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Dual orientation PDFs in single orientation apps

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Benn Storey

Hello Twixl team!

Request outline:

PDF content items uploaded to a single orientation app can be viewed in both portrait and landscape on device rotation, and that this behaviour can be controlled at a content creation level (i.e. when the PDF content item is created a checkbox is available to 'allow dual orientation'). Ideally, there would also be an optional 'view as spreads'  option that would allow user to dictate if pages are viewed as singles or spreads and where the spread starts (for example, pg 1 of a book would view as a single in landscape so spreads would start on pg 2-3). This would be to allow better UX of magazine type PDF content.

Use cases:

We have had the following real-world asks from multiple clients (case 1 has cropped up a couple of times with different clients using portrait-only apps)

  1. App format: Portrait only 
    Why not dual orientation app: Lack of HTML code knowledge on staff makes responsive HTML workflow currently impractical.
    Client background: Retail supplier – app used to distribute product information, style guides, gather store information via embedded form, present to store staff during training and briefing on store styling and product placement, used by store employees as a reference guide.
    Request: Client content is primarily individual portrait product catalog sheets that are formatted in portrait to allow easy printing and binding when the pdfs are distributed outside of the app to shop locations. In addition and InDesign workflow is used to create interactive content  for better product literacy (pinch and zoom images/detail view etc). Responsive HTML workflow not possible due to lack of staff with HTML coding knowledge that would allow them to quickly create sales materials on demand given companies high product volume and speed of turn around.

    Client also uses app as a presentation tool. These presentations are formatted in landscape to follow industry standard presentation style. Client currently has to upload a pdf copy of the presentation to device outside of Twixl app in order to view in landscape and present.

    In addition, client uses a third party wireless presentation connector which only works when the device is in landscape orientation. This means when a PDF is locked in portrait, and the device rotated to landscape, the presentation is projected on its side. 

  2. App format: Landscape only 
    Why not dual orientation app: Lack of HTML code knowledge on staff makes responsive HTML workflow currently impractical. Type of product offered demands 'luxury' feel which client can satisfy easily with InDesign but would be very hard or expensive for them to achieve the same in HTML. 
    Client background: Bespoke artwork /Luxury item creator – app used as sales/marketing/portfolio tool where primary content is InDesign based designed in landscape to best showcase product portraiture. Responsive HTML workflow not possible due to lack of staff with HTML coding knowledge that would allow them to quickly create sales materials on demand and still give the luxury feel the brand demands. 
    Request: Clint would also like to include additional PDF collateral showcasing existing products which is created primarily for print and follows a non-standard portrait layout. These portrait PDF "books" require a large amount of pinch and zooming to allow text legibility making for a bad UX.

  3. App format: Portrait only 
    Why not dual orientation app: Client prefers using device in portrait (as do we :) and believes majority of users follow suit.
    Client background: Travel company – app used as sales/marketing tool. Primary content is responsive HTML from API publish and Content Sources RSS feed but client prefers portrait only app (as do I as it allows greater control over browse page image crops, spacing etc. as well as a generally more comfortable/natural way to handle a mobile device)  
    Request: Client would like to include complex itinerary map PDFs showcasing tours on offer. These are designed in InDesign and updated regularly making an html option non-viable due to lack of html code skills on staff. The nature of the maps make them best suited to landscape format. 

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