A-Line Magazine

A publishing platform for Cincinnati’s First Women’s Magazine.

Our Challenge – CityBeat approached Studio Elsa to create a digital publishing platform to accompany their new endeavor, A-Line Magazine, a portable lifestyle guide for Greater Cincinnati’s woman.

Background – Ambition with a broad audience reach

A-Line Magazine was founded 2010, by Citybeat’s editor and co-publisher John Fox, Maija Zummo as co-founder and editor-in-chief, and Rebecca Sylvester as the creative director. They set out with a goal of speaking to the audience of a higher educated professional woman in the Greater Cincinnati area, aged 25–54. A part of A-Line’s mission statement read:

With intelligent features that connect and inspire, A-Line taps into your imagination through the latest fashion trends, unique cultural happenings, updated and inherited family recipes, literature, film, music and creative DIY projects.A-Line Magazine Mission Statement

Process – Flirting with new and choosing familiar

A-Line had spent part of the year prior researching and defining the magazine, and its intended audience. And with this at hand, we turned our focus to assessing the competitive landscape and examined how we could, from the user’s point of view, utilize the new technologies that were emerging at the time. To create a publishing platform, and providing fresh experience while maintaining familiarity for the user.

Apple had released the first iPad the year before, and as a result, a few newly designed sites were flirting with user interactions from the iPad. We explored this with a few concepts, but ultimately the decision was made to move forward with a more familiar approach.

Solution – Prioritize the choices a user makes

As A-Line had a clear picture of the content categories they wanted to be featured, we focused on the information architecture and user experience of the site. Article pages were becoming the main entry for traffic, organic and by the mean of social media, etc. and by developing a robust taxonomy and metadata structure, we made sure to position content with relevance to what the user was currently viewing, and choices made navigating the site.

SouthComm purchased CityBeat and A-Line with it. SouthComm already had Her as a model set up for a woman’s publication, and A-Line was closed to make way for Her in the Cincinnati market. SouthComm, impressed with the site decided to implement the design and structure to Her online, and we took part in helping them transition.
We very much enjoyed being a part of creating A-Line’s site and was sad to see it go when it did.

I originally wrote this case study for studioelsa.se. A design and technology company I run with Jack Boberg, whereas I do most of my professional work these days.

My parts in this project: Art Direction, UX Design, Information Architecture, Art Direction, Interaction Design, and UI/UX.

Originally published at Studio Elsa – A-Line Magazine Website Case Study

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