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This is the online companion to the 2008 year-end print issue of SEED magazine, that reports on how the latest developments in science affect the environment, economy, arts, design and culture in general. It’s an impressive showcase of the beautiful images and interesting articles from the print issue with additional elements of play and interactive depth, that really allow the content to shine.

The interface offers a bird’s-eye-view of all images and articles at once, providing an overview of the entire issue that also enables visitors to pan and instantly zoom-in to any content they find appealing. Providing a nice tactile navigation experience is the swiping gesture (during development termed the “microfiche” concept)  used to scroll the articles. A metadata tagging mechanism at the top of the screen allows visitors to browse by any topic in the navigation spectrum bar; mousing over and clicking the spectrum of topics causes related articles on the screen to highlight, which is a nice visual demonstration of the interconnectedness of the topics explored by SEED.

• Adding content to the CMS automatically creates slots on the front end, which can be laid out differently depending on the template.

• An HTML index (available at the tab at the bottom of the screen) allows visitors to jump to content immediately, if they’re not interested in the Flash interface or don’t have Flash installed. There’s also an alternate mobile version.

• The site has to load in thumbnails, after that image content is loaded in as needed. The gallery view utilizes an open source framework called OpenZoom that loads in high-res image tiles dynamically (much like Google Maps), which keeps the load on the server and browser down. The wrapper Flash file is just 200KB including the sounds.

• Since the 26 high-res files are split up into many tiles, the site is a rather large 700MB.

• The site had 25,000 unique visitors in the first month; during that period UI09 was the top content on site and the time spent on site was 3:58 minutes in average.

• In the last couple of years the year-end issue was designed with input from outside design teams—SEED's logo was produced by Sagmeister Inc. and "The Universe in 09" issue was designed by the firm 2x4 Inc.
seedmagazine.com/ui09

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