Zinio Reader for Zinio

Enhancing print publications with an on-screen exerience

Zinio’s Reader software delivers readers’ favorite magazines to their computers while preserving the magazine’s branded look and feel, with the same content and graphics of the print version, and added features only possible with digital files. Zinio’s software captures the magazine’s cover-to-cover artwork, converting it to a digital form that captures and extends the experience of reading the paper copy. Pages visually flip when turned, and text can be annotated, searched, or archived. In addition, the content may be subtly enhanced: advertisements and illustrations can “come alive” using graphics, audio, video, and web links. The magazine can be delivered to a broader audience more efficiently and without delays due to mail delivery.

Seeking to recreate the experience of reading a magazine as closely as possible, IDEO’s design team began by conducting a range of user observations. Human Factors specialists studied how people read magazines in a variety of situations, such as on a train or at their desks. The research noted how readers flip through magazines, use visual memory cues to find articles or advertising, and mark pages with Post-its or dog-ears.

Building on this work, the design team created a touch-screen hardware platform to test concepts and explore a range of reading profiles. This informed the final interaction design and allowed for the creation of a highly intuitive interface that enhances rather than detracts from the act of reading digital media. The software also allows the storage of many magazines into a “newsstand,” allowing readers to enjoy a library of their favorite reading material at a moment’s notice.

Project date: 2001