Digital Learning Magazine Design

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Q.  What are the similarities between e-Learning and digital magazines?

A.  Digital magazines and e-Learning both use the same design elements – text, graphics, audio and video.  They also often share similar layouts and navigation schemes and they often use text as the primary means for presenting information.

The Challenge

The e-Learning Heroes Weekly Challenge #58 was to design a digital learning magazine, including three different layout or content ideas.

The Process

After looking at the recommended resources, I started a Pinterest board to collect the most relevant resources for this challenge.  This board seems to have gained quite a bit of attention, with 48 followers as I write this overview.

One of the most valuable resources I came across to help with my design was a series of posts on the magplanet blog, written by Nadya Tsech, a digital magazine designer.  Her blog has an amazing array of resources on this topic and is well worth a visit.

The Design

I wanted my design to be “interactive”, so initially started thinking about the interactive features I wanted to include.  Nadya details the 9 “basic” or “standard” interactive features that are used in almost every interactive magazine as follows:

1.  More info or “+” button
2.  Close button
3.  Link
4.  Gallery
5.  Audio
6.  Video
7.  Buy
8.  Page info
9.  Scroll / Swipe

The other element I considered to be most important was how to navigate.  I wanted this to be intuitive so I didn’t have to provide any explanation on how to navigate the magazine – although navigation instructions are often part of the design for these types of projects.  One thing I haven’t allowed for in this design is smartphone or tablet scroll/swipe navigation.  This is one of those quandries with Articulate Storyline development – hover elements won’t show on these devices either.

As with any e-Learning course I design, I tried to maintain consistency throughout the entire project by repeating common design elements, including the navigation arrows which allow you to navigate through the magazine and back to the Contents page at any point along the way.


My design was created in Articulate Storyline 2.  As far as the software was concerned, the design wasn’t complex and consisted of just a few slides with layers to reveal sections of more information for each slide.  The addition of a second Contents slide was necessary because I needed a different transition back to this slide than I had set to show the slide at the beginning of the course.  Once I had the right triggers in place, this worked out better than I had expected, although it could be refined a little.

I included video and audio interactive elements accessed via appropriate icons to add an extra dimension to the magazine design.

Rather than use the usual Lorum Ipsum text filler, I sourced a “Far Far Away” option (one of many options) from Blind Text Generator.