eBook Design: Portrait versus Landscape

eBooks are a great way to deliver content to audiences. eBook design makes good use of imagery, allowing users to follow a story. One of the most important considerations in eBook design is layout. The first decision in layout is portrait versus landscape.

Portrait eBook Design

Portrait has been the traditional layout for most pieces of content. This traces back to before thoughts of mobile friendliness. People downloaded content mainly on their desk top. A PDF screen would pop up, and readers could easily scroll.

However, that’s not exactly how users interact with content anymore. There’s nothing “wrong” about portrait design. Some would say it’s logical and allows for top down consumption of information. If you choose a portrait design, using columns of text may be confusing, stay with one column. For imagery, don’t opt for photos on the left and text on right. Keep images either on the top or bottom.

Landscape eBook Design

Now, we swipe; we don’t scroll. That’s the number one reason to design in landscape format. For anyone viewing the eBook on a mobile device, a landscape layout will improve the user experience. Landscape design also allows for using an entire image as a background. These types of pages with a light background image and darker text look fresh and allows the text to pop.

Even users on a desktop will have a better experience. Monitor and laptop screens are landscape. The user doesn’t have to adjust to see the entire page as they do with portrait. The can simply click to the next page with no scrolling.

A landscape design also looks better when featured on a landing page or resource page. Having the cover of the eBook displayed like a book gives the user a preview and is a great way to drive conversion to download the content.

eBooks are a creative way to package content. You can create themes, which make them more interesting and therefore memorable. Design can impact a million different things in attracting users to your content. Take every advantage you can to optimize conversions and get people reading and of course sharing.