The big points

Mario Garcia, one of the five pundits who wrote the brief for this project, has summed up the Challenge presentations nicely here. He boils the designs to seven strategies.

  1. It’s all about the article page
  2. Virtual reality is the ultimate form of storytelling
  3. Intelligent video with context
  4. Your brand is one of your biggest assets
  5. Briefing and curation are moving to center stage
  6. Two tempos: Lean forward—and lean back
  7. Simplicity has never been more essential.

Mario’s seven strategies capsulize their thinking. The five also presented focused tactics for news sites and apps. Action items!

Jeffrey Zeldman: Adapt a layered set of type styles to accelerate reading and bring out the meaning of stories. This will brand them as yours.

Kat Downs Mulder: Get to know readers better, and know what they’ve read. This leads to more immersion and more loyalty. It will take some work on the server side, but we cannot leave the heuristics to Facebook and Google. 

Mike Swartz: Take your brand to the target community. A city newspaper needs to physically interact with the city, offering active news and data about daily life, encounters at events and even a store or cafe.

Lucie Lacava: Give much more control of the publication to the readers—not just type size. Layout, color, and topics. Even ads!

Jared Cocken: Stop stalling the integration of interactive video and VR, due to budgets. Tap the new, more economical solutions (which he and his team demoed.)

The designers’ slides, notes, pages, screens, and some actual code will be posted soon on this site. (And later, the video by Fora.TV.) Stay tuned!

Mario at the first round of the Design Challenge, in New York last October. [A frame from the Fora.tv video]

Mario at the first round of the Design Challenge, in New York last October. [A frame from the Fora.tv video]

Roger BlackComment