Fast Company and Adobe: A Case of Collaborating on a Mobile Upgrade

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The Solution

Safian says, "Nick and I talked-and other folks on our team talked-and Adobe had a sense that there was a next generation of digital publishing tool that would be useful to have. ..." But that tool didn't quite exist yet. So Bogaty says the Adobe team "did a custom development project" with Fast Company, during which Adobe was able to gather a lot of information about what its new digital publishing solution was going to need to be capable of.

According to Bogaty, the goal was to give customers a way to bring content in from multiple sources, including print and the web, and give them a tool to organize and publish that content to a variety of a platforms. It was also imperative that the resulting apps were dynamic and able to be seamlessly updated with new content without any extra effort from the user.

Ivan Mironchuk, solutions account manager in North America for the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, says that asFast Company and Adobe collaborated on creating the new mobile app, Fast Company "gave us so many fantastic ideas ... like how to create deep customer engagement." Mironchuk says it also became very clear that this new solution was going to have to integrate with existing CMSs in order to provide the dynamic experience that magazines needed to create these more up-to-date applications.

The Outcome

The Fast Company app debuted in February 2015 on iOS devices, after about a year of talks and collaboration with Adobe. At the time, Safian wrote the aforementioned blog post about the experience and resulting app. He wrote, "The process has helped us hone our understanding of mobile usage practices and mobile design tools. ... This new Fast Company app integrates our monthly magazine content with real-time feeds from our web properties plus adds a new editorial layer: an ‘our picks' channel, selected by the editors."

"When you launch the app, you are brought into a section that is curated every day by Fast Company editors-and it gives you five essential articles every day presented to you in this nice kind of layout; that's the ‘our picks' section," says Bogaty.

"The goal ... is to expand and have a more robust experience with both the print content and what we are creating digitally in an integrated format," explains Safian. "To get the level of downloads that we have gotten in the first weeks has been very gratifying, and the start is really good, but we have to see how it plays over time."

A survey of the app's beta users yielded positive results. In fact, 80% say they would rather have frequent content updates as opposed to the "digital magazine experience," according to Fast Company. In addition, 75% of those surveyed say they are "very likely" to tell a friend to check out the Fast Company app.

While Fast Company's app seemed to be a hit with customers, Adobe still had its own new product to launch. In July 2015, it introduced Digital Publishing Solution (not to be confused with Digital Publishing Suite). The solution aims to allow editors to create engaging experiences without coding experience and offers flexible ways to publish-with app marketing tools and services included. Adobe is already planning on updating Digital Publishing Solution about every 3 weeks, to add features such as user-generated content collection, content discovery, and search.

As for the collaboration as a whole, Safian says that the Fast Company relationship with Adobe has been so successful that he sees it continuing into the future for sure.   

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