June 21st 2011
Gina Manns joined the Oomph crew on the 13th June. We caught up with her to get some early insights what it’s really like to learn and use Oomph, our tablet publishing platform. Gina’s background is in book publishing design with little digital design experience.
Welcome to Oomph Gina, how was your first week in the world of digital publishing and tablets?
My first week has been great, thanks. I’ve really enjoyed learning how the Oomph platform works. I was surprised at how quickly I seemed to pick it up, having had not very much previous digital experience.
I had never really used an iPad before starting here and I was amazed when on my first day I was given one as an essential business tool. So I decided as my first task I needed to download Angry Birds (obviously an essential app for any designer). My husband has now banned me from using it as apparently it makes me an ‘Angry Bird’. Little does he know I sneak on it when he is not around.
I have been amazed at all the really cool apps that they have out there. My whole life is much more organised now and I don’t have any excuse for missing the Ferry.
You’re one of our new in-house designers at Oomph, where have you worked previously?
I worked for Penguin, London for 3 years where I was a book designer. The main programmes we used there were In-design and Photoshop. I then moved to Australia where I worked for Walker Books as a Children’s book designer. In my publishing career, I have worked across a range of Licensing, Fiction, and Illustrated titles. We never really came across digital in our day to day work and I was becoming increasingly interested in it, so was very excited when I got the job here at Mogeneration.
What has been your experience in learning to use Oomph?
The main thing that I was surprised with was how quickly I picked it up. I thought it would be really complicated but I found it to be a very simple program to use. Basically its all just about renaming your files and creating PDF’s. It’s such a clever, smart design and I was amazed at how such great effects could be created in such a simple way. I was so pleased when I made my first ‘In Page Slideshow’ on my first day!
Coming from a background in book publishing, what do you think are some of the key benefits for traditional publishers in using Oomph?
I think one of the main benefits of Oomph is that no digital experience is needed for the designer to use it. The app is all created using In-design and a little of Photoshop mainly (tho plenty of other files can be integrated as desired!). I also think this is handy as the in-house designers at publishing houses will know their brands inside out, so it’s great that they can be the ones who will create the app and you wont need to pass it onto a digital designer. Therefore the continuity of your book/magazine remains and its not hard for traditional designers to up-skill in to the new world.
Over 1m tablets will be sold in Australia this year with forecasts for amazing growth in this market in the next few years. We are seeing that over 70% of iPad users, use their iPad for reading – what do you think the impact of this technology might be on the publishing industry?
I thinks it’s great that publishing is being taken forward in this way. With apps it allows you to explore all kinds of media that aren’t available with print. It really makes reading an all round sensory experience.
Clearly the market is growing at a really fast rate, so there is no doubt that users have an appetite for this type of content. This suggests two things for publishers – one, the market will be receptive to digital content that a magazine/book puts out, and two – if you don’t do it, everyone else will and where does that leave you? Maybe it’s time for everyone to give it a go and see where it takes you.
Thanks for your time and insights Gina, we’re excited about having you on board!