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"ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)" <[log in to unmask]>
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Claudia Alden Case <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Wed, 23 Jul 2008 11:29:59 -0700
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Claudia Alden Case <[log in to unmask]>
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Hal,
For what they are worth, here are my own (anecdotal) observations about
online versions of hardcopy magazines:

1) People expect to find all the content in the print version also in the
online version.  (More is OK, less is not OK.)  Not necessarily the same ads
but the same articles, sidebars, images, etc.  Example: Smithsonian
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/ 

2) People's mental model for how the online version is organized is that it
matches the online and print versions share the same high-level
organizational structure.  Example: Time Magazine Online (www.time.com )
includes a top navigation bar with tabs for each of the main sections of the
printed magazine.  Multiple ways to navigate is fine...but there should be
some carryover of the high-level organization from print to online.

3) Online versions of print magazines are more useable if they include a
browser each issue and an easy way to browse the archive of issues.  In
other words, when looking online for an article they read in print, while
Search is one way to find it, that might bring back too many results.  At
times it is faster to browser the TOC of a particular issue/issues.
Example: Smithsonian Magazine (http://www.smithsonianmag.com/ )

4) People are fine with a mental model of catalogs where the
brick-and-mortar location carries different merchandise than the online
store and the printed catalog.   This DOES NOT work for online vs print
versions of magazines.  Case in point: the print version and the online
version of Real Simple magazine use the catalog mental model rather than the
magazine mental model and it drives me crazy.  There is no guarantee that
what you find in the print version is available online, even though the
print version includes tons of pointers to the online magazine.  It's as if
they see them as two separate retail channels rather than an online version
of a printed magazine.  To see what I mean, one would have to have a copy of
the print version and then visit the online magazine to see if one can find
the same articles or recipes etc.  It will make you crazy.
(www.realsimple.com )

That's my two cents.

claudia

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