Graham Hinchly, the engineering manager at FT Labs, writes about the business newspaper’s digital first strategy and the technology behind it.
Clearly at the FT, we decided that the advantages of a Web app outweighed the advantages of a native app, and we still believe this is the case.
The Web app is a key part of our strategy, and we invested significantly in it in 2013, fundamentally re-architecting and re-designing the app to give us a product that we can continue to innovate and build on.
For me, two lessons stand out, which I think are applicable to any news or media organisation, regardless of size.
Firstly, the success of the Web app has proved to be a vital component in moving the FT to a “mobile-first” approach (although this journey is not yet complete). Encouraging people throughout the organisation to participate in trials of new versions of the Web app has been a particular success for us, engaging a much wider variety of people with mobile and digital.
Whether you’re at a point where you’re advocating “digital-first” or “mobile-first” in your organisation, it’s important that someone is responsible for advocating this throughout the organisation. Developing an innovative product in-house makes this job much easier.