Lars Damgaard
strategic user experience designer
December 3rd 2013

Designing Magasinet: a new rich content format at Politiken

My colleague and I have designed a new section on Politiken that invites stories to be told in more rich and exiting ways than what can be achieved in usual content templates.

Screenshot of Magasinet

Magasinet is the new digital flagship of Politiken and after months of iterative prototyping and fine tuning, I really look forward to see it launch today and to see it consolidate over the months to come in the hands of editor and journalist Kim Faber.

The design philosophy: balancing richness

When we first started conceptualizing Magasinet, we were inspired by two overall trends. Like the rest of the world, we were impressed (but also a bit skeptical) with the stunning visual experience of Snow Fall and the many related projects that popped up in its wake. The content design on Medium, The Daily Beast, SB nation, Pitch Fork and Washington Post were also great inspirational sources on presenting content in visually interesting ways.

Furthermore, we were interested in the emerging trend of “long formats”, but based on our own experiences with various longreads, we also wanted to challenge the assumption that long formats are interesting per se. They need the visual dramaturgy that some of the examples above have in (perhaps even too much) abundance. However, we still wanted the text to be the main content element.

In other words, we wanted to design an engaging reading experience that would balance text and visual elements in a way that would make the reading experience visually interesting, without disturbing the actual reading.

Last but certainly not least, we also wanted to make sure that the editor could publish articles on a daily basis without the use of developers.

The anatomy of Magasinet: modular storytelling

Thus, in all its simplicity, the Magasinet template is a responsive content template that allows a number of modules and content elements to be displayed in a way that gives the editor a great deal of narrative flexibility in telling a story.

It consists of a fluid width cover image (with responsive focal points), a heading and a subheading – and from that point on, the editor can structure the story with a set of simple, but powerful modules such as inline slideshows, images, quotes fact boxes and video.

The section frontpage presents content teasers in a simple grid with 100% and 50% elements, which creates a highly visual experience and clearly differentiates the content from the rest of the site.

Now, lean back and enjoy Magasinet

If you haven’t already done so, please make sure you check out Magasinet which should be up and running by now, so grab your lean back device of choice an enjoy the show.

Thanks for reading.

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