Usability and user experience applied to design of digital magazines
Usability is an essential parameter when designing digital magazines. A digital publication brings us the opportunity to use a large amount of multimedia resources such as images, sounds or videos. Although, we must use it properly. If a publication is full of graphic elements, the quality of the content will not improve but decrease it.
Multimedia resources used have to favour user experience. The proverb “less is more” is sometimes the best option. All the elements that we provide to our publication should have a clear objective: to reinforce the ideas that we want to transmit, to promote an effective interface, easy to use and to memorize, and to create an attractive image for the reader.
There are many issues that we must keep in mind while planning a digital publication. This is why we propose a series of aspects that you can’t forget when designing a digital magazine.
7 designing keys digital magazines
A publication should avoid the saturation and meaningless placement of the elements because it could get readers confused. Our resources must support, help and guide.
We should facilitate users to find the information they want to consume. For this reason, information must be organized in a logical, hierarchical or thematic way.
The actions that users make within a publication must follow the same pattern so that the same actions generate the same results. For example, in an interactive publication we can’t afford to get users confused by setting different actions to consume the same content.
The publication must be optimized for the most used browsers and platforms. It is also advisable to provide users the option to return to the starting point and the home page. Nor can we forget to provide the document in several formats such as PDF, DOC or TXT. This way, users can consume it in the way that is most comfortable for them.
Here we are talking about the similarity between the different sections of the publication. The main page is the only one that can present variations regarding the distribution of the elements; In all other sections, the text and graphic representation should have the same functionalities and organization.
There is nothing better for the user experience than an easy navigation. If users are able to effortless navigate without thinking and automatically lives a great experience. In fact, publications that favours actions instinctively executed increase users’ safety and comfort.
Graphics, colours and, in short, all the elements used, should be aligned with the content of the publication. It is the way to transmit to the user a clear idea of publication, and not a totality formed by independent and disconnected parts.
The best exercise we can do as designers of digital publications is to think like our users do. This way, we will be able to detect in advance the problems that may arise or the aspects that can be improved in order to solve them before final users has a bad experience.
Design of digital magazines always involves unforeseen events or certain circumstances that appear with the pass of time. Technological resources advance, media evolve, and society adapts to these changes. A plugin for design is be the best ally to easily create digital publications and avoiding all the problems we face when we use another tool.