The tablet is an emerging channel for content delivery. One industry that is tapping into the potential of tablet content is the magazine industry. Little research has been conducted regarding what readers favor in digital magazines, especially with regards to layout. This thesis aimed to investigate reader preference for the layout of digital editions of magazines in the women's lifestyle genre, designed for the Apple iPad, with a focus on the attributes of image to white space ratio, grid, body typeface, and body text point size.

This study took a quantitative approach in addressing the proposed research question while incorporating a traditional conjoint analysis methodology. The sample was derived from RIT students as a convenience sampling of 52 females ages 18-24.

The results determined that preference existed to some degree for all presented attributes. It was observed that 67% of participants valued a single attribute, while 33% of participants highly valued both a primary and a secondary attribute. It was concluded that body text typeface had the highest preference (45%), followed by body text point size (33%), image to white space ratio (15%), and grid (7%). Within the levels of the body text typeface attribute, preference was detected between the two serif typefaces, with Minion (58%) being slightly preferred over Didot (42%).

Upon conclusion of the study, the researcher does not believe there is one specific combination of design variables that would create the "perfect" overall digital magazine layout for a specific genre's readership. Within the scope of this experiment, almost half of the respondents had no preference that fit the model, and for those that did, no one attribute overwhelmingly outperformed all others.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Layout (Printing)--Public opinion; Magazine design--Public opinion; Type and type-founding--Public opinion; Tablet computers

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Print Media (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Media Sciences (CIAS)


Patricia Sorce

Advisor/Committee Member

Christine Heusner


A physical copy is available from RIT's Wallace Library at Z246 .F355 2014


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes