Fun fact: 91% of U.S. adults read magazines. There’s something special about magazines as a content format. They’re visual, easy to consume, and low-commitment. You can spend 20 minutes flipping through an issue in a waiting room, or lounge on your couch for a couple of hours reading articles. Either way, a magazine provides a valuable, entertaining experience for the reader.
Print magazine publishers have been somewhat reluctant to shepherd their content into the digital world. However, with the widespread adoption of ereaders and tablets, pretty much every major magazine now has an online version. The majority of these are the equivalent of PDFs hosted on a webpage or within an app. Some publishers, however, have used the transition from print to digital to reimagine what magazines could be without the limitations of trim sizes and folios. The result is what we’ve come to call interactive magazines.
If you’re a designer or content creator, interactive magazines should be making you jump up and down with excitement! This new format unchains you from so many of the restrictions you faced in print. It also circumvents many of the problems that occur when you stick a print piece of content online (particularly on a mobile device).
While interactive magazines are still relatively new, there are some best practices you can follow when it comes to designing them. At Ceros, we work with a variety of digital publishers who are creating some amazing editorial content, and we’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t.
To help you get started with interactive magazine design, we created a brief interactive how-to outlining some best practices when it comes to interactive magazine design. You can explore the piece by clicking the plusses in the Experience below.
We also wanted to share some inspiration with you from 3 interactive magazines that are totally killing it in terms of design and content. Read on to see them up close and personal!
Interactive sports magazine
What We Love
Tennis Tuesday is a publication that really brings sports front and center. Between their use of multimedia content, timely event news, and insightful editorial coverage of players and matches, they’re absolutely owning the tennis world with their interactive magazines.
A few specific things we love about Tennis Tuesday:
Dynamic How-To Content
Their how-to content comes to life with both videos and interactive step-throughs of certain techniques, which will help you master your tennis game in no time.
Their simple navigation menu makes it easy for readers to jump right to the sections that interest them.
User-Generated Content (UGC)
They also show their playful side by integrating real-time news and user generated content from actual athletes in their Weekly Spin section. We’re totally digging Eugenie Bouchard’s mermaid tail.
Food and lifestyle magazine
What We Love
Crush really gets content development for the digital world. They’ve taken the best parts about magazines—the features, photos, quotes, and other great editorial content—and reimagined it for an online viewing experience.
Here are just a few of the things that make us crush hard on this magazine.
Effective On-Screen Navigation
Their navigational elements are super clear—they make it easy to access the main table of contents, but they also provide helpful on-page cues like this one.
Beautiful Image and Text Pairings
In their recipes make really good use of graphics and text pairing. Rather than forcing you to scroll down a long page as you cook, they bring the second half of the recipe text up with a single click. This helps the spread stay condensed without sacrificing any necessary content.
Even their advertising is fun and interactive—just look at this piece they did for Miele.
Interactive automotive magazine
What We Love
You wouldn’t necessarily think that an automotive brand like Peugeot would be producing great digital publications, but they totally are. Their quarterly magazine, e-motion, educates customers about the latest Peugeot models, but also entertains readers with other car news and editorial content.
A few things we really appreciate about e-motion include:
Diverse Editorial Content
Yes, a lot of their coverage is automotive, and they do plug their own cars here and there. But each issue also features a wide array of general interest content. For example, in their Spring 2015 magazine, they ran a really cool piece on organic engineering and its impact on art and design.
Peugeot’s slideshows aren’t just images. They also contain rich video content and accompanying text to help viewers get the most out of each “slide”.
Clear Social Sharing Menus
To help drive more traffic to their content, they have a persistent social share menu as part of their top nav.
They also include clear links to follow celebrities as part of their interactive interviews.
The Bottom Line
Magazines have always been a popular content format. With the power of interactive technology at your fingertips, you too can create highly engaging magazines for your digital audience.