For much of my career, I’ve worked as a print designer — and for the most part, I still do. But when I was invited to start creating tablet versions of magazine, it seemed like an ideal transition.
Designing for a tablet is very similar to designing for print: you still create layouts just as you normally would — but you now have the added bonus of interactivity and layers.
To me, the key to a successful tablet application is not to completely mirror the print version or to function like a website (because many magazines already have a website), but to create that page-by-page experience you get when you pick up a magazine, while adding to that experience with new content, interactivity and other bells and whistles that can’t fit in a 4-page print feature.
Movement and Animation
The traditional print spread layout where everything has its place.
Tablet features: The light beam from the flashlight illuminates through the trees in this layout. Also, text can be layered and revealed in stages.
Image and Video Enhancements
Print layout, 4 pages: In order to allow a clean opening spread and uncluttered layout, just a few larger images are used.
Image gallery (top): Display multiple images in your tablet layout that you would not have room for in the printed piece.
Video (bottom): It’s easy to embed videos in the tablet pages to further enhance the content. (The reader does not have to exit the application either.)
The print spread on the top features 2 sidebars while the tablet page allows them to function as pop-ups when clicked, giving the reader the option to review.
The print layout on the top shows one image about the topic at hand. When translated to tablet, it shows five more examples of that same topic in a condensed sidebar.