Problem description

This was a small group design project for Interaction Design Fundamentals course at Carnegie Mellon University. We were presented an article named 'Bird Enemies' by John Burroughs, which was to be made into a magazine designed for the iPad. Our goal was to showcase the beauty, adventure and drama in the lives of birds. We individually created designs for the text, and after multiple iterations distilled them into final screens.


The design process began with research into our user base, the hobbyist bird watcher as well as the professional ornithologist. We conducted research on potential users, then developed personas in order to better understand our target user. We also explored the benefits and opportunities in bird and nature related magazines currently in circulation.

We created a moodboard to inspire our color palette and help create a consistent design language.

Paper collage moodboard


Concept validation

Finally, we designed iteratively, creating designs and refining them according to peer feedback. We gave and received criticisms, both positive and negative, and took those into consideration.


Kyle Brady is a fifteen year old boy. He lives in New Hampshire and enjoys being outdoors. He is interested in learning more about nature and his hobbies reflect this interest. He loves to spend his time climbing trees, watching birds and learning about animals. Because of his passion for animals, he wants to be a veterinarian when he grows up.

Richard Johnson, an ornithologist on the west coast, has been intrigued by birds since he was five. He is an avid reader and an active member of local nature and preservation groups. Besides birds and nature, he also loves listening to classical Jazz.


Here are some examples of sketching and initial design ideas that explore layout, typography, and grid structure.

First brainstorming sketch

Explorations on color

Our solution

A first attempt to be compared to other variations, refined, and adjusted for clarity.

A second design revision, experimenting with banners of color. This design still lacks a strong visual hierarchy, which was addressed later in typographical explorations.

After combining our work as a team, we came up with the final screens.

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