BYE BYE ADOBE DPS ® – Blog Series
Adobe DPS®: “Your subscription has expired.” The first article in our blog series talked about the options available to ensure that you can continue publishing your projects in mobile-optimized formats. The second article featured interviews with experienced Adobe DPS® and Purple DS® users who shared their views on the migration to Purple DS® and the differences between the two digital publishing solutions. They praised Purple DS® and spoke about a number of the advantages it offers, including the freedom to be creative, efficient implementation, and flexible modifications.
While large publishing companies such as Bauer Media and Axel Springer have had many of their large teams switch from Adobe DPS® to Purple DS® for their publications, in this third article, we would like to introduce a customer whose digital publication is produced by a single person. In this part of the series, you’ll discover how a German institute of higher education worked together with a design agency to complete the switch to Purple DS®. In this interview, our customer shares her experience with Sprylab customer support and provides insight into the additional helpful features, optimized workflow, and pricing offered by Purple DS®, and the advantages of kiosk apps.
3. Bye Bye Adobe DPS®: Moving on with Purple DS® – Experience form a former Adobe DPS® user
Moving on with Purple DS® – one customer’s experience
How does modern academic communication work? To find out, take a look at “GUERICKEmag”. The app is the mobile-optimized version of the annual research magazine “Guericke”. While every year a team of several editors and photographers works to fill the print edition, the digital magazine is produced by a single person.
|GUERICKEmag Download: iOS I Android|
Formerly an Adobe DPS® publication, “GUERICKEmag”, published by the Otto von Guericke University Madgeburg, is now already in its second edition as a Purple DS® app. To learn more about the magazine’s migration to Purple DS®, we spoke with Anneke Richter, Department Head of the Media Center at the University of Magdeburg, and Susanne Rehfeld, from the GRAFfisch agency in Greifswald. Ms. Rehfeld shared her experiences working with Adobe DPS® and Purple DS®, while Ms. Richter, from her perspective as a media expert, provided insight into the strategic considerations that played a role in the digital transformation of the magazine. Our conversation with Anneke Richter is available in a separate blog post.
Interview– Testimonial from a former Adobe DPS® User
An interview with:
|Susanne Rehfeld from GRAFfisch – Kollektiv für Konzeption und Gestaltung|
Graphic designer Susanne Rehfeld from the GRAFfisch agency in Greifswald is responsible for leading both the production of the interactive „GUERICKEmag“ publication as well as the publication’s migration from Adobe DPS® to Purple DS®.
Ms. Rehfeld, the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg was previously an Adobe DPS® customer and now works with Purple DS®. How did you find out about Purple DS®?
Susanne Rehfeld: Adobe DPS® was not meeting our needs anymore. That’s why we were desperately searching for an alternative. The challenge was to find someone who could take the form InDesign® exported .folio file with all of the interactions and links and transform it into their own software while maintaining all of the functions. After a long online search and several tests with other types of software, I was really happy with what Sprylab had to offer.
What made you choose SPRYLAB over other e-publishing solutions?
Susanne Rehfeld: What first grabbed my attention was the website, which already contained a lot of information on the suite’s functions and the migration from DPS. At that point I already knew that Purple could be a suitable alternative. Then we hoped for an acceptable price and that the customer support team would get in touch quickly. I was actually quite surprised that I received an answer so quickly after I’d sent off the first email and explained my problem. We received an offer very soon after that, which surprised me because other suppliers took a lot longer to do that. With Adobe DPS, it would sometimes take weeks before we received an answer. Sprylab was able to deal with our problems very well. I was really happy about that, because we were under a lot of time pressure.
You’re currently publishing your second digital edition of “GUERICKEmag”. Could you tell us some more about what it’s like to work with the elements of the publishing suite? For example, how would you rate the Purple DS® Composer?
Susanne Rehfeld: During the publication of the first edition, we did not work with the software that much ourselves. We came to Sprylab at the beginning of last year and said, “We need help!” Sprylab managed the entire migration process. They looked at our finished .folio files, helped us to migrate the files and also handled the submissions in the Apple and Android stores. At that point, we weren’t working with the Composer. We started working with it at the beginning of this year, when we built an interactive magazine edition with Purple.
How has the process of producing the magazine changed compared with the previous magazine?
Susanne Rehfeld: Working with the Composer is somewhat different than working with Adobe DPS®. With Purple, you first create an InDesign® file in the mobile format and then switch – and that’s the difference – to the Composer in order to add all of the interactive functions and animations. We held an in-house workshop at the beginning of February to go over the individual steps of our workflow one more time. During the training, we learned how to use the product and we realized that the Composer has a very simple structure. The workshop was conducted together with Mr. Kosim. The first thing he did was to reassure us that the software is built for creatives and not for programmers, which is great for us and will make our work much easier. With the Composer, you don’t need HTML or ActionScript to fade in an area in from A to B. That makes it pretty easy to use functions like parallax or mask effects. The functions offer many new options for presenting your content. It’s pretty exciting stuff, and as far as I know, it’s not possible to do that in the DPS from Adobe.
|Kolja Kosim, Senior Consultant Customer Care at SPRYLAB|
You mentioned the in-house workshop that you conducted with Sprylab. How did you go about setting that up?
