OLD Media Moves

How design helps Forbes.com increase traffic

September 16, 2013

Posted by Chris Roush

Lewis Dvorkin, the chief product officer at Forbes, writes about why journalists need to work more closely with designers and how such work has increased the traffic at its Forbes.com site.

Dvorkin writes, “This is a new way to consume pages, putting an end to pagination. In appearance, it’s simple. Under the hood, it’s complicated. When you scroll to the bottom of a post (after the comments and promotional items), a new post loads with a brief spinning pause, to let you know it’s loading. The more you scroll, the more posts you get. You can also click the Next Post tab to the right to move quickly down the screen to the next story. So, what determines the Next Post in a stream? Our editors and writers determine part of it. So do our business interests. Each consumer plays a role, too, based on how they use the site. That means your streams will increasingly be different than mine or anyone else’s. Here’s how it works:

“– When you arrive on a post (from search, a social news stream, Forbes.com or elsewhere), the next few posts beneath it will be related content curated by the first post’s author or our newsroom producers. Posts you’ve read before will not appear in the stream.

“– Next will come posts from our BrandVoice partners or those that carry sponsor support. At first, these posts will be specific to the topic vertical, or channel, of the initial post selected. Eventually, they will be far more contextual to the posts themselves.

“– Now comes personalization. Our technology team has built an algorithm that will deliver content to the stream based on who you are and how you’re interacting with FORBES content. For example: A reader’s browser will tell us what country or state do you live in. A reader’s activity tells us what you like to read, how much of it you read, the depth of your scrolling and text you choose to highlight. These are just a few of the data points we can evaluate to determine the content you might find of interest. The algorithm improves over time with the activity of the reader. As it does, personalized content will likely appear higher in the stream and elsewhere on the page.”

Read more here.

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