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Refract Magazine

Refract Magazine


Interaction Design Fundamentals
Fall 2012


6 weeks


Faiz Abbasi
Kristina Lustig
Stephen Trahan



Interaction Designer
Communication Designer


Competitive Analysis
Grid Systems
Color Theory





We were asked to create an iPad magazine layout with text provided for one article. In order to develop the magazine we needed to survey the landscape of existing print and digital magazines through a competitive analysis. Once we understood what was available, we began to work on developing our own magazine.


The competitive analysis was our start; we scanned over 100 pages from different magazines for inspiration. We compiled some of the images for use in our mood board, which helped us develop a tone and start to understand the voice of our magazine. I selected the colors and built our color palette to echo CMYK as a tribute to print magazines. Our goal was a flat, simple, and elegant aesthetic.

We created a client persona (Archie) and a reader persona (Avery), which provided a target for the magazine's material and user. After this we began discussing navigation and use: my idea was the theme of off-page color bleed to imply a connection elsewhere within the magazine, which is visible in the table of contents and the drop down navigation. We decided that our magazine would keep the user engaged by allowing social media posts from within the app but it would otherwise remain dedicated to the material within the magazine, as our client desired.


Iteration and critique helped ensure this project continued to improve. Our team worked well together and was able to move swiftly, which allowed maintain our focus on attention to detail. We were intent on understanding the relationship between client, user, and designer and how this shaped our work. The project constraints restrained creative opportunities, but the experience was a solid foundation from which to build. You can view the full magazine here.