Flipboard, the personal magazine application has released its latest and greatest update to the app today. The 4.0 update introduces a whole new design for the app bringing a better visual and legible hierarchy to the content. One of the main features in today’s update is the introduction of Smart Magazines.

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In building out the new update, Flipboard’s design team broke down what it took to get the app to where it is today. Looking at reader behaviors and analytics, the design team found better ways to organize the way the app functions. They learned that people’s interests could generally be categorized into a few high levels:

…we observed that each high-level category contained smaller “clusters” of interest. For example, one cluster in photography included street photography, film, and black & white, while another included landscapes, DSLRs, and Photoshop. These clusters highlighted the fact that people tend to construct unique hierarchies of interest.

Learning how readers truly used the application, the team worked towards building out a better method for readers to find new content they’ll love. They eventually created what they’re calling Smart Magazines.

Ultimately we arrived at a design that quietly guides people to define their interests for any given category. Rather than constantly needing to manage what you follow, this approach allows people to simply select the kinds of stories they want to read, and Flipboard takes care of the rest.

Head over to the Flipboard Design team’s blog for the full rundown on how they worked through building the new app, and be sure to grab the free update in the App Store now. To get the most out of the new Flipboard update, check out Flipboard’s latest blog post with some tips.

Image: Flipboard Design

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