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September 13th, 2014

~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.
 

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