Magazines in a Digital Lunchbox: How can Magazines on Tablet Devices like the Apple iPad help evolve Editorial Design and Reader Experience?
Intermediate Examination Paper from the year 2011 in the subject Design (Industry, Graphics, Fashion), grade: 1.3, Berlin Technical University of Art - private university for design, language: English, abstract: Magazines today face unique challenges: Readers have learned that free, high quality content is ubiquitous on the Internet, that design is more than just an appealing layout, that attention spans are dynamic and media choices are overwhelming. The start of the iPad and the tablet device market leads many magazine producers to embrace this technology, from The New Yorker and TIME Magazine to Wired and Vogue. But doubts remain: Here comes another new market of media gadgets to challenge existing print magazine brands. How does it impact the way readers consume media? Will it be a vehicle for existing brands, or will it mostly spawn new ones? Will readers follow up on their online subscriptions when a free digital magazine is just a click away? These challenges need to be addressed, and by highlighting the differences between the iPad and “old media” print magazines, it can be shown that magazine producers can certainly use this technology to their advantages. Bringing an existing magazine brand to the iPad may mean rethinking reader participation and experiences, the creative process and workflow of an editorial team may have to be reshaped, and the editorial design reinvented. Never have readers been more entitled to influence their media mix, but where can media producers draw a line? Apple’s tablet device is unique in that it combines a specific set of features on a particularly restrictive platform, and in its reception by a worldwide audience. It is especially this device that may help magazine producers take the next step in the evolution of Editorial Design and reader experience, through employing rich media contents, enabling users to choose curated contents by desire, and creating an immersive experience of the brand. The first part of this paper compares the iPad with traditional print magazines, especially focusing on the advantages of the new technology and its enabling an immersive experience. It will furthermore discuss Participatory Culture in relationship to tablet devices, as well as aspects of how magazine producers can create a deeper and more authentic reader experience. The gained insights are applied in Bento Magazine which will be highlighted in the last chapter.
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