Behind the scenes at FT Labs
Lucia Moses of Digiday writes about FT Labs, the development arm of the Financial Times.
Moses writes, “Projects that FT Labs has worked on have run the gamut. The FT had a way to let subscribers share articles with friends who don’t subscribe, but the process was clunky. So FT Labs built a way to let subscribers share an article using their own personal email.
“FT Labs also was involved in part of the FT’s response to ad blocking. In that case, it created a feature where certain ad blocker users would see various words of an article blocked out. It was part of a test that began in July. Other test groups got messages asking them to whitelist the site or were just blocked from seeing the article altogether. Sometimes, the FT Labs team takes on the projects that fell through the cracks, like the FT’s 404 error page.
“But things haven’t always been smooth sailing. FT Labs is still figuring out how to make sure the work it does gets off the ground and gets carried on elsewhere. Gathercole readily admits that Labs hasn’t always succeeded. When it built web-based screens to display content around the FT’s offices, the publisher’s in-house communications team adopted them as their primary way of disseminating news to its employees. The small Labs team didn’t have enough people to run them and continue to work on new projects, but it couldn’t just switch off the screens. Lesson learned: FT Labs is in the process of turning the screens’ operation over to another department.”
Read more here.