A magazine app for people who can't read (or who don't want to). Advanced tablet-based interaction design.

What if you couldn’t read? Or what if you didn’t feel like reading? Those are the questions that inspired this project. What would a text-free magazine be like? How could a tablet help create a unique magazine that wouldn’t require reading?

I love reading. Sometimes, though, I don’t want to read. I want to experience something new, and I don’t want the noise and cheapness of television or online videos.

This app is for those times. When peace and depth are important.

National Geographic Reader takes articles produced by the National Geographic Society’s (NGS) publications, and reads them aloud while displaying images from the articles.

The reader is text-free, and intuitive to use. It focuses on stories and imagination. It creates a peaceful experience for people who don’t want to read. For people who can’t read, it opens up the immense archive of the National Geographic Society.

1. The Interface

Because its users can't read or don't want to, National Geographic Reader has no text in it. This makes semiotics and storytelling especially important; users need to understand the symbols and their progression in order to get to the content. So, I created simple yet powerful interfaces that reduce proximity to content and help users spend more time with the unique National Geographic experience and less time fiddling with menus.


One of the challenges users face is browsingfor content without the aid of text. I overcame this challenge by creating three views. Each view is a different way by which users can find things they like. The views replicate the joy of discovery that comes from flipping through a physical copy of National Geographic magazine.

3. Discovering and Reading

One of the great joys of the National Geographic magazine experience is being able to discover new places and things. National Geographic Reader gives users that joy by helping them explore the world. This is the heart of the app, and it encourages the same curiosity in users that the magazine encourages in readers.

4. More Interactivity

National Geographic Reader reproduces the experience of reading National Geographic magazine, and it adds additional interactivity, too.


National Geographic Reader faithfully reproduces the experience of reading National Geographic magazine. It captures the peace, depth, and joy of discovery and makes them available to many more people.

This is a spec project I created while at the VCU Brandcenter.