Now, I’m going to look at the best magazine websites based on their usability and design. Because I did news websites, I thought it would only be better to do magazine websites, seeing how most of what we read is online now.
First on the list is Time Magazine. At a time (no pun intended) where the world needs access to a reliable news source, Time magazine has stepped up to the plate. They have built a site that is both easy to read and responsive. By displaying the featured news items on the left and the latest headlines on the right, Time Magazine has found a great way to balance the screen space.
Second is GQ Magazine. It’s no secret that GQ is one of the most popular men’s magazines out there, so why not try and achieve the same for the website. Right off the bat, you’re hit with fashion imagery with a banner that stretches from edge to edge. As you scroll down, you find a list of articles laid out beautifully in a stylish grid.
Third is National Geographic. Known for their beautiful photography, National Geographic spared nothing in bringing these images into their website. The site boasts simplicity and showcases big images with large, easy-to-read fonts. Each article is not limited to just one large image but comes with a variety of powerful photographs, some of the things that we’ve come to expect from this brand.
Last but not least is Newsweek. Newsweek’s website not only looks amazing on a desktop, but it also comes in a responsive version so you can access it anywhere on the go. That’s great since their website is full of amazing imagery and intriguing news stories. After clicking on an article to read more, you’re given a navigational bar that gives you access to all of Newsweek’s featured items.
After all my research on websites for businesses and portfolios, I didn’t think about kids as an audience. I thought about what designs are trending for children, and how do designers know what to add? Smashing Magazine has the answers.
According to them, websites designed for children have been largely overlooked in Web design articles, “but there are many beautiful and interesting design elements and layouts presented on children’s websites that are worthy of discussion and analysis.” The first step to designing a site for a kid is thinking about the 5 senses. “Humans are mentally stimulated by a number of factors, and this is especially true with children.” This means that successful children’s websites use a number of elements and design principles that create an environment suited for a child’s personality and interests. Such as bright, vivid colors, or the characters’ body language on the screen. Something I never thought of was to add elements of nature, “because children’s experiences in life are limited, some of the things they are most familiar with are found in nature.” Natural elements such as trees, water, snow, and animals are used in a lot of children’s websites. Smashing Magazine also notes that i many cases nature elements are overemphasized through size or simplicity of design. Another thing to consider is large fonts and images. “Large design elements have proved to be effective in all types of Web design, demonstrated by the fact that large typography, large buttons, and large call-to-action areas have become commonplace in modern design.” This means that because children are naturally drawn to simple and obvious objects websites designed for children will increase their effectiveness through the use of large design elements. This seems like a fun task, maybe I’ll make my next project one for kids.