From Pulp to Pixels

In our last issue of 2connect, we reviewed five reasons to take your publication online. Once you make the decision to take your publication online, you need to consider the design, content, and usability of the site. What works in print might not work online. Accept the interactivity of the web environment and design for it—not against it.

1. Design. The design vision should be maintained as you translate the publication from print to web. Hold true to the type, color, and image directions. Resist the temptation to use new colors just because you can. Stay away from all those “shiny new web 2.0 toys” if they are not part of your original design strategy.

2. Content. It is crucial to present content in a manner that is accessible and takes advantage of the digital medium. Since reading onscreen is not the preferred choice for most readers, text should be written succinctly. Multiple images in print should be converted to a slideshow with text captions or a video.

3. Usability. The experience of reading a magazine is well defined. Readers either go through in a sequential manner or flip through the pages, stopping when something catches their interest. Reading online is a very different experience. The sequence of the reading order is determined by the user, not the designer or editor as in a print publication. Clear navigation is crucial to the success of the user experience. The readability of the type and the clarity of the images are also major factors. Sound design principles, whether it’s for print or web, are essential.

Attend the PPA conference in New Orleans to learn more about design strategies for print and web. Creative directors Kelly McMurray and Chris St. Cyr will lead the session titled “Implementing a Design Strategy.”

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