Teaching Examples

Esquire online: Yawn
February 22, 2007, 9:48 pm
Filed under: magazines, online

From Ad Age, Feb. 21:

Esquire today became the first of Hearst Magazines’ big books to receive a much-needed web facelift, adding larger photos, easier navigation, an improved search engine and, of course, new online-only content.

I don’t know what it looked like before, but this is pretty boring. The design is clean enough, but heck, even the so-called Web exclusives are just text.

Does anyone know of a really good online rendition of a print magazine, other than Seed? Yeah, NatGeo is good, but very incomplete.

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Beauty and function in design: Orange & Blue
January 20, 2007, 7:54 pm
Filed under: design, magazines, usability

It’s always nice to see a student grow into a thoughtful designer. Our doctoral student Dave Stanton has done just that. Check out his fall 2006 design of the student magazine, Orange & Blue. Ted Spiker’s undergrad magazine class puts out a print version and then hands off the content to JOU 4946, one of our four undergrad online journalism classes, for which Dave acts as managing editor and my colleague David Carlson acts as publisher. (I have nothing to do with this class!)

If you want to see an awesome use of Ajax, check out the photo gallery on this story about Kappy’s Submarine Shop. Dave adapted the Lightbox script by Lokesh Dhakar to make this work.

Even better — see the same effect used with a SWF — launching a Soundslides about kosher sushi (the brainchild of Gainesville’s resident Lubavitch rabbi).

The magazine also includes one audio interview (with our local food critic), using a neat little Flash player embedded on the page (4 min. 3 sec.).

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Clean and clear design
January 19, 2007, 1:51 pm
Filed under: design, magazines, usability

I was impressed by the ease-of-use at Theme magazine (“a quarterly publication that covers global avant-garde Asian culture for an international readership”). There’s no video or audio, but it’s very graphical — lots of photos. That’s not to say it’s slathered with images — it is not. There’s also lots of text. The only use of Flash I found was on the home page.

The classy appearance and fast loading of each page appeals to me very much. The navigation scheme is completely clear, and within the site, you can always see where you are.

They have a few contributor blogs, but no reader interaction. Shame.

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