the Industry : Pontus Schultz

Bonnier has introduced a working concept of the Mag+, a product that is seeking to understand the experience of reading magazines on handheld digital devices. MNP recently caught up with Pontus Schultz of Bonnier R&D and asked him about the concept and its recent success with Popular Science+

Could you please describe the concept behind the Mag+?

This is one of several prototypes we've developed with our design partner Berg, based on our vision of future digital magazines that can be consumed on e-readers, smart phones, netbooks, etc. It's a work in progress. We think there is a big focus on technology and e-readers but in the end, it's about creating a product that is so good that people are willing to pay for it. But I should emphasize that this is a product designed for e-readers and not primarily for the Internet.

Who was behind the development of the Mag+?

Bonnier R&D and design partner BERG.

Where are the limits when reading into what the "magazine experience" is?

As our partners at BERG like to say: "The Mag+ platform is not a wrist screen running clock software… it is a watch." The user doesn’t need to look through the device at the content. It is an immediate experience of the content. It will never feel like you’re working through the screen, it should feel like you’re touching the actual product. It is about body language, a natural interface, rather than a set of computery buttons.

Ultimately, should the new digital magazine device, as in the Mag+, be ultra affordable like the current non-digital equivalent?

We want to reward loyal readers with a subscription offer in which you save over buying single issues. What's important to note is that both the Popular Science+ app and the TIME magazine app cost USD 4.99 and we are in 18th and 15th place respectively for best-selling apps at iTunes. GQ, which costs 2.99, is in 64th place. For me this proves that it isn't just about price but about the experience.

In the concept video, the narrator talks of approaching a "deeper reaching reading experience"- what does this mean exactly?

See our design principles, below.

Where in the world do you see a Mag+ really taking hold in society?

The popularity of Popular Science+ speaks for itself I think.

What would be the long-term vision of the Mag+ if made available to the public?

We plan on releasing many of our titles in the U.S., Sweden and Denmark on the platform in the near future.

Mag+ Design Principles

1. Silent mode - The time for myself. Our Mag+ concept has fewer distractions. It offers a passive and relaxinging experience. Lean back. Away from the browser. We believe that reduced complexity increases immersion

2. Fluid Motion - "Flow is the new flip". Persistence of flow in the scanning of the content encourages immersion. Think about our concept as a panning camera, not a flipping page experience.

3. Easy to overview - The Mag+ concept offers an immediate understanding of the content.
What is this and why is it relevant to me? Delivering a beautiful overview of content has always been a core competence of print
magazines, but something that got lost on the web sites of magazines.

4. Clearly defined beginning and end - We want to reluanch the end with a simple linear flow. A defined storyline. A sense of completion. The end of endlessness. Returning to the notion that something can be, and wants to be, completed.

5. Advertising as content - We are treating advertising as preferred content integrated in the consumer experience. We want advertising to be pin-ups too. We want advertising to be appreciated applications.

6. Delivered in an issue format - Mag+ is a collectible that will be an important part of the consumers collection of beautiful magazines. The nice stack. It is something to look forward to and a recurring experience. Offered with convenient distribution. We want to establish the same time frame for all readers. No continuous updates. Content published at a defined point in time.


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Posted: April 12th, 2010
at 10:29pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: design,the industry

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