Skift Take

Great content is key, but readers can turn almost anywhere on the web for snippets of GGI’s message. GGI needs some real design thinking here to make it work long term.

Amidst the doomsday of print, a growing group on travel lifestyle magazines are launching specifically for the web. One of the newest launches to catch our eye is Gone Girl International, which just released a quarterly online magazine as well as hosts and encourages meet ups in cities around the world.

The surprisingly comprehensive magazine targets a large and growing demographic of young, social and global women. It’s for a generation of women that are leaving their hometowns to travel, and travel frequently, for little more than the pleasure of movement. They are keeping track of cultures, meals, and romance on individual blogs and Twitter accounts.

The concept is great given the growth of this demographic and the content touches on topics as diverse as they are useful. It jumps from app suggestions and hustling tips in Thrive & Survive to profiles on bi-cultural couples that met and now live abroad.

Although the content is spot on for its target audience, the layout and design of the online magazine doesn’t represent the digitally-native sophisticated reader it is trying to reach. The text is cluttered and overwhelming with boxes upon boxes of text inserts and side bars. There are only a few notable high-quality images that jump out to the reader, which should definitely not be the case for a publication celebrating travel, cultures, and girls.

Online magazines do best when the design is extremely clean and simple lending itself to an easy read. High-quality images must also be a priority.

The inaugural issue is dedicated to “every woman who has ever fallen in love with a place, a person or a possibility, packed a bag and headed out into the world to chase it.”

The entire digital version of the magazine is available for free online and embedded below.


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