Cameron's Favorite Project

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My favorite Paper Plane project so far has to have been the work we did for a large luxury automobile manufacturer, work that required a unique solution given the various requirements. The company’s vehicles for the upcoming year were getting a major “infotainment center” overhaul and the company needed a cost effective/scalable way to train their dealership staff. Insert our ebook solution here.

The client’s must-haves:

  • Mobile friendly
  • Adobe PDF
  • Interactive
  • Easily distributed (avoid long load time)

The client’s nice-to-haves:

  • Videos to play within the ebook
  • Viewable on different devices (especially iPad)

At Paper Plane we always strive to exceed our client’s expectations. In this particular case, though, one of the client’s must-haves conflicted with one of their nice-to-haves. Videos are most commonly embedded in a PDF in Flash format (other formats can be embedded but they all negatively affect PDF load times). However, iPads do not play Flash videos. The standard protocol to ensure videos within PDFs are viewable by all devices is to link out to videos hosted on YouTube, Vimeo, etc. Linking out to hosted videos does not meet our client’s expectation of the videos playing within their ebook. Rock and a hard place.

So… we were limited to a specific tool but the standard features would not work. What to do? Through some research and brainstorming as we like to do at Paper Plane, we found and decided on the InDesign Publish Online feature. This now standard Adobe InDesign feature allows users to publish their project to Adobe’s web servers so the project can be viewed/distributed via an URL. The published document looks like an ebook but has the behaviors of a website including videos playing within the page and automatically adapting to the viewing device. Additionally, the Publish Online feature includes an analytics tool that tracks views, read-time, etc.

Our client loved that not only did we meet their must-haves and nice-to-haves, but we provided them with the capability to track views, average read time, type of device used, etc. for the ebook. We also learned something new.  A win-win.

If you need a solution to your unique training challenge, let’s chat.