Do People Want An Online Magazine That Looks Like A Paper Magazine?

from the embracing-the-wrong-format dept

This isn’t the first time that people have tried to recreate the magazine experience online. For years, people have talked about how magazines work because they “force” people to see the advertising because it’s just there as you flip through, looking for the editorial content. So, here’s an article talking about yet another attempt to mimic the magazine format online. To me, this misses the entire point of being online. Things aren’t linear, and you don’t have to flip page by page. I took a look at the magazine in question, and I saw a big advertisement and didn’t know where to go. So, I clicked somewhere and saw another advertisement and decided that was enough. If the navigation isn’t clear, such that I can easily discover the content I want, then why bother?

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Comments on “Do People Want An Online Magazine That Looks Like A Paper Magazine?”

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Bryan Price says:

Been there, done that, but this was better.

I got a free subscription to PC Magazine for 6 months using their Zinio software. They wanted me to pay to renew it, of which I was so disgusted with it, they really should think about paying the user to use the way overgrown piece of trash software that Adobe created. Of course, they kept sending it to me for another 6 months.

The animations were a total waste of processor time (as if the whole thing wasn’t to begin with…), and turning them off still made my system crawl, of which I thought it was a problem with my system till I found somebody with 4 times the processor that I run, and they had the exact same problem. The full page text wasn’t made clear enough to actually read, although it should have been, so now you’ve got to zoom in and zoom out, which took literally seconds even without the animation. Flipping pages, let alone advertisements, made me feel that they really owed me the time that I was taking to try and read it. I realize that they probably had the software set so that you couldn’t flip pages fast, just to make sure that you “read” the advertisements, but that’s not a model that really makes consumers happy. Something that Mike keeps harping about, and I have to agree with him.

This fmagazine that the article talks about? I might actually pay for a subscription if PC Magazine worked as smoothly as this does. But flipping a page was no more than half a second, and that was spent downloading the content. With Zinio, the content was already on my hard drive, the software just had to junk it up.

It’s an interesting experiment, but I’m not really into the music that fmagazine is reporting on. And while it looks like a magazine, the important content is actually the music that gets played while you’re browsing the pictures, since I didn’t see one real paragraph of text displayed. Which may mean why it was so quick to load.

w.h. (user link) says:

My thoughts...

I blathered on about this on my weblog at one point.

I think researchers are trying to figure out why people still print webpages out and read books and magazines in the paper format.

The way I see it is that people are using books and magazines because they are have a self-explanitory interface, easily available, several times the resolution of a computer screen, and don’t run out of battery, not because they miss the “experience” of paper.

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