Archive for March, 2010

On designing for the iPad

March 31, 2010

From an interview with Wired creative director Scott Dadich:

The framework of magazine design is predicated on the fact of gluing two pieces of paper together. There’s a conversation that happens between those two—whether it’s text and image, or ad and edit, or image-image. There’s a relationship between those two. When you take that away, when you take away the spine, and you reassemble it under a piece of glass, what you’re left with is a series of panes, or canvases. That fundamentally changes the way graphic design is initiated and implemented.

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Why Graydon Carter thinks print is dying

March 30, 2010

Just read an interesting opinion piece by Graydon Carter titled “Print is dying… really?” What makes it interesting most of all isn’t so much Carter’s analysis – it’s more or less the same “TV didn’t kill radio” analogy paired with “just create great magazines” that we’ve heard many times before – but that he seems to be proving the wrong point.

The piece begins by separating “reading” from “search-and-find” – not a bad thing to do – and goes on to defend people’s continuing desire to read in-depth, well-researched, well-editing stories. But where it fails is in defining what it is, exactly, that makes print magazines the best format to deliver those stories. In fact, Carter even goes so far as to point out (contrary to common wisdom) that long-form journalism is popular on vanityfair.com. And his conclusion?

If print journalism’s business model is changing, our only move as editors is to double down on delivering what our readers have always wanted from us: compelling stories and iconic photographs. And it won’t matter if they’re read on a laptop, a cell phone, or on paper.

So, print isn’t dying… except that lots of people will read magazines on formats other than paper.

Don’t get me wrong – if print magazines are dying at all, I expect them to die a very slow death, and as we in the industry know, it’s more likely to be precipitated by declining advertising revenue than by drops in readership (on average, at least). But if we want print to survive, we need better arguments than this.

So let’s discuss. What really makes magazines unique?

Thoughts on site design from the New York Times

March 29, 2010

I liked this series of videos from bigthink.com featuring an interview with nytimes.com design director Khoi Vinh. Best quote? He says that the hardest part of the job is often “Reminding yourself that what’s obvious to you is not always obvious to the users.”

Storytelling, not ink on paper: Wired’s digital magazine concept

March 4, 2010

Next on Wired week here on my blog: a video outlining the work Adobe and Wired are doing on creating a prototype digital magazine for touch devices. If anyone can do it right, I’m sure it’s Wired.

How Google works

March 1, 2010

Curious about Google’s back end? Check out this great article from Wired, which describes how Google’s search algorithm has developed over the years – and how cool it really is. Take how Google is learning language:

This is the hard-won realization from inside the Google search engine, culled from the data generated by billions of searches: a rock is a rock. It’s also a stone, and it could be a boulder. Spell it “rokc” and it’s still a rock. But put “little” in front of it and it’s the capital of Arkansas. Which is not an ark. Unless Noah is around. “The holy grail of search is to understand what the user wants,” Singhal says. “Then you are not matching words; you are actually trying to match meaning.”

Not as easy as it might seem.