Migros-Magazin is a printed publication of Migros-Medien with more than three million readers in Switzerland. Their online presence reaches more than half a million visits per month.
Migros-Magazin asked us to redesign their website with a strong focus on the interaction with and between readers. Their vision for the future was to have a significant part of their online content generated by their users, moving away from the one sided editorial content of traditional magazines.
Every reader likes to read Migros-Magazin for his or her own reasons. Some prefer the stories about people, others are interested in politics, gardening or parenting. This diverse range of topics makes the magazine interesting for everyone and less targeted at one specific group of readers. While Migros-Magazin wanted to attract more young readers with their online edition, it was still important to keep their older and already established users in mind.
We aimed to build a platform where every reader is presented with a personalised stream of content, making everyone feel very much at home with their own versions of Migros-Magazin. Readers are invited to become a more active part of the magazine by participating in polls and discussions, writing their own articles and interacting directly with each other.
To reach these goals we defined three principles to guide us on our process.
Make it easy to find interesting articles and deliver a great reading experience on every device.
Motivate users to contribute their own content and lower the barriers of doing so.
Give users the tools they need to stay connected with like-minded readers and writers in their community.
The first step was to design an environment optimised for browsing and reading. Adding tags to every article allowed us to create a personalised and customisable feed for every user. At the same time, tags became the main navigational elements. This way browsing happens directly via the content and feels much more natural and personal than it would with a traditional categorical menu.
Readers can participate in polls, upload photos, write comments and publish their own articles. We motivate readers by featuring articles written by readers and strategically placing calls to action. A WYSIWYG editor where users can write and design their articles directly in the browser allows them to get started right away. While editing, they already see how their content will be displayed on the website when published, adding an additional element of motivation.
Readers are not only able to generate their own content, but also to interact on a personal level. Both readers and official authors of the magazine have their own personal profile pages, where users can follow each other or write direct messages via the built-in messenger tool. This closes the gap between professionals and amateurs and functions as an essential building block for growing a community.
For an optimal experience on every device, we worked with a design system which adapts to the current browser width fluidly. This way we could reduce the amounts of breakpoints that needed to be designed specifically and let the code do most of the heavy lifting.
Working on this project was special because of Migros-Magazin's broad audience – regular user tests helped us to keep refining our design to create a great experience for all kinds of users.