Large or Small?

We had some interesting feedback from a new subscriber the other day:

This is my first adventure into a web magazine, and I am amazed at the size I can get by zooming into a page, showing the images so clearly that you can almost see the structure of the cloth. I am sure that in the months ahead, I am going to enjoy having a subscription magazine on line.

“The structure of the cloth” suggests that this subscriber was commenting on Selvedge which does have some wonderful fabrics in its pages:

When you really want to study a cloth closely, a very large image (that may require a good deal of scrolling) is not going to be a problem. In fact the Selvedge images are not so large, but I can see what our subscriber means by enjoying the structure of the cloth.

These thoughts were neatly counterbalanced with some testing I did with the Apple iTouch earlier in the week. Apple’s London store had run out of them but I was able to spend half an hour playing around with one of the demo models and confirmed that its a perfectly feasible way of reading our magazines. To read the text you need to use the built in ‘magnification’ system on the iTouch’s version of Safari, but, in spite of their small scale, the screens are amazingly sharp and bright; the devices are very compelling. I can see reading/browsing magazines on the iTouch or the iPhone will become addictive. I reckon that we are inevitably going to look for bigger and better screens and smaller and more portable devices. The question of the appropriate scale for viewing a web page remains moot. More, in all dimensions is the way things will work. Nano and Peta together, please!