WoodWing´s HTML5 tool Inception drives the evolution of TopGear

Top Gear ()

TopGear is a world-famous TV show about the passion for cars. The TV program is also available as a print magazine, as well as on tablets and smartphones. TopGear has launched a new app for Apple iOS devices using the most advanced digital publishing technology – the new Adobe Digital Publishing Solution and WoodWing´s cloud-based HTML 5 authoring tool Inception. The new tooling enables the combination of a pixel-perfect monthly digital magazine created in InDesign and dynamically updated news content in HTML. The stunning app was created by The App Lab, one of WoodWing´s partners, in cooperation with WoodWing Digital Services.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) launched the popular television series about cars and other motor vehicles in 1977. Known for its humorous style, the series broadcasts exciting news about cars, along with road tests of cars from around the world and features “The Stig,” an anonymous test driver played by numerous famous racing drivers over the years. TopGear, which is the most widely watched “factual” television show in the world, has offshoots in the United States, Australia, Russia and Korea.

The App Lab, a London-based digital strategy and product development consultancy focused on tablet and mobile publishing, produced the TopGear app. Featuring articles by the best automotive writers in the business, illustrated with high-resolution videos and images, the app puts readers firmly behind the wheel of the most exciting cars money can buy. In addition, it includes reader interaction, bonus content and much more.

Launched new app using new Adobe DPS 2015 and WoodWing Inception

Working with TopGear, The App Lab evolved the design and structure of the app based on the latest digital publishing technologies. “The Adobe Digital Publishing Solution and WoodWing Inception were the catalysts for the evolution of TopGear,” says Craig Llewelyn-Williams, managing director for The App Lab. “We now have a much higher degree of flexibility and can significantly increase production efficiency of dynamic content, as well as the timeliness and reach of the contents of the app. Key features for this great step forward included the article-based approach along with the ability to create complete editions as collections of articles.”

The team runs a dual workflow. The pixel-perfect content of the monthly magazine is created with InDesign, while the dynamically updated content employs WoodWing Inception. “We had concerns about introducing an additional workflow but the efficiency and ease-of-use of Inception makes this feasible,“ Llewelyn-Williams explains. Inception is currently used exclusively for the news section, but the team is already considering using the HTML5 authoring tool to create articles for other sections, too.

“The introduction of the HTML5 workflow gives us the opportunity to increase the customer engagement by allowing us to publish more frequently,” adds Simon Carrington, Publishing Director at TopGear.

Close cooperation with WoodWing Digital Services

The App Lab worked closely with the TopGear editorial and creative teams to develop the app’s user experience. Based on these designs, WoodWing Digital Services then developed the technically robust HTML5 templates for use in Inception. “The cooperation with WoodWing Digital Services was crucial in order to meet the tight deadline,” Llewelyn-Williams adds. “We were able to focus on our core competencies and have been relieved of the purely technical workload.”

“With our comprehensive portfolio of consultancy and production services, we help brands and media reduce time to market, increase flexibility, gain control over resource costs and adopt the latest technologies at a very early stage,” says John Fong, managing director of WoodWing Digital Services. “The cooperation with The App Lab is a shining example of how we can help our customers get things done.”

Qantas and The National Theatre also create apps with Inception

“Inception is a one-stop solution to creating beautiful, responsive content for all digital channels in a highly efficient way,” says Jeroen Sonnemans, managing director of WoodWing Europe. “The great interest in the application that we introduced at the end of June shows that publishers and brands have been waiting a long time for such a solution. And real productions, including the apps of TopGear, Qantas and The National Theatre, demonstrate that the benefits of Inception are not a hollow promise.” 

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