Insights, tools and research to advance journalism

Design (Page 5)

A lesson from the New York Times in how to avoid misleading readers with numbers

In an article from last summer, the New York Times published an interactive graphic on the Israeli assault underway in Gaza, presenting a biased version of the events through data visualization. Data journalism is often perceived as less biased than traditional written journalism, but the article serves as a reminder of the red flags to […]

Four takeaways from ESPN’s website redesign

ESPN has launched its first redesign since 2009, with a streamlined design, lots of white space and a responsive layout. The website is personalized and designed to feature more content each user will be interested in. Besides being simply responsive, the design is also adaptable, allowing ESPN to feature content such as live scores more […]

Why responsive design sometimes is not enough

NYT’s Mat Yurow says that a few years ago, he too would have been “emphatic” that all web developers should be building sites with responsive design. In this essay, Yurow says he’s changed his mind: a responsive design, which is the same across all platforms and devices, assumes that users have the same goals on […]

Designing for users by generation: Inspiration from NewsForBetty.com

Josh Benton writes about Melody Kramer’s experiment to think about what a good news design would look like for Betty, her 89-year-old neighbor. Kramer’s post about watching Betty look for news on her iPad (over tea) contextualized her experiment: there are 13 million people age 75 to 84 and 5 million between 85 and 94 […]

How NPR builds its special format stories around a dominant media type

Wes Lindamood writes about the evolution of NPR’s picture stories and how the storytelling vision gets integrated with the web design. Regarding the storytelling, Lindamood notes how to avoid cluttered special story formats, those which may have attractive pieces but aren’t cohesive. Instead, identify a dominant media type (e.g. visual or audio) and enhance its […]

Document the processes behind design or feature changes to boost transparency

The news environment today requires tweaking, iterations and major redesigns, but audiences may not understand. In this interview on INN’s name change, rebranding and web redesign, INN design director Kaeti Hinck describes how documentation and explanation can be difficult (“especially when you’re neck-deep in the middle of launching a project”), but benefits are clear. “Nobody […]

How NPR used multivariate testing to learn which design element produced more conversions

NPR recently ran controlled experiments live on its site, testing whether a small design tweak would prompt more users to “take action” on a Support NPR button. Tyler Fisher and Livia Labate write about how this worked: in one case they constructed two versions of the page, one of which was the “control” and placed […]

The best digital design elevates journalism — it doesn’t just contain it 

Mindy McAdams helped judge the Society for News Design’s Best of Digital Design awards and highlights the trends she saw, including the “not-so-good” entries that were rejected “often quickly.” This included entries that were “cover” pieces — those that looked nice at first glance but then only linked to regular article pages — and entries […]

‘Design like you’re right. Read the data like you’re wrong.’

Before digital, designing was more of a blind process. In this essay on new White House chief data scientist DJ Patil’s previous role at Greylock, John Lilly discusses how better understanding data improves the design process. Teams used to spend “a lot of time on ethnography, need finding, doing paper prototypes and then doing basic […]

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