Wonderwall – Navigate By Photography

- - Magazines, Websites

Finally some real progress in magazine-like website design. Wonderwall is a new celebrity tabloid site created by MSN and it’s no surprise if you’re familiar with MSN’s history on the web (Brian from Media Storm used to work there) that they’ve innovated the logical next step. Reproducing magazines online requires using photography in a big and powerful way and I really don’t think anybody realizes the role it plays in navigation, as an entry point to the stories plus most importantly how it sets the tone of your publication for the readers and advertisers. Regardless of how you feel about the celebrity tabloid genre this is groundbreaking. More please.

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There Are 9 Comments On This Article.

  1. I think the interface is interesting and different, but functionally I found it difficult to navigate laterally. In other words, I could dig into any section but I had to back all the way out to visit another section. If there was another way to easily navigate between sections, it wasn’t immediately apparent.

  2. For those who hoard, check out Fast Company March 2007 Table of Contents. Wonderwall is a web version of that print design. Though I’m sure others have similar print examples. Very cool as an interactive. I’ll admit to liking a good celebrity story. Only drawback to such a non-standard homepage? I can’t pretend I’m reading a serious breaking news story.

    Critics of industry meltdown say that media continues to lead in tech advances online, but fails on innovation with design and functionality. Majority of newspaper sites have a similar templates. Mag sites distinguish themselves but often don’t deliver on personality. Nice if Wonderwall sparks a trend.

    Fun way to start a work day. Thanks.

  3. Kind of reminds me of Firefox’s Cooliris. I’m finding the ad placement especially annoying. I’ll give them a pass on that since it’s still in beta. Overall, interesting format, could be a winner. Kudos to them for breaking the status quo.

  4. Tough to get more usable and ergonomic than a printed magazine. When web magazines can repeat some of that user friendliness, then they can be more successful. I am reminded of something I heard from a TBWA/Chiat/Day creative last week: “know your target audience”. Quite often we can be creating content for which we are not the target audience.

  5. Awesome and simple. I wonder what is taking the magazines to get with it. Ahhh they must be doing so much business that its taking up all their time and they’ll get to a better web presence once they slow down.