I was taking a look over at Pica+Pixel blog and noticed that they were talking about Phaidon Design Classics By Phaidon Press iPad App. I’ve been complaining about the lack of well design ebooks for the iPad so I was eager to check it out. It’s a bit pricey at $19.99 for a digital book but I’ll take the hit to “test” it out.
Phaidon Design Classics is one of those sets of books that are hard to forget once a designer has seen them in a bookstore. The print version has always been too expensive for me so having the opportunity to get the entire collection digitally is awesome. As far as UI goes, it’s pretty intuitive. There’s essentially two modes, an exploratory swipe and a keyword search. In the exploratory mode images fly by at various sizes making it easy to pick out objects. It would be nice if I could control the speed of the zooming with my finger though. Searching by typing was pretty easy. Once I pressed on an image it became full size. Another press placed text over top of the image. I found the type slightly constrained but much more considered than most ebook novels. There was also an additional image(s) attached to main image. Aside from the visual exploration there is filtering by categories and designers.
As far as UI’s go I think the format could fit other photo objective intensive books. It’s a nice example of extending what the print version was into the iPad using motion, swiping and quick load times. Would I want every book to act like this—probably not but considering this is the first that I’ve explored I’m happy with the experience.