Designing for the user means first understanding the user at hand. Extensive research was explored, and it became evident that The Floor Magazine presents itself to be bold and youthful in nature. User research began by using the platforms publicly available outlets to build an understanding of the brand and personify the typical person that interacts with their content. Mediums analysed included Instagram, Twitter, and original Website. Competitors were also viewed and analysed. These competitors were chosen to be other online music platforms, with a similar target audience such as Complex Magazine, and Gal-dem Magazine.
When looking at defining the problem, sometimes it is not that there is a problem to define, but rather an opportunity. In this case, there was an opportunity to further establish the brand, through the revision of the website and cross-platform branding. It presents a source for readers to engage with the magazine with minimal effort. This has the potential to increase reader engagement and allows for users to begin to feel a strong brand presence.
The visual identity of the magazine needed to be clean but also show the character of the brand and those that run it behind the scenes. The typography was chosen to show character, and boldness whilst also ensuring that articles could be easily read for the vast majority of people.
As a magazine that segments their articles it was important to find typography to unite the brand across all its platforms. As a result it was decided three fonts were to be chosen as headings with one of them being used as a feature heading. The reason it was decided to use three forms was to ensure both consistency and variety throughout the articles.
Work sans, Bebas Neue and Hikou were chosen to create a sense of sleekness and boldness to the magazine. Proxima Nova was chosen as the body font to ensure an easy read for readers, as well as an edginess to represent the magazine. Typography options were presented in meetings and stakeholders had the option to call out their likes and dislikes, as well as voice the look and feel they wanted the magazine to have.
Before joining the team, the magazine already had a logo and a main colour of gold. It was my responsibility to create a colour scheme based on the logo and this main colour. Stakeholder interviews were conducted to understand the desired feel of the magazine, and I used this as a basis to create a bold colour scheme. The main colour scheme consisted of a dark yellow to represent the original gold in the logo and I used shades of green and blue to complement this. I also created a greyscale colour scheme to complement the main colour scheme. Stakeholders were engaged again in the process and had final say over the colour scheme chosen however, within the consultation reasons were given as to why each colour was chosen and with examples of assets were provided to show how each colour could work well together.
CREATING THE BRAND VISION
The first step in the creation of the site was to analyse the current site, where I was able to gain an understanding of the current user flow and the key aspects that stakeholders wanted to show on the site. In the analysis I dissected, rearranged and created a new user flow that will allow for a seamless user experience whilst also highlighting the key aspects of value. The navigation was changed to show only the necessary pages, with the option of a dropdown when required.
Inspiration was taken from similar magazines, and designs where the target user was similar to that of the magazine. Inspiration for each part of the magazine was created, with screens showing possible compositions of the articles, homepages and statement pieces. This was shown to stakeholders, and I allowed for an open discussion, understanding their likes and dislikes.
Diving into Creation
For the site design, Figma was used as a prototype tool. Prior to making the rapid prototype, a high-fidelity prototype was created. The high-fidelity prototype included the design and development of all the screens, to create for an easy and seamless user experience. This was based on previous research and inspired by the mood-board created previously. Editor X was used to create the full website.
CREATING THE ONLINE PLATFORM
The Floor Magazine
In Collaboration With:
The Floor Magazine
noun: The Floor is an online and print magazine highlighting the up-and-coming talents within the literary and creative industries. The aim is to increase exposure for writers, whilst giving poets, authors, and other creatives a platform to share their works.
Role // Visual Design; Rebranding
Year // 2020-21