NYLON iPhone App: 3/5 Stars

Excellent job designing the iPhone app, NYLON and Mozine. It’s easy to navigate and consistent. The headlines are web/mobile friendly instead of being overly clever. It loads pretty quickly for containing a large amount of content. I also really enjoy the fact that I receive “free year digital subscription,” that anyone can have without registering. 🙂

There are definitely a number of development bugs, though. A few links will take me to blank pages and I have to exit the app completely to get back to the home screen. That’s something that not a lot of users are willing to put up with. It also requires an internet connection, so that’s kind of a bummer, but not really a big deal.

The articles are an appropriate length for reading on a mobile device and the design is simple. They make it easy to share content via social media. I like that the design is definitely consistent with the other platforms of NYLON. The designer/developer was careful to give enough room for links (as we all seem to have fat fingers, haha).

I especially like the photos page. NYLON handles pictures in portrait mode better than any other iPhone app I’ve ever seen, especially considering it’s a magazine. They could improve it, though, by adding a caption that appears when you tap the navigation.

I’d also like to see the photos center themselves (or another similar solution) when in landscape mode to get rid of the awkward white space on the side. They also need to fix the top navi, since it’s not accessible in landscape or when I go from landscape to portrait.

It’d be nice to be able to comment on an article, also.

Right now I give the NYLON iPhone app overall 3 out of 5 stars. The good thing is that the app serves a purpose since the NYLONmag website isn’t mobile friendly at all. Working out the kinks/bugs in the app would definitely bring it up to a 5.

 

– EPS

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NYLON Blog: Tag! encourages audience engagement

NYLON Magazine’s Blog appears to understand the importance of audience engagement, as they dedicated an entire section for user-generated content. The section “Tag!” is a place where users submit photos of graffiti they’ve spotted or created around the world. Users can write a small blurb explaining where the graffiti was found and their thoughts on it. So cool!

Because it’s such a specific niche, Tag! has been extremely successful. The Blog uploads one submission per day. It’s easy, doesn’t require a ton of work on either side of the production and provides fresh, visually-appealing content for the blog site.

The only suggestion I’d make was to have a very short header at the top of the Tag! category page, so that readers quickly know what it’s about.

What a great way to get your audience involved and make them feel like a part of the team, NYLON. I think the blog for the publication I work for, Vox Magazine, should implement something like this.

– EPS

NYLON Magazine Digital Edition (Web)

I’ll let you in on a secret- NYLON Magazine’s website offers a “sneak peak” look at all of their issues in the past 5 years. That “sneak peak” happens to be the entire magazine. So if you click “The Magazine” on the navigation bar and then on any of the covers you can read the issue via zinio.

Although, it sometimes lags (most likely due to my computer/internet connection) zinio did an awesome job creating this viewer. The interface design is beautiful and it gives you numerous options on how to view the content. Not only is it available in full screen mode, but it also allows you to embed any page/issue by providing you with the code.

I absolutely love that NYLON has a digital free access version of their magazine. I’m able to take screenshots for posts instead of tediously scan the print copy. The only thing that confuses me is why do they call it a “sneak peak” if it’s the whole magazine? As a print subscriber, it leaves me wondering why I should pay if other people can just read it online for free. Also, why in the world would they charge for the iPad version of the magazine if they don’t for the web version?

Obviously, there are many pros to being a print subscriber and having the actual magazine in your hands to read. And on the iPad, I can’t access the digital website viewer because it uses Flash. Part of me is wondering whether the full digital magazine is only supposed to be viewable if you’re logged in and you’re a print subscriber. This would make more sense. However, to clarify: I think it’s great that the digital version is free, just confused as to why.

Below I tried to embed the NYLON November 2011 zinio viewer, but WordPress ain’t havin’ it. It limits the number of times you can zoom, so I’d just look at it on NYLON’s site. I included the embed link, though!

http://www.zinio.com/widget.jsp?is=416196386&pg=1&type=lgNylon-Nov-11

NYLON Magazine: November design critique

November Overall Design Rating: 4.8 / 5

The America issue, Rachel Bilson cover

Alright, officially my favorite issue. It just seemed like everything was planned to a tee. I loved all of the “hand drawn” elements throughout the issue. The content was original and didn’t seem repetitive of the past two issues I’ve read (which tends to happen with other magazines).

What worked:

Illustrations in this issue were awesome.

Seriously. I can’t say enough good things about them! You can tell a lot of thought was put into each illustration and that the artist went the extra step to put the finishing details on it. I especially enjoyed the ‘Merica bald eagle wearing the sunglasses.

      

– The overall layout of the must have (“mass appeal”) sections really improved from the last issue; they’re so much easier to read and don’t overwhelm me. The “face value” page was really well designed- especially liked the illustration of Dr. Brandt!

Page 72 “Shop America”

The photo clippings were a great choice to help style the page. It shows the extra effort of the designer to not just slap photo and copy on the page and call it done.

