Most experts are not actually convinced that magazines will be around for much longer. Print journalism might have millions of truly dedicated fans right now, but sooner or later this will probably not be the case. Particularly as the younger generation continues to shun any kind of printed media left, right and centre.
But what is interesting is the way in which despite the fact that magazines are fading away, they continue to teach the web design world a variety of important lessons. In fact, the term “magazine UX” is still in use and followed by many of the leading web designers all around the world.
Websites and magazines have a lot in common. The importance of appealing presentation, of the desire to make sure that each page is fully read, making sure that ads are not intrusive and naturally making the reader want to access/buy the next issue.
So while magazines might seem a bit like a lost cause as far as the future is concerned, here is a look at just a few important lessons magazines continues to reach the modern web designer:
Firstly, unbroken text is not a good thing…period. As too are pages with boring and dull backgrounds. For the best impact, pictures have to be used both strategically and generously. Next time you look at the way pictures are used in a magazine, try to imagine how this could be translated to the web.
It is difficult to explain why captions are still so underrated and underused in web design. For the most part, pictures are there to communicate a certain message and illustrate whatever it is you want to talk about. The reader/user could be left to make their mind up, or you could use a caption to communicate something about the picture yourself. Something valuable, something funny, something insightful or something bizarre. Captions are able to show that you have not simply thrown any image in there – you have chosen an image that means something.
Quality magazines design has always been about strict rules when it comes to hierarchy. For instance, a large and bold headline followed by a large picture. After this, a sub-headline which can stand out from the introduction, leading into the body of the piece. This is the way quality magazines have always been designed and is still the way quality websites are designed.
4. Pull quotes
When a quote is pulled from the text and positioned prominently on a page, it is usually the first thing you tend to look ar. And in doing so, you find yourself compelled to read the rest of the text and understand it in context. This is a trick which could be hugely effective in web design – especially of the quote is singing the praises of whatever it is you sell or do.
5. Bullet points
Last up, and at the risk of being repetitive, the value of strategic bullet point lists can’t be overstated. Along with helping to break large passages of text, bullet points can improve readability and let the reader know what the main points of content are. Again, used in magazine design by generations – likely to continue being an important web design element indefinitely.