Susanne Rehfeld: Oh, Sprylab makes that very easy. I wrote an email saying “We need help”, and the Sprylab team immediately proposed a date. We visited the Sprylab office and our dear Mr. Kosim led the training session for us. Ms. Richter is planning on producing the next edition with her own team, so we attended the training together. The workshop lasted about four hours, including a short break. In that time, we went over all of the most important aspects. We had imagined that working with Purple DS® would be much more complicated, but in the end, it all went pretty quickly. After the workshop, I was able to hit the ground running.
Has there been a change to the production costs per edition?
Susanne Rehfeld: Yes, due to the subscription. Back when we started the project in Adobe DPS®, the company got rid of the single issue subscription, which was a problem for us. On top of that, Adobe completely reworked its pricing model. I remember that the basic package cost far more than small clients could afford. I didn’t want to do that to my clients, which is why I started searching for an alternative.
So “GUERICKEmag” was initially planned as a single issue app? At the moment, it’s available as a kiosk app that allows users to manage several publications and editions.
Susanne Rehfeld: The original plan was very different. “GUERICKEmag” was supposed to be digitalized as a single issue app. But at that point I was not aware of the different app options available.
What made you choose the kiosk app in the end?
Susanne Rehfeld: As part of our future-oriented strategy, we want to produce further editions for “GUERICKEmag”, and we’re also looking to add other magazines to the app. The kiosk app enables the university to say, “We have another exciting magazine that we’d like to share with you online.” That’s why we opted for the kiosk app at the time. And the Sprylab team also told us that, in their experience, the single issue app wasn’t going to work well for our requirements. A single issue app would have meant a lot of work on our part and relatively little benefit, and that’s why we decided not to go with that. The kiosk app was the most efficient solution and one that will allow us to evaluate the app for optimization. In order to optimize the app, we could, for example, compare different editions to find out how user numbers are changing per edition, or which content is being used intensively and which content is being ignored. That type of comparison allows the University of Magdeburg to gather valuable data about its app users and to apply that input when planning future editions of this magazine and other publications.
Were there other helpful features that made it easier for you to produce the app?
Susanne Rehfeld: The excellent customer support. I have never experienced support that is so easy for customers to reach. When you call, you’re immediately connected with your Sprylab account manager. For every problem, you’re offered a solution. Sometimes it takes an extra day to arrive at the solution, but the accessibility is very, very good. Especially when you’re working on such a large project and dealing with it on your own, it’s very important to have support at your side. Often it takes just a few minutes. Then you hear, “Yes, I’ll call you back in a moment” and “Let me check on that right now.” It’s a very fluid process and it’s really the biggest help in this project.
Another aspect is that the software is so up to date. We regularly receive updates because the software is constantly being developed. The expansion of the functions means that it’s possible to use the software for ever more diverse tasks. Some things didn’t work so well at the beginning and some functions, such as the PNG export out of InDesign®, were lacking. But then the Sprylab team said, “Ok, those elements are under construction. We’re working on them”, and then you know that someone is taking care of it. Purple isn’t a rigid software, it’s always growing in terms of functions and scope, and that’s its big advantage.
One year on, how would you rate the switch to Purple DS® and the collaboration with Sprylab?
Susanne Rehfeld: Aside from the fact that this is the first year that we’ve worked with the software, we are excited to see how the software will develop and to test it ourselves by working on “GUERICKEmag”. For my part, every technical issue was always solved to our greatest satisfaction and I would be delighted to be allowed to produce the next edition. If that doesn’t end up happening, then I look forward to seeing the results produced by Ms. Richter and her team.
We would like to thank Susanne Rehfeld for sharing her experience in switching from Adobe DPS® to Purple DS®, her collaboration with Sprylab Support, and in working with the Purple DS® Publishing Suite.
This interview concludes our three-part blog series. Our goal with these articles is to show you that, despite the end of Adobe DPS®, you can continue to publish digital projects flexibly and cost efficiently. Simply migrate your Adobe DPS® files to Purple DS®. Our software also allows you to find out more about the needs of your users and to integrate articles from your website into your app by linking your publications to our analytics tools or your content management system. Purple DS®. Expand the reach of your publication by enabling users to read your content on the go.
You’ve got questions about migration and Purple DS® functions? Then please get in touch!