OLD Media Moves

Translating business journalism into tablet form

October 11, 2012

Posted by Chris Roush

Janelle Harris of MediaBistro.com interviewed David Ho, mobile and tablets editor at The Wall Street Journal, about how the business newspaper distributes and displays its content in new media formats.

Hers is an excerpt:

The WSJ was one of the first major newspapers to develop an iPad app, and it was met with both cheers and jeers. What did that process teach you about what people want in a technology?

The best technology is invisible. It doesn’t call attention to itself. It doesn’t get in the way of the experience. It just works. That’s why books and newspapers are great tech. I like to think of a newspaper — the actual paper kind — as a highly refined and still very effective mobile news technology. And that has lessons for mobile today if you think about where and when and how people consume news. People like technology that’s clean, simple and intuitive.

Not everyone agrees with this, but I also think people should have options. One of the reasons people like our app is that there are many ways to navigate and explore the news. There are distinct styles for reading news and a good app allows for that. But my number one rule for mobile and tablets is do not annoy. It’s so easy to piss people off on a mobile device, and the threshold for what people will put up with before they move on is very low. You know all the technology that’s supposed to make our lives easier, but winds up making things more complicated and frustrating? That’s what you have to fight against.

Read more here.

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