"Internet Users Demand Less Interactivity," read the headline of a recent article at The Onion. A (fictional) Internet user commented:
"Every time I type a web address into my browser, I don't need to be taken to a fully immersive, cross-platform, interactive viewing experience...I don't want to take a moment to provide my feedback, open a free account, become part of a growing online community, or see what related links are available at various content partners."
Are magazine app users starting to feel the same way? Faced with floods of online content, readers open magazine apps for a cohesive, relaxed reading experience -- only to cope with massive file downloads and confusing, complex interfaces.
A new batch of magazine publishers wants to move in a different direction. Drawing on the concept of "subcompact publishing," recently articulated by Craig Mod, and often mentioning Marco Arment's The Magazine as inspiration, these publishers are creating minimalist magazine apps that do just enough -- and no more -- to provide a focused, deep, quality reading experience....