Crafting a mobile

magazine experience

Case Study


Next Issue Media

Next Issue Media’s app, Texture, brings magazine subscriptions into the digital age - with one monthly payment, users get access to digital issues of over 200 popular magazines. Grio has worked with the NIM team for more than two years to improve their app design and overall user experience, tackling everything from small, fast-turnaround projects to large, complex design efforts. In addition to design, Grio has worked on a wide range of development projects using technologies such as Objective C and Swift, Angular, and Java. Here we describe one of the design projects we were engaged with.

The Challenge

Create a great mobile magazine experience

Print magazine articles tend to have complex layouts, and displaying them on small mobile screens is a tough design challenge. Grio’s designers collaborated with NIM to create a consistent, streamlined mobile template that provides a great reading experience on any device, while NIM’s developers worked in parallel to build a series of rapid prototypes based on the templated designs.

magazine pdf to mobile template

Translation of original magazine PDF to Texture’s mobile-optimized template.

Our Approach:
Part 1



Our first task was to thoroughly analyze both the design problem and the competitive space. The research phase included a deep analysis of magazine article layouts across a wide range of publications, and detailed documentation of the patterns and editorial design elements we observed. We also reviewed ten competitor products to better understand existing mobile-optimized article viewing solutions.

documentation of findings

We scrupulously documented each design element we identified, which helped us understand the scale of the project.


By reviewing magazine articles across titles, we identified patterns; we dug into the elements that created these patterns to inform the design of each element in our template.

competitive ANALYSIS

We reviewed ten competitor products to better understand the current space of mobile optimized article viewing.

Our Approach:
Part 2


Design & Development

Armed with a clear understanding of the article elements we needed to accommodate, Grio’s design team dove into each element and crafted a streamlined template whose many moving parts worked cohesively together. We delivered the HTML/CSS template to NIM’s development team, who injected Javascript to add interactivity as specified by our designs.


30% boost in mobile engagement

Top app of 2016

New Mobile Experience

Following implementation of the new template, Texture was rated one of the best apps of 2016, and the NIM team observed a 30% increase in article opens and time spent on article pages among mobile users. Grio continues to work with NIM to provide services that complement their design and development skills, and to offset an increasing workload as their business grows.