Design connects storytelling and strategy

“By aligning strategies from revenue, video, editorial, and audience departments, news products can lessen the assault on their users’ senses. If we understand and attempt to calibrate internal competing goals, we fix the external experience.”

We all want the user to take an action. Editorial wants another click or more time spent on site. Revenue wants another display ad. Audience wants a funnel entry point. Video wants that preroll. In any media business, every stakeholder has a goal to achieve.

By aligning strategies from revenue, video, editorial, and audience departments, news products can lessen the assault on their users’ senses. If we understand and attempt to calibrate internal competing goals, we fix the external experience. Negative user interactions — from the onslaught of calls-to-action to the dumping ground of more headlines to ignore — do not encourage further engagement. It’s cognitive overload. We need to design an experience with an air of serendipity, a curated serendipity.

By bringing product design thinking to the story level, we can enable the right experience at the right time. We know quantitatively and qualitatively what users need and want; now we need to deliver that important story appropriately. To not over-prompt for another click, but to time a design element at the proper moment of a story. To elevate it, not to cheapen it.

By creating experiences that respect our audience’s time and passion but also the needs of the story, we can build great digital products and rebuild our relationship with users.

Let the designers do it.

Jessica Parker Gilbert is digital creative director for McClatchy.

S. Mitra Kalita   The arc of news and audience

Kyle Ellis   Let’s build our way out of this

Molly de Aguiar   Good journalism won’t be enough

Mario García   Storytelling finally adapts to mobile

Trushar Barot   The Jio-fication of India

Umbreen Bhatti   The trust problem isn’t new

Adam Thomas   Sharing is caring: The year of the mentor

Tamar Charney   We get serious about algorithms

Hossein Derakhshan   Television has won

Joanne McNeil   Gatekeeping the gatekeepers

Sue Schardt   Jump the niche

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Seeking trust in fragmented spaces

Luke O'Neil   The end is already here

Mary Meehan   Real lives are at stake in rural areas

Sarah Marshall   Loyalty as the key performance indicator

Jamie Mottram   From pageviews to t-shirts

Tanya Cordrey   Finally, the seeds of radical reinvention

Emily Goligoski   Looking beyond news for inspiration

Michelle Ferrier   The year of the great reckoning

Errin Haines   At the ballot, it’s time to count black women

Jim Moroney   Newspapers have to be good enough for readers to pay for

Caitlin Thompson   Podcasting models mature and diversify

Michelle Garcia   Navigating journalistic transparency

Jennifer Coogan   The future is female

Steve Grove   The midterms are an opportunity

Niketa Patel   Live journalism comes of age

Cory Haik   Suffering from realness, pivoting to impact

An Xiao Mina   Memes and visuals come to the fore

Basile Simon   We need better career paths for news nerds

Sara M. Watson   Feeds will open up to new user-determined filters

Jarrod Dicker   Honesty in advertising

Nathalie Malinarich   Peak push

Rick Berke   Value is the watchword

Dan Newman   A return to trust

Mariano Blejman   News games rule

Doris Truong   Computer vision vs. the Internet vigilantes

P. Kim Bui   The reckoning is only beginning

Julia B. Chan   Looking for loyalty in all the right places

Matt Boggie   The intellectual equivalent of the Dead Sea

Jassim Ahmad   Thriving on change

Nikki Usher   The year of The Washington Post

Helen Havlak   Keywords, not publishers, power the world’s biggest feeds

Yvonne Leow   The rise of video messaging

José Zamora   Revenue-first journalism

Evie Nagy   Pivot to mobile video frustration

Zizi Papacharissi   Women come back

Rodney Benson   Better, less read, and less trusted

Juliette De Maeyer   A responsible press criticism

Mira Lowe   The year of the local watchdog

Susie Banikarim   R.I.P. Pivot to Video (2017–2017)

Kathleen McElroy   Building a news video experience native to mobile

Pablo Boczkowski   The rise of skeptical reading

Debra Adams Simmons   And a woman shall lead them

Alastair Coote   The year of self-improvement

Taylor Lorenz   Social and media will split

Ray Soto   VR reaches the next level

Edward Roussel   Eyes, ears, and brains

Matt Carlson   Attacks on the press will get worse

Mariana Moura Santos   Think local, act global

Nushin Rashidian   Publishers seek ad dollar alternatives

Miguel Castro   The arrival of the impact producer

Will Sommer   The year local media gets conservative

Federica Cherubini   The rise of bridge roles in news organizations

Alexios Mantzarlis   Moving fake news research out of the lab

Manoush Zomorodi   Self-help as a publishing strategy

Marie Gilot   No assholes allowed

Laura E. Davis   Writing answers before you know the question

Daniel Trielli   The rich get richer, the poor scramble

Julia Beizer   A longer view on the pivot

John Keefe   Scooped by AI

Corey Johnson   The pro-fact resistance

Raney Aronson-Rath   Transparency is the antidote to fake news

Kawandeep Virdee   Zines had it right all along

Alice Antheaume   Are you fluent in AI?

