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VIVA Magazine Goes Interactive to Celebrate 40th Anniversary

Chris Cameron October 23, 2012

Dutch women’s magazine VIVA is celebrating 40 years of publication by adding interactivity to its pages with Layar.

In the latest issue, readers can view exclusive videos, shop directly for items advertised in the magazine and much more! We talked with VIVA Product Manager Anouk Vos to get the inside story on how they planned the issue, what their experience was like with the Layar Creator and what to expect in the future from VIVA.

How did VIVA plan for incorporating interactive print? What was the process like?

When you start a production, the editorial staff sits together. In the staff meeting, we decide the complete layout of the magazine, then we think of what gets “Layared,” and then we decide which buttons to use, which should be created, etc. With the help of our art director we browsed the pages and thought of a pink layout that would be visible on all sorts of backgrounds. Most of the options we used were pretty basic: download page, download app, listen, etc. For the animated cover, as this was more delicate, we used a couple of test versions. We wanted to make that sure it worked.

 

What inspired you to use Layar? How did you hear of it?

Actually, I was looking for a new way to present myself in presentations, so I took a VIVA cover and said “Just scan the image to get my contact details, download link to the presentation, etc.” The ad-interim editor in chief of VIVA, Jossine Modderman, immediately got enthusiastic, so we created a demo page for the real VIVA. Jossine in her editorial told her readers that she was proud of her curves. A couple of readers reacted that in her editorial image she looked so thin, so which curves was she talking about? As a reaction, we created an editorial where we said “If you’re curious, scan the image with Layar, and you can see the unphotoshopped, just pure Jossine editorial image.”

We received a couple of nice reactions, and at that point we decided we wanted to be more informed about Layar and its possibilities, and bring our magazine to life. Also LINDA. Magazine has some really cool examples (e.g. the poll option), so why not take part in the Layar revolution?

 

How was the experience of using the Creator?

The Layar Creator is quite a basic tool - it is so easy to use. But still, the most important process with the Creator is the testing. By testing you will experience hiccups and you learn more about the Creator. For example, I used a rather large image, so some phones couldn’t load it. This is of course very logical when you think about it, but when first working with the tool, you will just upload the image and start your Layar quest.

How do you plan to use Layar in the future?

The animated cover for our jubilee edition was absolutely great. And of course the voice-over columns too. Those pages surely gave an extra dimension to the print edition, so our intention is to do that more often. But another way that’s something that has our primal focus to use layar is fashion and living items. We can make them sharable (Pin the items) and buyable (readers are one click away). And of course, we can think of cool way to integrate advertisers so that for our readers, those pages become more interesting as well.

Layar gives you the option to bring more depth to the print issue. It brings print to life and allows our readers to get instant information on products.

 

Any other thoughts you want to add?

Our first experience is that the pages that really are about the magazine - the cover and the spoken columns - are the most successful. Now we are in the process of evaluating, so we will have a deeper look at every page: what was easy to use, was it clear that the page was scannable, etc. And also important, were the Layar buttons clear?

But we must say, our Layar experience was and still is great. When we show the animated cover to colleagues and clients, they all are absolutely thrilled to see it. With almost 7,000 pageviews, our first Layar encounter can be called a success!

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