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Breaking Down the Refreshed LAYARED Magazine

Chris Cameron October 25, 2012

If you scan the pages of our LAYARED Magazine today, you’ll see fresh new content on every page!

This summer when we introduced the magazine - our tentpole example of how publishers can add interactivity to the static pages of print content - we packed the pages with awesome digital extras made using the Layar Creator. Now, after several big Creator campaigns have hit the magazine stands, we’ve been able to piece together just what makes for a successful interactive print campaign.

Taking these insights, as well as those we shared recently in our Best Practices Guide, we’ve completely refreshed the interactive print found in LAYARED to showcase how powerful and impactful this medium can be. Here’s an overview of what we changed, and why, and how you can use these concepts to create more effective campaigns.

Attracting & Educating with the Cover

We actually didn’t change the cover - it’s still the same great introduction video from Raimo van der Klein - but we wanted to reiterate what makes for an outstanding interactive print cover. We framed and designed Raimo’s video in such a way that when viewed over the magazine, it appears as though the pages come to life. This really helps a reader begin to grasp the overall concept of interactive print.

The other important thing to note about the cover video is that it serves a practical purpose for those who watch it. In our video, Raimo explains what the LAYARED Magazine is and how to use your phone to scan the pages and interact with the content. In your publication, a cover video could help to introduce your magazine as a special issue with interactive print, as well as show them how to use it.

And we’re not the only ones adding videos to our cover! Be sure to check out the VIVA Magazine 40th Anniversary issue which has a similar “come to life” style cover video!

Pro tip! — The cover of your publication is the first thing your readers see, and thus is a great place to make an important first impression. Grab their attention and help them understand what to expect. If a video isn’t your thing, think top level - include links to your homepage or maybe a place where readers can subscribe.

Providing Clear Instructions

The next most important aspect of any interactive print campaign is the instructions. Readers need a clear explanation of how to use Layar with the publication, which is why we dedicated a two page spread to this very concept on pages 4 and 5 of LAYARED. You probably don’t need to use so much space (many use just one page) but we wanted to clearly emphasize this.

The instructions in LAYARED are very clear and easy to follow. Importantly, the instructions include both illustrations and text to guide users through how to view interactive print. If you scan our instructions, we provide a quick link to info about the all new Layar 7.0, as well as an embedded video that appears to pop out of the printed page.

Pro tip! — In your publication, also make sure the instructional illustrations don’t look too much like an advertisement or editorial content as readers may otherwise miss them.

Complementing Print Content

On the very next page we showcased another important concept to consider when creating your interactive print content, complementing the existing print content. The buttons and items you add on top of your pages shouldn’t completely block out and overpower the content on the page.

On page 6 of LAYARED Magazine, you’ll notice that the buttons which encourage readers to learn more about the various milestones in AR history are actual realizations of the cartoon drawings they are placed over. The drawing of the headgear from 1968 is replaced by an actual photo of the technology.

Pro tip! — When creating your campaign, make sure your content complements that on the page. Don’t overcrowd the page with buttons and videos, otherwise readers may become confused and not understand how the content relates to what’s on the page. This relationship should be clear, as it makes for a better user experience.


Encouraging Personal Communication

Back at the beginning of LAYARED Magazine, you’ll find an introductory greeting from the Layar co-founders, as well as info about some of the hard-working people who help make Layar what it is. We added a very personal video of the co-founders that helps humanize the people behind the company, as well as various social links to get connected with the other folks below.

This is a great example of how the Creator can be used to offer a different lens to print content. By scanning the page, the cartoonish drawings of the co-founders come to life with real photos and video. The social buttons have been custom designed to fit the color scheme of the page and include clear action text that help readers understand what will happen if they tap.

Pro tip! — Use the calls-to-action to clearly direct readers to what you want them to experience. On page 3, the call-to-action says “View video with Layar,” which informs readers of the video waiting for them. Directing readers back to the instruction page via the call-to-action (e.g. “What’s this? See p. 4 for more info!) can also help prevent confusion from those who see the call-to-action without reading the instructions.

Selling Products & Enhancing Ads

Every magazine has ads, but even more magazines these days are focusing on providing a catalog of products and purchase information. In LAYARED, we featured several ads and product pages for this very reason, and how we used the Creator to help sell them is an important concept to grasp.

Take the spread on page 18 and 19 for the men’s bag. Scanning this ad with Layar not only provides a button to quickly purchase the item, but it also provides enhanced information at-a-glance, including alternate colors and photos of the bag from various angles. This creates a new dimension to ads and shopping catalogs, where information can be retroactively changed and updated without reprinting.

Pro tip! — When selling or promoting products, think of a way to bring more information to readers in a simpler way. Alternate colors, sizes, editions, looks, etc. inform readers and make the augments feel thoughtful. Check out the ad for the wristwatch on page 20, scanning it shows how it looks on someone’s wrist!

Showcasing Extra Content

Interactive print is the perfect opportunity to display content to readers that they couldn’t otherwise view in the printed magazine. Sometimes there’s no space for it, or it constantly changes or updates, or the content just doesn’t translate to a static page. With interactive print, you can solve these problems.

On page 10 of LAYARED, a story about new media company Universal Media is enhanced with a slideshow of the company’s highlights. We did this by uploading a video that showcases their work in a slideshow style. Fitting all this content and copy together in one single spread would have been challenging, but using interactive print to display a slideshow saves space, engages readers and has the ability to be updated later in time.

Pro tip! — When adding interactive print to your publication, don’t simply link away to content that could otherwise be featured right there on the page. Why link away to a webpage for a photo slideshow when you could add the photos right there in the page?

And there you have it: The new LAYARED Magazine! You can still order yours by visiting our order form page! For more information about creating better campaigns, check out our Best Practices Guide and browse the support forums!

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