I was reading the recent issue Fast Company on the train yesterday and have to pass on that they have created a great digital magazine.  I do most of my professional reading (magazines, research papers, reports, etc.) on my iPad for convenience and found that not all magazines have made the transition to digital very smoothly.  Digital is not just about copy and pasting the print version onto a website.  Fast Company has made their magazine interactive and done it in a way that that lets you get engaged without getting distracted.

Do you remember those books you would read as a kid where you would have to open a door or window on a page to see the giraffe or monkey hiding inside?  Kids love them and the only reason adults don’t read books that way is because we eventually lose interest in how an elephant got into the house in the first place.  Fast Company recreated that concept in digital form, and made it cool for adults. They use a single picture with different touch points to expand the content they are explaining.  This lets you only have one window up reducing clutter and lets you interact with the magazine beyond just swiping and scrolling.

FC Image

On the same line of thought as swiping and scrolling, their magazine is pretty user friendly.  They put entire articles on a single page, so you can scroll down through an article without having to keep swiping and turning the page.  It lets you read without moving your eye.  You scroll down smoothly through the article so the entire page doesn’t turn at a time.  It makes reading fluid and takes out the choppiness of turning the page, requiring less eye movement from one side of the screen to the other that slows the reading process.

Some newspapers and magazines are struggling to figure out how to survive in the face of changing technology and a customer that demands their needs are understood.  Fast Company showed that they have figured out how to reach their reader in new ways.