Here is a new digital magazine that I think a lot of publishers still working through their tablet strategy should download, install and read: UCLA Anderson Assets Magazine. The magazine comes from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and is a rethinking of the print magazine in a clean, logical, entertaining and easy to read new format.
The app was originally released in mid-November and was updated to add optimized artwork on November 21.
Opening the magazine and beginning to read the first issue inside one won't be surprised to learn that the digital magazine was developed by Joe Zeff Design, the studio behind many great tablet apps including the recently released KIDS DISCOVER (which you can learn more about here).
The creative director for this digital re-imagining of the print magazine is Charlie Hess. Hess says on his own website that the four things that go into a great digital magazine are "Get a great client!"; get the client to start their digital magazine from scratch, as opposed to simply reproducing the print edition; get the client to hire a great app developer, in this case Joe Zeff Design; and "(f)orget half of what you knew about magazine design, and seriously question the other half."
All that is great advice, though I think it helps to not have to worry about the P&L, as well.
The reason I say this is that no matter how much the folks at Joe Zeff Design would love to talk on your project, simple economics say that bringing in an outside app developer is not always financially feasible. But the team that created this outstanding digital edition have given publishers, art directors and editors plenty of guideposts to creating a digital magazine.
First, the app may not replicate the print page layouts, but neither do they forget good magazine design either. The pages are logically laid out, with readable fonts and text columns. The animation is plentiful here, but does not overwhelm the reading experience.
The app edition also has plenty of video, all of which is well done. But if the read skipped the videos the experience is not demonstrably lessened.
UCLA Anderson Assets Magazine is a free download, so I would encourage TNM readers to install this app.
Here is a walk-through of the beginning of the digital magazine. There is a lot more good work to be found beyond what you see here, however: