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Cross-platform digital magazine adapts to the reader's device


We’ve seen numerous innovations in the word of online publishing, from a magazine that detects and adapts to users’ reading interests, to digital books focusing on reader immersion through interaction. The latest spotting? The Toronto Standard is a newly relaunched web-based magazine that’s been designed from the ground up to span digital platforms, adapting automatically to the reader’s viewing device. In the Toronto Standard’s previous incarnation — back in 1848 — it published for just two years in traditional paper form before folding. Now, with the help of Toronto design firm Playground Digital, the magazine relaunched earlier this month as a purely digital effort. Rather than featuring a number of device-specific apps, however — the way so many other publications do — the new Toronto Standard features a “liquid layout” by which all content is resized, reordered and prioritized automatically to suit the reader’s device, whether it’s a smartphone, tablet or large-screen computer. Even the scrolling process self-adapts to suit the reader’s hardware, so that those on a full computer scroll vertically while those on mobile devices do so horizontally, according to a report on AppliedArts. “The New York Times has nine native applications currently on the market — 10, if you consider the physical paper, a native mobile platform,” Ryan Bannon, Playground’s creative director, told AppliedArts. “In all, these applications exist to serve one end: the delivery of timely news. Nine native applications require nine sets of changes for every update, and a plethora of unique skill sets. For a new brand, this system of content delivery is not scalable or feasible. Plus, we could do better.” One self-adapting offering rather than nine or 10 device-specific ones certainly has efficiency on its side, and the Toronto Standard is an impressive result. Publishers around the globe: a new model to emulate?



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