of traction rollover effects suffered as touch interaction took hold, but I’m now resigned to forgetting about them completely.

No, it is not. Sevenoaks is a progressive web app created with QuarkXPress 2018. With QuarkXPress 2019 you will be able to export responsive web pages (based on CSS flexbox).

ePub is a standard too, mostly HTML5 based, with some XML. Problem with modern ePub (so interactivity and fixed-layout elements) are good readers. On iOS and macOS one exists, but not on Android or Windows. Which most readers probably use. So better pure HTML5 that can be displayed in a browser.

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Rollovers will always be a nicety for letting a users know where the hotspots in an interface are without having to make it have a button appearance, and without the user having to click to find out if it’s clickable. But I’m sure we could all live without. People who grew up without rollovers won’t miss them. It will be a lost art.

Speaking of people who grew up without, I was in a classroom full of 2nd graders today demoing gaming software on a laptop. 90% of them didn’t know how to use a track pad or a mouse. They only know touch screens.

Yikes that makes me feel old, but it’s the future …

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