Designing the Magazine Experience

Project Description

Mobile devices have revolutionized the publishing industry in many ways. They improve flexibility and  timeliness of content, reach a broader audience more quickly and allow users to interact with content in new ways.  In addition, recent economic times have revealed that clients are more willing to invest in permanent, sustainable interactive experiences than disposable print ones. This does not mean that print will going away. In reality, today’s designer needs to embrace both and constantly innovate ways to create consistent user experiences between the printed page and the screens of various digital devices.

In this project, you’ll concept your own magazine and create a fluid design for mobile devices. Your deliverables include not only layout design, but also other responsibilities of a designer during the many phases of the interactive design process. This includes competitive research, illustration of ideas through images, mapping out navigation of content, mocking up interactivity for digital devices and even testing your design on users. The outcome of this project is not a working app, rather we will discover ways to realistically mockup your designs to look good in print and digital portfolios.

Because designing a magazine is a huge task and our timeline for the project is very quick, you will design only a sampling of content screen views during this project. Still, in order to complete all the deliverables we will need to stick to a tight schedule and utilize all of our class time available.


Illustrating Ideas
Develop a set of cover images which communicate key themes of feature articles via either photography or illustration.

Layout and Information Hierarchy
Use advanced grid structures and effective hierarchy of information to organize large amounts of copy and content.

Designer as Secondary Author
Examine the role of designer as author by reorganizing content in an appropriate manner to prioritize the reader’s learnings.

Mapping Interactive Content
Create basic infographics that map out content connections and navigation in an interactive environment.

Developing Typographic Standards for the Screen
Choose typeface pairings and develop detailed typographic guidelines that increase readability and legibility in mobile environments.

Creating Interactive Mockups
Experiment with new features in InDesign CS6 to mockup interactivity in an app.

Fluid Design and Alternate Layouts
Use powerful new tools in InDesign to set fluid design rules between different screen orientations and sizes.

Interactive Usability Testing
Conduct user testing in order to receive feedback on app navigation and guide layout revisions.

Presenting Interactive Concepts in a Portfolio
Investigate creative ways of faking interactive mockups in order to show your app design in a portfolio.


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