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~Saturday~ Last night I did something I haven't done in a very long time. I read a printed magazine.

And I must say (to put it rather mildly), it was not an optimal experience—it was not even a good experience.

In fact, I can't imagine doing it again—for another very long while.


WiredMar2014Cover

It was Wired magazine, and more specifically, it was the March 2014 edition of Wired magazine. Here is a very basic content analysis of the first 42 pages of the 128-page edition:

  • 25 pages (60% of the 42 pages) of full page ads

  • 4 pages (10% of the 42 pages) of front matter (i.e., tables of contents and publishing info

  • 13 pages (20% of the 42 pages) of features or articles I might find interesting

And here's how that played (laid) out in terms of content type, placement, sponsors (where applicable), and font size:

WiredAnalysis

So what contributed to my poor user experience? Although not the complete list, here are three big contributing elements:

  1. Clearly, a large majority of this magazine consists of full page ads.

  2. There was arguably a full 10 pages before I got to anything of real interest to read. (It's arguable as to whether tables of contents are of interest to read.)

  3. Most of the font in this magazine is too arduous to read for my 57-year old eyes. It's arguable as to whether I'm in the demographic of the audience for this publication, but I think I am—if not by the age criteria, by the industry that I work in, and with respect to my interest in "gadgets."

Is anyone else still reading printed magazines? Feel free to click on "Leave a comment" to share.
 

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
dan4behr
Sep. 14th, 2014 12:51 am (UTC)
Yes, I do. "Automobile", "Car & Driver" and "Motor Trend"

Part of it is sentimental. My dad got me a subscription to MT starting in July 1972 for my 12th birthday and I've been a faithful reader ever since, never missing an issue....
dailyafirmation
Sep. 14th, 2014 02:17 am (UTC)
Awwww, that's sweet.
I hope the font is bigger in those than in Wired! :-) (Of course, you're a lot younger than I am.)
andyhat
Sep. 14th, 2014 02:09 am (UTC)
I still read a lot of printed magazines, but I've always found Wired more or less impossible to read.
dailyafirmation
Sep. 14th, 2014 02:17 am (UTC)
Do you find the ads as pervasive in the ones you read, Andy?
andyhat
Sep. 14th, 2014 02:32 am (UTC)
No, the excessive irrelevant ads are just one of many things I hate about Wired (along with the distracting graphic design, the terrible choices of fonts, etc.). The only mags I read that come close as far as number of ad pages would be gaming mags (Official Xbox Magazine, Games(tm), and Electronic Gaming Monthly), but at least those ads are well targeted. A lot of the other magazines I get have ads that I read right along with the editorial content (Fanfare, Gramophone, International Record Review, London Review of Books, New York Review of Books, Bookforum, Rain Taxi, etc.). And The Economist and The Week have few enough ad pages that they don't bother me.

The magazines Edward reads do have tons of ad pages, but he "reads" magazines for the fashion and design pictures rather than the articles so he doesn't mind (he reads Elle, Vogue, GQ, Architectural Digest, Conde Nast Traveler, etc.)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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