MPA Digital: Dwell Gets It Wrong — Then Right?

247_magazines.jpgFishbowlNY reports from the Digital Magazine Conference, “Magazines 24/7,” in New York:

A couple lessons from Dwell today: On the Web, give lots of choices and be careful how you name your stuff.

The magazine’s online director, Perry Nelson, stopped by the MPA’s Digital conference this morning to talk about how they messed up on the Web, and hoped their relaunch a week ago would make things better.

She said their mistakes originally were in thinking their beautiful mod-leaning pictures (which is something Dwell is all about) were enough — without showing their depth and breadth of content. So they went from a static page with, essentially, three ways to enter, to something like 28 links on the homepage, while still preserving their Dwell-y design sensibility.

The stuff they have now includes: video, a large ad, a place for subscriptions, a blog, a newsletter signup, community logons, most popular and most e-mailed — mostly stuff they had before, but didn’t display well.

They also, she said, renamed their material to make it understandable for people in the Web — rather than making it hew to the magazine’s sections. For example the blog is now named a blog instead of being named something that seemed like an “editor’s notes.”

Let all that be a lesson to those trying to put their publications online: show what you’ve got, and name things so they can be understood by people who see it.