Saintel Daily

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App Review: HGTV SHelf & Exclusive interview

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HGTV the channel that has some of the best shows on air now has an incredibly helpful app. The iPad only app called HGTV Shelf is basically a newsstand but for their shows. Currently the app has Closet Cases, Color Guide and Fast Fixes. The last one Fast Fixes is $0.99 and focuses on the outdoors. We did not review Fast Fixes due to our policy of zero tolerance for monetary denotation or gifts from any way web site. I recently had a chance to ask Vikki Neil, senior vice president and general manager, digital, Scripps Networks Interactive some questions about the lovely app.

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Closet Cases is a beautifully designed magazine. Fading and multiple creative ways to from page to page absorbs all your senses. The magazine covers how to create your own dream closet from planning to completion. However it also has setting up closets for kids, solving common closet clutters and so much more. This magazine whitin a hub for magazines could benefit by adding some interactivity for the user. Maybe a way to design your own closet by partnering with Califoria Closets.

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Color Guide on the other hand seems like an afterthought and the behavior of the magazine reflects that. Unlike the Closet Cases magazine the articles in Color lack “color” (pun intended) or any real creativity. Each page is basically a photo and one short paragraph. That said; there is potential for future updates but it is going to take some work to match Closet Cases. The videos which should be featured are well hidden in corners. It feels like a hassle to navigate through the interface of this magazine.

Alright you’ve heard our two cents about the app. Let’s get some answers about the idea, start and future of this app from Vikki Neil, senior vice president and general manager, digital, Scripps Networks Interactive.

Saintel Daily:
Where did the idea for the app come from?

Vikki Neil:
A combination of our users and our editors. Our users expressed an interest in getting some of the great HGTV pictures and articles on their mobile devices and our editors came up with featured content ideas that we knew would work well on the new iPads with the retina display. We have a top class editorial team that is capable of releasing regular publications, this gave us a great way to showcase that work in an innovative and fairly inexpensive way.

Saintel Daily:
How many developers worked on the app?

Vikki Neil:
The app is built with the Adobe Digital Publishing System, there’s no need for actual developers — only multi-talented designers. We had a small team of designers working on this and a design firm. Probably up to ten people touched it, but a much smaller group is focused on delivering the monthly issues.

Saintel Daily:
Will the app be on other platforms?

Vikki Neil:
At this point it is only on iPads due to the nature of the content — high-quality beautiful photos work best on the current generation of iPads. But we may be looking at Android in the near future if the displays lend themselves to this kind of content.

Saintel Daily:
What are the future plans for the app?

Vikki Neil:
We plan on continuing to publish more gorgeous issues every month, as well as a selection of “special editions” that everyone is sure to enjoy. Based on popularity, new topics will be added or previous topics will be expanded.

Saintel Daily:
What sets your app apart from the others out there?

Vikki Neil:
It’s a well curated app around the topics we know our users are passionate about. It also doesn’t hurt that beautiful high-quality photography is used. The app features designs inspired by some of our top HGTV talent and some of the best designers in the country.

Saintel Daily:
What can we expect next from your talented team?

Vikki Neil:
We’re constantly evolving to what our users tell us they want. We’ll begin moving into some utility-centric apps in the future, but you can also expect to be inspired by more HGTVShelf issues. They will be filled with gorgeous photos, great articles, and helpful advice from HGTV delivered monthly — right to your iPad.

Pro: The app is well designed and has a lot of room to become more. Right now the Closet Cases magazine the app features makes it hard not to be entertained and educated.

Con: Being forced to stay in landscape mode rather than having the option for portrait mode does not work for me as a user. There should be a magazine for all the top shows on HGTV.

Cost: $0.00

Aye/Nay: This is a Aye. This program free and worth a look. Closet Cases it’s self could be a stand alone app. $0 is worth it.

iTunes Link: HGTV Shelf

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