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PROJECT iPad magazine unveils reader-led design and navigation

PROJECT iPad magazine unveils reader-led design and navigation

Leading the way in digital publishing innovation, issue 7 of PROJECT, a joint venture by Virgin Digital Publishing and Seven, sees the launch of a revolutionary design and navigation refresh for the world’s first ever iPad only magazine.

Thanks to the invaluable feedback from fans, the latest issue is setting an industry benchmark for iPad magazine user interface design, for others to follow. Combined with detailed monthly feedback from Apple’s evangelists in Cupertino, PROJECT’s readers’ letters, plus finely tuned statistical data culled from the analytics system, the PROJECT team have built on the invaluable feedback from the magazine’s fanbase.

Fifteen months since PROJECT’s launch, more than 20 million iPads have been sold globally and there are 90,000 iPad apps. While PROJECT set the industry benchmark as the first native iPad magazine, a lot of new magazines followed in its footsteps.

To stay ahead in this fast-paced industry, it’s important to innovate and evolve. PROJECT is now at the point where, with the latest issue, it’s the closest it’s ever been to its original purpose: building the future of magazines. So what’s different?

While other iPad magazines meander and confuse the reader, PROJECT is slowly setting the benchmark for a design “language” for others to follow. Issue 7 boasts simplified and more consistent navigation. There are clearly marked magazine sections – Game Changer, Features and Work/Life – and a more instinctive, easy-to-navigate Contents page. There’s also a portrait layout, to allow more flexibility for extra content.

Furthermore, PROJECT couldn’t exist without reader input. The first iPad magazine to offer built-in Comments forums – it’s now the first magazine to implement full Facebook integration, allowing readers to share articles.

Articles in PROJECT are a starting point so and if readers want to go deeper, they now can with specially prepared extra content. The cumbersome ‘spine’ is now gone: instead, the videos, and extra interview material is clearly labelled at the end of every page. We’ve also rethought how readers interact with certain materials: in Issue 8 you’ll find a new-style Travel section that enables the reader to gather all the information they need without leaving the page.

Much of PROJECT’s initial layout was based, understandably, on existing paper magazine ideals. Not any more: it’s gone back to basics. There are new, elegant fonts, tested to render perfectly, a more vibrant colour palette that befits the iPad’s backlit screen and clever new visual tricks, such as pull up/down boxes for extra content, so that pages look less crowded.

All in all, PROJECT is now a far more friendly, consistent and enjoyable experience. Launched last year and only six issues old, Project magazine has already scored a 14/15 rating and is in the top 1% of apps in iMonitor’s Best Publication Apps evaluation, on a par with major publications the Sunday Times and USA Today. The McPheters & Company’s iMonitor service provides a detailed evaluation and global tracking of 1,600-plus media-related iPad apps from more than 50 countries. The list represents the best of breed, featuring apps that score in the top 2% of all apps that have been evaluated by iMonitor in the past year. Always striving to push the boundaries of digital publishing, it’s no surprise that Apple is currently featuring PROJECT in 18 countries as one of the best iPad apps.

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