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New work: mag10

Prototype for a digital magazine publishing ecosystem

Author: Johannes Schardt
Date: 19. March 2012

If you read our weeknotes, you may remember a project name that occurred quite often last year: Comox. Finally we are at liberty to talk about it. Let’s start by watching a video.

mag10, aka Comox, was the most extensive project we did in 2011 and also one of the most interesting and challenging ones we ever worked on. It started in February, when Jochen Wegner and Marco Borries gathered about 20 people with different backgrounds in publishing, digital media and design for a workshop about digital magazines.

A few weeks later, we started working intensively on the concept for the mag10 ecosystem. In the beginning it was just Jochen, the founder, and us. Although Jochen had a very strong opinion about how a digital magazine should be like (or NOT be like), he looked for someone to challenge his ideas and push them forward.

Because back then mag10 neither had employees nor a proper office, he often settled in with us. Although this was a little straining from time to time (he can be very demanding), it was a project set-up we really liked. It was extremely direct, decisions were made instantly and all the energy was used to improve the product. We didn’t have to please different stakeholders, we didn’t produce unnecessary presentations or documentations, there was also no project management. Just product design.

It was a partnership rather than the typical client/service provider-relationship and the product benefitted greatly from this. Within a relative short time frame we developed the basic interactions of the magazine, we prototyped the behaviors, transitions and animations, and we designed all visual aspects of the tablet app including a fake magazine.

In a second phase of the project, when the company started to grow its amazing developer team, we also worked on another pillar of the mag10 ecosystem: the magazine editor, a web-based chrome app.

What you see in the video is a working prototype that was shown to investors and partners. It was made more than 6 months ago (long before Apple showcased the iBooks authoring tool), but until recently it wasn’t public. Most of the people who were granted a demo of the product were stunned and the feedback was overwhelming positive.

So it came as a surprise when we were informed that mag10 put the development on hold at the end of last year. Unfortunately investor negotiations didn’t go as planned.

Which is a bummer. We would love to see this product come to live, because we are happy with what we’ve created together with the mag10 team.

Disclaimer: The interfaces and interaction design shown in the video were designed by us, but we didn’t produce the video itself. Also the mag10 logo wasn’t created by us, but iconwerk. Mag10 website crafted by our dear friend Silke.

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Oh, there are 4 comments so far

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