Rubina Madan Fillion   Unlocking the potential of AI

Monique Judge   Letting black women tell their own stories

Kinsey Wilson   Facebook and Google: Help out or pay up

Jennifer Brandel and Mónica Guzmán   The editorial meeting of the future

Jesse Holcomb   Information disorder, coming to a congressional district near you

Emma Carew Grovum   Newsroom culture becomes a priority

Paul Ford   Go global

Richard J. Tofel   The platforms’ power demands more reporters’ attention

Jake Levine   The return to now

Borja Echevarría   TV goes digital, digital goes TV

Amy Webb   Listen to weak signals

Jennifer Choi   Standing up for us and for each other

Amy King   Let’s amplify visual voice

Carlos Martínez de la Serna   The new journalism commons

Sally Lehrman   Trust comes first

Eric Nuzum   Beyond the narrative arc

Alfred Hermida   Going beyond mobile-first

Pia Frey   Address users as individuals

Mandy Velez   texting is lit rn, fam

Rachel Schallom   Better design helps differentiate opinion and news

Renée Kaplan   The year of quiet adjustments (shhh)

Andrew Ramsammy   The year ownership mattered

Matt Thompson   Here come the attention managers

Nicholas Quah   Stop talking trash about young people

Kelsey Proud   No, no, no

Sam Ford   The year of investing in processes

Jacqui Cheng   Retailers move into content

Mary Walter-Brown   Show a little vulnerability

Vanessa K. DeLuca   Women’s voices take center stage

Jessica Parker Gilbert   Design connects storytelling and strategy

Andrew Haeg   The year journalists become relationship builders

Corey Ford   The empire strikes back

Tracie Powell   The muting of underserved voices

Frédéric Filloux   External forces

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen   The Snapchat scenario and the risk of more closed platforms

Millie Tran and Stine Bauer Dahlberg   (Hint: It’s about your brand)

Sam Sanders   Shine the light on ourselves

Juleyka Lantigua-Williams   Women of color will reclaim and monetize our time

Cindy Royal   Your journalism curriculum is obsolete

Rachel Davis Mersey   AI, with real smarts

Nicholas Diakopoulos   Fortifying social media from automated inauthenticity

Cristina Wilson   The year of the Instagram Story

Damon Krukowski   Reviving the alt-weekly soul

L. Gordon Crovitz   Serving readers over advertisers

Eric Ulken   The year local publishers get smart(er) about change

Usha Sahay   Wallets get opened

Dheerja Kaur   Fun with subscription products

Francesco Marconi   The year of machine-to-machine journalism

Kim Fox   Audience teams diversify their approach

Caitria O'Neill   The new court of public opinion

Andrew Losowsky   The year of resilience

Burt Herman   Things get real

Kristen Muller   The year of the voter

Pete Brown   Push alerts, personalized

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Publishing less to give readers more

David Skok   Finding an information-life balance

Christopher Meighan   Passive partnership is in the rearview

Mike Caulfield   Refactoring media literacy for the networked age

C.W. Anderson   The social media apocalypse

Feli Sánchez   The year for guerrilla user research

Craig Newmark   Working together toward sustainable solutions

Nancy Watzman   Know thy TV

Bill Keller   A growing turn to philanthropy

Mi-Ai Parrish   Blockchain and trust

Joanne Lipman   Journalists inventing revenue streams

Imaeyen Ibanga   Longform video leads the way

Lanre Akinola   Making noise is not a strategy

Tanzina Vega   It’s time for media companies to #PassTheMic

Joyce Barnathan   It will be harder to bury the news

Almar Latour   Conquering calm

Justin Kosslyn   The year journalists become digital security experts

Sydette Harry   Listen to your corner and watch for the hook

Brian Lam   Sketchy ethics around product reviews

Alan Soon   The rise of start of psychographic, micro-targeted media

Felix Salmon   Covering bitcoin while owning bitcoin

Lucas Graves   From algorithms to institutions

Michael Kuntz   The only pivot that might work

Aron Pilhofer   We can’t leave the business to the business side any more

Raju Narisetti   Mirror, mirror on the wall

Charo Henríquez   Training is an investment, not an expense

Dan Shanoff   You down with OTT? (Yeah, DTC)

Monika Bauerlein   The firehose of falsehood

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   Skepticism and narcissism

Heather Bryant   Building the ecosystems for collaboration

Lam Thuy Vo   Breaking free from the tyranny of the loudest

Marcela Donini and Thiago Herdy   Collaboration is the way forward for Brazilian journalism

Elizabeth Jensen   Show your work

Ståle Grut   Reclaiming audience interaction from social networks

Jared Newman   Venture funding and digital news don’t mix

Tim Carmody   Watch out for Spotify

Dannagal G. Young   Stop covering politics as a game

Vivian Schiller   Pivot to tomorrow

Rodney Gibbs   Tech workers turn to journalism

Ariana Tobin   Too tired to tap

Matt DeRienzo   A recession, then a collapse

Jim Brady   With the people, not just of the people

Claire Wardle   Disinformation gets worse

Amie Ferris-Rotman   More female reporters abroad (please)

Ruth Palmer   Risks will grow for news subjects — especially minorities

Carrie Brown-Smith   Transparency finally takes off

Hannah Cassius   The year of the echo-chamber escapists

Neha Gandhi   Filler killers