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Postcards and laundromat visits: The Texas Tribune audience team experiments with IRL distribution
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April 8, 2013, 12:51 p.m.
LINK: www.fastcodesign.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Joshua Benton   |   April 8, 2013

Luke Wroblewski, author of the very fine Mobile First, sums up a few key design principles for mobile apps. Most important for news organization is the first:

DESIGN FOR DISTRACTION

No one is paying full attention to your mobile app. The sooner you swallow your pride and start designing for this fact instead of against it, the better off you’ll be. “Effective mobile designs not only account for these one thumb/one eyeball experiences but aim to optimize for them as well,” Wroblewski writes.

Wroblewski wanted to streamline Polar’s interactions so that a user could take 10 polls in less than a minute using just one hand. As you can see from the demo video above, they achieved that goal. The big pictures and huge tap targets create a user experience that you barely have to be paying attention to in order to successfully engage with. But these “micro mobile interactions” add up: two months after launch, Polar was averaging 55 votes per day, per user. (Another popular mobile opinion-sharing app, Thumb, averages about 6 votes per day.)

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