Not sure how much this influenced by some bias. I tend to think if you want something to be a publication for portability in print or digital format then it should be a PDF, and if it should be interactive then it probably should be a page/site. I can find out more if you’d like but here’s some preliminary points:
When considering the if a university should use of Issuu it’s probably worth considering it relation to other similar services, such as YouTube and Flickr.
If you were discussing site-wide implementation consider the following:
Does the university use YouTube as the main method of delivering videos? No.
Flickr for photos? No.
- May be more accessible than PDFs alone
When viewing the link (not the embed) there is a plain text version of content. However, the barriers in place to get to the accessible content probably negate the value of this.
- Looks pretty
- Enables social media sharing of PDFs
Is La Trobe likely to have the kind of PDFs that would be useful to share online? Unlikely.
- Does not currently work on iOS devices
- Relies on 3rd party sites(issuu.com)
- Flash media– typically not very accessible
- Extra features available (such as search, plain text alternatives) are obfuscated by embedding
- Text still has to be made simplified and ready for Issuu
i.e.: Not any ol’ PDF will work.
- Large file size increases the size of pages (even if publication ISN’T viewed)
The example below caused 240kb of embed data before it even loaded content.
Issuu does some interesting things from an accessibility perspective – it disassembles the content of a document and makes it available as plain text (provided the content isn’t too complex).
It may be useful to have Issuu extend the main content delivery for publications suited to sharing via social media (brochures, etc.) but is unlikely to be useful for regular or site-wide publications. I would recommend linking to the document on Issue, rather than embedding. This allows for easier access to the social media, search and accessibility options that are otherwise obscured by an embed.
e.g.: http://issuu.com/link2uni/docs/latrobe_ug_guide/1as opposed to the embed code.
Will it resolve accessibility issues relating to PDFs?Highly unlikely.
Any thoughts from users?