What will be the easy, frictionless digital news experience moving toward?

You could frame the big challenge for the next few years of digital news this way: How can we create a news user experience that’s as easy and friction-free as Facebook, but robust enough for a news power user, writes Joshua Benton. He explores what will replace the low effort, high reward experience that TV […]

The basics of branding: Questions to ask

“It helps you stand out from competition, gives your company a clear sense of place and purpose and it’s an important element of customer loyalty,” writes Emilie Futterman on the importance of brands. Futterman shares a few things to look at when it comes to assessing your brand, like your brand promise and questions to […]

The difference between user testing and usability testing

Shari Thurow explains the difference: “Usability is about contextual task completion. Website usability isn’t about one’s personal opinion … You can delight or entertain your website users all you want, but if they can’t complete their desired tasks? If they can’t locate or discover desired content? That is not much of an experience.” + 10 […]

How Businessweek is reinventing the magazine cover

Though news consumption has shifted online, “chances are a Bloomberg Businessweek cover has stopped you in your tracks at some point,” writes Alissa Walker. The new team and strategy, which has led to a “brilliant cat hurricane GIF” and “the most anti-Apple typography ever slapped over Tim Cook’s face” is a result of a different […]

A game developer on making your brand the first priority of development

Dots CEO Paul Murphy explains why a brand-focused approach was critical in building Dots and then its sequel TwoDots and why branding doesn’t just belong to marketers and advertisers and PR folks. “Your brand is the feeling that a player’s mind latches onto when they engage with your product. It’s what players are thinking about, […]

How to keep readers coming back for more: 10 good questions with Nir Eyal, author of Hooked

Much of a news organization’s desire to grow audiences, and particularly subscribers, depends upon getting people to come back, over and over. But what is it that makes products habit-forming? It doesn’t happen on its own. It’s not enough just to build a useful product or have a few stories go viral. Forming real habits […]

What fuels great design (and why most startups don’t do it)

“Design is a powerful and often overlooked way to solve problems. But without the right fuel, design is worthless. When designers don’t know which problems to solve, we spin our wheels. We make products prettier when we could be solving customer’s needs and generating real value. So any company that’s serious about design should get […]

Facebook’s director of product design: ‘For everything we build, we like to ask ourselves what problem we’re solving, and who we’re solving it for.’

Julie Zhuo, director of product design at Facebook, whose team works on designing News Feed, the content ecosystem, Facebook’s core experiences and patterns across different platforms, participates in a Reddit Ask Me Anything and answers questions on the the tech and design industry, the role of data in design, and Facebook’s approach to product design. […]

Designing products for news with the Werewolf game

In the regular children’s game of Werewolf, the moderator divides players into two secret teams (werewolves and the villagers), in which the werewolves’ goal is to kill all of the villagers before being discovered and the villagers’ goal is to identify the werewolves and vote to lynch them. In NPR digital strategist Melody Kramer’s adaption […]

Design is not an investment — it’s core

Those in charge of some websites may think that content is more important than design, that a good design is “a good investment,” but not vital. Mike Monteiro, co-founder and design director of Mule Design, a studio whose clients include ProPublica, All Things D, and, disagrees. “Design is core,” says Monteiro. “It’s not a […]