Page 78 – 79 “Free Style”

Love the illustrations throughout this spread. Adding just a touch of color helps keep the reader interested without overwhelming them. Also, the choice to make each illustration size different helps balance the design.

Page 85 “Keep Sake”

What a cool craft! Seriously can’t wait to make this. At first I was going to comment that the photos weren’t large enough for the reader to see step-by-step, but I revoked that thought after realizing they were perfectly fine.

Page 96 “Greatest Hits”

Thank you, NYLON, for finally understanding that when showcasing watches readers want three things: designer, price and an up-close view of the face. No one else seems to understand this simple request. Simple, but great job designing this article.  Also, a sidenote, the model’s facial expression made me laugh every time I turned the page.

Page 107 – 111 “Beauty Blender”

Love that I can compare the looks all at once (page 107) or look at the up-close photo (makes it easier to see the details and imitate it).

Radar section (115-129)

Radar had it together this issue. Every page entertained me and I loved the “Bands Across America” feature. Separating bands by location was a great idea. Engaging content and well-executed design. My only complaint is that after reading that I spent 3 hours downloading music. Thanks for providing the excuse to procrastinate, NYLON.

What didn’t:

 Page 80-81 “Apple of my eye”

Each page individually looks awesome, but as a spread…eek. The vibrant colors on the right completely clash with the musk, fall design on the left. Neither page is an advertisement so maybe there was miscommunication or a tight deadline?

America issue: wait, why?

I love America just as much as the next gal, but why denote November 2011 as the America issue? Why not July  or November 2012 (when there’s a presidential election)? Hmm, still thinking this one over.

Also, it should be noted that I enjoyed the Bare Minimum and Rachel Bilson articles. Just sayin’.

– Emily Paige

NYLON’s Social Media Presence

As social media becomes a more integrated part of audience engagement, it’s important that publications use these tools to their advantage. These platforms can enhance the user experience and help promote content. That is, if the social media is used effectively. It seems that the defining characteristic of successful social media users is consistent and relevant content.

So, is NYLON using social media in an engaging and effective manner? Overall, yes. NYLON appears to be killing the social media scene.

Twitter:

With more than  400,000 twitter followers, @NylonMag has a strong online presence for a magazine of its size. They usually tweet around 15-20 times per day, depending on content. Some people might find this to be low, but as a Twitter user, I find it to be a good balance between consistently tweeting and being obnoxious.

They establish a dialogue with their readers, crafting tweets that are always clever but never too confusing. Also, their Twitter handle is short which makes it is for users to RT them.

NYLON Magazine has separate Twitter accounts for their international editions and for NYLON Guys. However, none of these are nearly as successful as @NylonMag.

Facebook:

NYLON’s fanpage on Facebook has 207,000+ likes on Facebook. I repeat, more than 200,000 people have liked their magazine on Facebook. To put this into perspective, Harper’s Bazaar only has around 87,000 likes on Facebook. Marie Claire has around 112,000. Vogue has…well…2 million for the U.S. edition, but that’s because it’s Vogue. I’m throughly impressed with this, although it’s not hard to see why so many people are a fan of the magazine. Throughout the day, they post short headlines and link to their site.  They’re consistent, their dialogue is friendly, simple and engaging and their content is interesting. Every post has dozens (if not a hundred) of likes, multiple comments and usually a share.

Google+:

Although this didn’t overtake Facebook as the “social media experts” predicted, it’s still important to maintain an online presence here. It’s another way to connect with the reader. NYLON doesn’t appear to have a fan page on Google+ but users are sharing NYLON’s content with their friends on it.

YouTube:

NYLON’s YouTube channel, NYLON TV, does a great job of giving the user another element to the story for a richer experience. The videos vary from behind-the-scenes interviews with cover shoots to reviews of what they’re listening to. They’re always light-hearted and fun to watch, making it very addicting when on AutoPlay. They have a loyal subscriber base of around 55,000 people and more than 46,600,000 total channel views! This is a great ad revenue for NYLON, too, as they have unobtrusive cosmetic advertisements on their videos and channel page.

NYLON TV producers know the secret to audience engagement: keep it as concise and interesting as possible. Their videos are rarely more than 2 minutes long.

Myspace:

I didn’t even realize that people, none-the-less publications, still had Myspace pages but good for you NYLON! Although, it doesn’t appear they’ve logged in for a month or posted any content in a year and a half. That’s ok because I don’t think anyone else has, either.

RSS:

Where is your RSS feed, NYLON?! Oh, there’s the link! At the very bottom of the page. Yes, I know I can go to Google Reader or Safari and manually subscribe to your site, but I’m a lazy user and I want someone to do it for me. NYLON has the XML files for their RSS feed, they just need to implement a “subscribe” or RSS button next to the other social media icons.

Klout:

@NylonMag has a Klout score of 67, which is pretty impressive. Their influential topics are fashion, entertainment and media so they’re right on target.

Update: According to Klout, NYLON ranks #7 as an online influencer of the topic of fashion. This is a huge achievement considering they’re ahead of Harper’s Bazaar and behind NYTimes Style.