Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
As government records move from paper to email to channels like Slack, how should FOIA keep up?
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
May 1, 2013, 2:42 p.m.

The New York Times launched a revamped mobile site today

Two design trends: Make all your mobile products look alike (app or web) and make it clean, clean, clean.

nytimes-mobile-redesignYou can check it out at mobile.nytimes.com. A few quick thoughts:

— In typography and story layout, it’s much closer to the Times’ iPhone app, edging closer toward cross-platform parity. (Headlines are still just Georgia, not the custom version of Cheltenham it uses in print, in apps, and on Skimmer. But they’re now black — no longer 1994-weblink blue.) Presentation of images, captions, and credits on article pages are also much closer to app styles.

— It’s responsive — to a very limited degree! You’ll still find different layouts at mobile.nytimes.com and www.nytimes.com — this ain’t BostonGlobe.com — but mobile.nytimes.com does reflow at widths of 600px or narrower. The Times mobile site caps its width there — unlike, say, the Guardian’s mobile site, which will expand all the way up to 1250px.

— There’s less cruft at the top of the mobile homepage — no more weather or stock indexes, and the search bar and section navigation get significantly less real estate. (Market data’s pushed down a few screens.)

Overall, the takeaways seem to be: a common visual experience across mobile platforms (app/web — see also the new Reuters site) and a cleaner, more premium look.

Mobile is becoming (or should be becoming!) a big deal for every news organization, but as Fiona Spruill wrote for us back in December, it’s already a big deal at the Times:

In the next 12–18 months, many news organizations will cross the 50 percent threshold where more users are visiting on phones and tablets than on desktop computers and laptops.

In November, 37 percent of all visits to the Times (including to NYTimes.com, our mobile site, and all of our apps) came from phones or tablets. That’s up from 28 percent in 2011 and 20 percent in 2010. When media organizations see numbers like this, they will be forced to decide whether they can continue to put the majority of their digital efforts into the presentation of their desktop report. If you do that, your product, and your journalism, will not be tailored for the majority of your digital readers.

Some tech notes from Twitter: It’s powered by Node.js; they’re using Varnish for caching. And:

POSTED     May 1, 2013, 2:42 p.m.
SHARE THIS STORY
   
Show comments  
Show tags
 
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
As government records move from paper to email to channels like Slack, how should FOIA keep up?
“I have a love-hate relationship with FOIA.”
Om mani padme hum: The New York Times wants to help you meditate (and run and lose weight and just feel good)
With increasingly product-driven thinking, the Times’ Well is breaking out of the news cycle — through VR, evergreen newsletters, and how-to guides — in an attempt to connect more deeply with readers.
For many legacy news organizations in Europe, digital disruption comes with new ideas but few answers
A new Reuters Institute report reaffirms familiar trendlines in digital publishing: “People are using mobile more and more, but we are not yet getting the revenue out of it that we would like to get.”