Single story layout - efficient format for digital magazine publishing on tablet devices



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TÜ Viljandi Kultuuriakadeemia


The aim of this thesis is to define digital magazine format characteristics and examine its influence on the reading experience. The motivation behind was to examine the viability of single story magazine concept -- publishing format for the mobile generation. The field of research is digital publishing, focused primarily on magazines for tablet computers. Print magazine businesses and entrepreneurs with web publishing background both are approaching the new medium by experimenting with format, contents and distribution. The standards for the digital magazine formats have not yet been established, and the definition of digital magazine implies meanings within broad categories. The study reviews print and digital magazine workflows analyzing variations of mutual integrations. Theoretical chapters also include revision of digital magazine format components and overview of authoring tools. Practical experiment was conducted to reveal usability problems in digital magazine formats. Two existing magazines are tested, digital version of traditional magazine and single story magazine representing unbundled publication. Mixed methods were chosen for usability testing – heuristic analysis, observation and evaluation questionnaire. It was found that digital magazine readers prefer smaller volumes of content in comparison to print legacy formats. Research reveals that readers are not accustomed to magazine reading on tablets. Study also offers suggestions for improved usability and more satisfying reading experience concluding that single story magazines is a viable opportunity in digital magazine landscape, worth further investigation.