New technology launches on Maui are exciting, and the development of the iPhone and iPad app Hitched on Maui is no exception. Scott Johnson of Dogtown Design (a former MauiTime art director), and Sean M. Hower of Hower Photos (who currently takes photos for MauiTime) decided to create a resource guide for weddings on Maui like no other.
Looking it over, one of the first things that struck me was how much information they packed into their download. There are travel tips, honeymoon guides, information on where to get wedding garments, catering, locations, invitations and more. Whether you’re planning a big destination wedding or an intimate vow renewal, Hitched on Maui has a plethora of ideas and contacts for you.
MauiTime caught up with publisher Scott Johnson to find out more behind the making of Maui’s newest nuptial app.
MAUITIME: How difficult was it to put this issue together?
SCOTT JOHNSON: The first issue was very difficult to put together, as this was a new business we created and getting a sales person and the writers together was difficult. We were basically a small crew taking on several roles. A lot of great people within the wedding community stepped up as contributors in their area of expertise and really helped round out the format of Hitched (from wedding coordinators, to photographers, to travel and accommodation specialists, to Teri Edmonds who knows more about shoes then anyone on the planet).
I’ve been designing magazines for 18 years, and I watched this industry drastically change about three years ago. For me this new world of magazine design is so fun–to watch a page come alive and talk or interact with you is so gratifying. Print and web cannot do what apps can, and it keeps evolving. The app build on the other hand was very stressful, but fortunately I have a good friend who’s a specialist in this area. Michelle Halcomb really helped with the initial build all the way from Amsterdam. She helped so much we recently hired her and now Michelle is helping us take this to another level.
The best part about this is working with my best friends and watching this small family grow with passionate people. And also knowing that we aren’t destroying forests. Most of the paper used for all these glossy visitor magazines is a toxic paper bi-product that just ends up in our landfill.
MT: Tell me about this format. It’s filled with little extras that pop out and beautiful art design features that make it gorgeous to look at.
SJ: This format is created with Adobe digital publishing software. Martha Stewart, Adobe and Apple created this because Martha Stewart was seeing the future of publishing transition into a digital marketplace. Conde Nast soon following with all of their magazines. We can now make a magazine come alive and interact with you–it’s like the Harry Potter newspaper. Also, more and more readers are now reading on their mobile devices. The functionality on the phones is the same as the tablets, which is really fun on such a small screen. It’s highly immersive, video and audio are amazing on it, the retina screens are adding amazing visuals. Being app-based, it’s offline, meaning there’s no need for the Internet and you can take it anywhere.
These features are very important to our readers. Future brides want to see the details, hear advice and have immediate interaction with what they’re viewing. Hitched is not a PDF flip book, which is what you mainly find in the app newsstand or Issuu.com. Another cool thing is the social media interaction with everything in the app. Hitched on Maui has social sharing on every page, which is very important to brides.
MT: What’s in store for the next Hitched?
SJ: The next issue, which launches this month, will be different because we will now be on all devices. Getting into the large Android market and the smart phone market is very important. We also have added a lot of video content. Sean and I film and Michelle edits, so we’re adding little movies and brand films to the next issue. When has someone ever been able to advertise for a videography company in a magazine. Ads can become short commercials. Also, look out for Hitched on Oahu in the near future!
MT: What’s the philosophy behind Hitched on Maui?
SJ: We are a vehicle to take Maui’s wedding industry and stories to a global market, where tablets and mobile devices are growing by the millions. Also, we dedicate every issue of Hitched to our good buddy Rodger Shortell. He was a big part of what we were doing and we miss him very much.
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