Design & UI

Wanted: Your opinions on flip-able pages

A screenhot of the exampleI’m really interested in getting your developer/designer opinions on this type of Flash interface.

The concept of on-line publications with flip-able pages has been around for quite a few years now but has never really taken off. Why? I know my view on the subject but am very curious to know what others think of the concept.

  • Do you enjoy using publications presented this way or would you prefer to view a standard web page/PDF document instead?
  • Although the text is a little too small in my own basic example, do you think that you would take the time to read a document/magazine presented this way?
  • Might the technology be better suited towards certain types of publications, e.g. photography based, “coffee table” books?
  • Would the page ‘flipping’ begin to annoy you after a few clicks?

Further examples of this concept in use can be viewed at:

As always, any opinions/observations/views are much appreciated.

2 replies on “Wanted: Your opinions on flip-able pages”

I’d just like to say a big thank you to everyone who replied to my original email (before I duplicated the content here) and gave me their opinions.

Just to summarise a few of the responses I received:

  • “I personally don’t like these as they’re soo gimmicky. If they include page/chapter links and give you the option to turn all the effects off then that’s a little better. The only potential I can see is for print demonstration and proofing: i.e. a printer or publisher could use something like this to give their client a good idea of what their printed material will look like, and perhaps enable simple amendments to be made there and then, before anything goes to press.”
  • “I agree… [with the comment above] – trying to make the web work like print is a step backwards, page turning is only a good experience if you can feel the quality of the paper!”
  • “On the plus side – it’s swish and very arty – great for work like that. On the negative side – big file – you have to download all the pages before you can view it (not unlike PDF) and the resolution appears less than normal. For on-line brochures it’s great – but if it was for example tech specs for a manufacturing company I probably wouldn’t use it – there’s definitely a market for it though.”
  • “I did something slightly more basic, but it got a good reception at the time.”
  • “Those pages look flipping clever! But you are right I’d flipping annoyed by about page four. They could be nice for children’s story telling or aimed at a very broad public if the concept fitted with the bigger message or fine art types but not a techno-audience.”

I pretty much agree with what has already been said. I think things like this are ok when used in the right situation. If it were an on-screen representation of a print document then it could work well. If it is an on-screen representation of the content from within than document then it probably wouldn’t be suitable; there are, of course, better ways to convey information on screen.

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