Earlier this year, Buzzfeed leaked a New York Times internal digital innovation report which outlined many of the paper’s failures in the digital space. What the report didn’t include was a cover letter touting the New York Times’ ‘innovations,’ which were seen by many as bare bones basic versus truly ground breaking.
To Dan Gardner, co-founder and Executive Creative Director at Code and Theory, an alignment of all departments – from editorial to sales to tech – is essential for any organization to implement real change. Witness the LA Times’ digital redesign that added features such as the ‘transporter,’ which introduces a way to seamlessly path users from one section or piece of content to the next, and the idea that every page should be treated as an entry point as valuable as the homepage.
It’s all about the experience
Newsrooms must also fully understand the user experience and how it changes based up time of day and day of the week. Mornings are typically ‘catch up’ and commute opportunities where audiences want a briefing on breaking news, both local and international. Early evening is a ‘tablet lean back’ opportunity, when readers can spend more time with individual stories.
Dan has spent years studying newsrooms and figuring out solutions to publishers’ problems in a new, digital world.
“The solution should consider everything: The role the publication plays in the lives of its readers, identifying differentiated subject matter coverage, offering the right set of functionality to readers, assessing the workflow needed to support it, as well as re-imagining the content strategy that takes into account device, location, personalization and pathing,” and Dan will take on this and more in his WebVisions Chicago session “Innovation Experiences: Build the Future, Don’t Just Talk About It.”
Going broad, getting personal
Publishers must take a broad look at design when it comes to user experience on the digital side. It must draw together the reader, the experience, the technology and the organization. Only then, Dan says, can news organizations achieve real transformative change.
In his session, Dan will talk about what his company learned from being embedded in 49 different newsrooms in the past five years. He’ll look at the future of digital news publishing – from the emergence of contextual news “programming” to the increased demand for hyper-local and hyper-personalized content, to how social media and technology platforms will continue to change consumption behaviors.
“And then there’s the bigger organizational problem of having the means, the scale and the technologists to innovate and change,” muses Dan, “but not being able to make it happen. Maybe it’s office politics, an over abundance of resources, leadership or all of the above.”
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