WSJ launches new mobile app
Wall Street Journal editor Gerard Baker sent out the following announcement on Tuesday afternoon:
Today we publicly unveiled the first phase of our refreshed iOS mobile app in the Apple store. This is an important moment, the fruit of months of hard work, propelling our mobile journalism forward in a way that will serve readers and provide us with new ways to tell and share stories.
As part of the WSJ2020 process, we have moved to make mobile-first our mantra, and this release makes that a reality. The Wall Street Journal app 9.0 is a major advance on its predecessors. A new design allows editors to choose articles, change their layout and packaging based on content and set a clear hierarchy that allows readers to catch up quickly.
The new app brings the best parts of our heritage into the mobile age. The new, fully curated feed has been rechristened What’s News instead of Top Stories, providing the same utility as its namesake column. We introduced styles and fonts from the paper so users will know immediately that they’re seeing Wall Street Journal news. To make the app more personalized, we’ve also added the ability to save articles from the home screen, a slew of new categories for push alerts and an entirely new navigation paradigm.
Importantly, our news app will no longer be a downstream product fed by other platforms with a one-size fits all layout. The mobile home screen will be built with as much care and insight as the front page of the print paper or the desktop home page.
The mobile app home screen will be built with as much care and insight as the front page of the print paper of the desktop home page.
This release is just the first step in a process of regular upgrades and continuous improvement for our digital products. Later this year, we will introduce a robust markets data center, improvements to the appearance of the article page, more personalization and further performance enhancements.
I’m especially proud of the intense collaboration and cooperation across departments that resulted in the new release. The newsroom has led the process from the start, under the leadership of Mobile Editor Phil Izzo, WSJ Chief Technology Officer Rajiv Pant and Product Director Jordan Sudy. Their teams have made a Herculean effort to advance us in just a few months.
On the news side, Christopher Chung, Brittany Hite, Katie Bindley, Carmel Lobello and the entire mobile team have done an excellent job constantly making sure news comes first as we improve the app. Charity Scott, Phil Nobile, Elena Chiriboga and Jonathan Clegg have tested and retested all the new bells and whistles, while Jacqui Devaney and Kelly Dickerson have done double duty as editors and developers, writing some of the key code to make the app look beautiful.
On the product side, Jordan joined us from Apple News and quickly became essential to the entire effort. Katharine Bailey, Greg Emerson and Amit Shah kicked off the process, helped set the tone for the refresh and were instrumental in making sure that everyone was on the same page throughout the process.
The engineering team led by Jason Patterson made big changes to how the app was structured and got it through on time, despite resource challenges. Roben Kleene, Matt Gambill and Angelica Bato swiftly dealt with problems and delivered a vastly improved user experience. Janit Singh and Adrian Lafond did a splendid job upgrading the tools for our editors so they could implement a totally overhauled workflow.
The sleek new design was led by Che Douglas, working with Fernando Turch, Bonnie Jarvie, Thomas Williams and Brian Feeney. Himesh Patel, on loan from the Dow Jones Innovation team, and his team helped us rethink the way we show market data and enhanced our understanding of the evolving feature set via the benefit of Innovation’s experience with the What’s News and WSJ City apps.
The team was supported at all levels of Dow Jones in this project. Chief Innovation Officer Edward Roussel’s expertise and guidance were hugely helpful. Maria Petersen and her team helped us get designs and then prototypes into users’ hands to test changes. Anne Powell and Jessica Gutchess in marketing helped us hone our onboarding and member messages in the app.
With this new and wholly contemporary app, we are demonstrating The Journal’s commitment to leading the way in digital news. It’s an advance that puts us a big step closer towards realizing our goal of being a truly digital, mobile news organization. There’s much more to come.