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How NYT is bringing design thinking into its audience research

Columbia Journalism Reivew

In her first column as NYT public editor, Liz Spayd argues that in order for the Times to increase its revenue, it needs to learn more about its readers and listen to what they want. To achieve that, NYT is incorporating design thinking into its audience research, both inside and outside of the newsroom: Led by Alex McCallum (who has a background in both journalism and design), NYT defined the questions it wanted to answer through meetings with editors and reporters. Then, it found 15 NYT readers representing different levels of engagement, and asked them to record their online interactions throughout the day, as well as how they felt about how those interactions and whether they shared them.

+ Good design is good business, John Maeda says: “Design is a mind-set. It’s a set of capabilities and skills. It does require an environment to flourish. It requires people to work in a collaborative way that is different than it’s been historically” (McKinsey & Company)

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