Online publishing platform Issuu is announcing that it has hired Jeremy LaCroix as its head of product design and user experience.
Joe Hyrkin, who became CEO last year, told me LaCroix was particularly suited for the job given his experience with both the digital and traditional publishing worlds. LaCroix’s career includes design/art direction at The Industry Standard and Wired before becoming creative director at CBS Interactive, and then head of UX/design and product for mobile at AOL. (LaCroix left AOL, which owns TechCrunch, in October, and has since done freelance design work for Medium.)
Issuu was actually founded in 2006, before the current wave of mobile and tablet publishing, but unsurprisingly, Hyrkin said its focus has been shifting increasingly to mobile. The company recently updated its Android app, and he said, “We’re not going to be only Android-based for that much longer.”
Other goals include improving publisher monetization — Hyrkin said Issuu already helps publishers make money by allowing them to supplementing their print ads with additional digital content, and by allowing them to link to online stores, but he added, “This year we’re starting to put together what I hope are innovative and very creative advertising opportunities.”
The company says it sees 5 billion page views across 15 million magazines, catalogs, and newspapers each month.
“The common perception is that magazines are in a death spiral,” LaCroix said in the release about his hiring. “I disagree. In fact I’d argue there have never been more publications being produced in human history. The problem today is distribution and Issuu provides a truly unique and compelling method for content to find people.”