Digitizing a Print Magazine

When SIAM wanted to modernize their monthly news journal website and merge it with their other blogs, they needed a solution that allowed their team to easily create dynamic articles and a plan to migrate existing content to the new format.

An online publishing platform to modernize an established publication.

SIAM News is the news journal of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM).  It covers cutting-edge research and the latest in applied mathematics and computational science, targeted to the non-profit’s 14,500+ members worldwide.

The publication dates back 20 years, and initially it was a print-only publication. As years progressed, they began small steps towards digitizing publications, like adding PDF copies of articles to their organization’s website. Then, in 2013, SIAM News first moved online, supplementing their print publication with an online version.

Two years later, SIAM wanted to merge two other blogs into their SIAM News website to create a central place for news-related content. The challenge was finding a way to organize and integrate the new content without losing the effect of a monthly publication. In addition, they wanted the backend publishing platform to be easy-to-use for editors.

Combining content from 3 publications under a single cover.

When the SIAM News website was first built in 2013, we used the DNN Platform and a customized news module. This pre-existing structure allowed us to add additional content areas without disrupting the structure they already used to publish online.

To prepare the website for additional content, we worked with SIAM to outline a new sitemap, article categories, and tags. This structure would become the backbone of the new website.

A magazine look-and-feel with a powerful backend CMS.

With a large portion of the backend handled, we focused our attention on giving SIAM News a truly modern look-and-feel. Together, BRIO and SIAM created wireframes of each major page, scrutinizing designs for a smooth and intuitive user experience.

Because the existing SIAM News team manages the website, it was important to build functionality that didn’t require coding knowledge. With this in mind, we built in easy ways to:

  • Create an issue of SIAM News articles that publish simultaneously;
  • Designate an article as a blog post or a SIAM News article;
  • Create a photo gallery;
  • Categorize the article to appear in multiple places throughout the site;
  • Add MathJax equations to articles;
  • Display paid advertising.

One new home to organize a wealth of content.

The driving force behind digitizing SIAM News format was to provide a singular access point for timely content.

By expanding the purpose and scope of the publication, SIAM was able to eliminate unnecessary websites, unite their look and feel, and publish content more regularly to keep readers interested. Plus, for the first time ever, SIAM News was able to sell paid online advertisements, expanding opportunities for revenue.

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