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.

Miguel Castro   The arrival of the impact producer

Michelle Ferrier   The year of the great reckoning

Amy Webb   Listen to weak signals

Michelle Garcia   Navigating journalistic transparency

Amy King   Let’s amplify visual voice

Brian Lam   Sketchy ethics around product reviews

Debra Adams Simmons   And a woman shall lead them

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

Charo Henríquez   Training is an investment, not an expense

Kawandeep Virdee   Zines had it right all along

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

Pablo Boczkowski   The rise of skeptical reading

Jennifer Choi   Standing up for us and for each other

Cory Haik   Suffering from realness, pivoting to impact

Mandy Velez   texting is lit rn, fam

An Xiao Mina   Memes and visuals come to the fore

Usha Sahay   Wallets get opened

Alastair Coote   The year of self-improvement

Mary Walter-Brown   Show a little vulnerability

Caitlin Thompson   Podcasting models mature and diversify

Mi-Ai Parrish   Blockchain and trust

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

Jessica Parker Gilbert   Design connects storytelling and strategy

José Zamora   Revenue-first journalism

Sam Ford   The year of investing in processes

Jared Newman   Venture funding and digital news don’t mix

Kyle Ellis   Let’s build our way out of this

Mira Lowe   The year of the local watchdog

Nathalie Malinarich   Peak push

Jassim Ahmad   Thriving on change

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

Dheerja Kaur   Fun with subscription products

Heather Bryant   Building the ecosystems for collaboration

Elizabeth Jensen   Show your work

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

Rodney Benson   Better, less read, and less trusted

Matt DeRienzo   A recession, then a collapse

Christopher Meighan   Passive partnership is in the rearview

Jennifer Coogan   The future is female

Imaeyen Ibanga   Longform video leads the way

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

Matt Carlson   Attacks on the press will get worse

Trushar Barot   The Jio-fication of India

Tamar Charney   We get serious about algorithms

Corey Ford   The empire strikes back

S. Mitra Kalita   The arc of news and audience

Lam Thuy Vo   Breaking free from the tyranny of the loudest

L. Gordon Crovitz   Serving readers over advertisers

Manoush Zomorodi   Self-help as a publishing strategy

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

Alexios Mantzarlis   Moving fake news research out of the lab

Tim Carmody   Watch out for Spotify

Doris Truong   Computer vision vs. the Internet vigilantes

Dannagal G. Young   Stop covering politics as a game

Matt Thompson   Here come the attention managers

Rick Berke   Value is the watchword

P. Kim Bui   The reckoning is only beginning

Claire Wardle   Disinformation gets worse

Marie Gilot   No assholes allowed

David Skok   Finding an information-life balance

Nushin Rashidian   Publishers seek ad dollar alternatives

Steve Grove   The midterms are an opportunity

Craig Newmark   Working together toward sustainable solutions

Nicholas Quah   Stop talking trash about young people

Mary Meehan   Real lives are at stake in rural areas

Alice Antheaume   Are you fluent in AI?

Pete Brown   Push alerts, personalized

Vanessa K. DeLuca   Women’s voices take center stage

Bill Keller   A growing turn to philanthropy

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   Skepticism and narcissism

Cristina Wilson   The year of the Instagram Story

Adam Thomas   Sharing is caring: The year of the mentor

Lanre Akinola   Making noise is not a strategy

Federica Cherubini   The rise of bridge roles in news organizations

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

Raney Aronson-Rath   Transparency is the antidote to fake news

Pia Frey   Address users as individuals

Carlos Martínez de la Serna   The new journalism commons

Jim Brady   With the people, not just of the people

Michael Kuntz   The only pivot that might work

Sally Lehrman   Trust comes first

Tracie Powell   The muting of underserved voices

Julia Beizer   A longer view on the pivot

Mario García   Storytelling finally adapts to mobile

Corey Johnson   The pro-fact resistance

Caitria O'Neill   The new court of public opinion

Lucas Graves   From algorithms to institutions

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

Mariana Moura Santos   Think local, act global

Dan Newman   A return to trust

Raju Narisetti   Mirror, mirror on the wall

Hossein Derakhshan   Television has won

Jamie Mottram   From pageviews to t-shirts

Joanne McNeil   Gatekeeping the gatekeepers

Almar Latour   Conquering calm

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

Kim Fox   Audience teams diversify their approach

Rubina Madan Fillion   Unlocking the potential of AI

Amie Ferris-Rotman   More female reporters abroad (please)

Sydette Harry   Listen to your corner and watch for the hook

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

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

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

Rodney Gibbs   Tech workers turn to journalism

Monique Judge   Letting black women tell their own stories

C.W. Anderson   The social media apocalypse

Edward Roussel   Eyes, ears, and brains

Frédéric Filloux   External forces

Kelsey Proud   No, no, no

Hannah Cassius   The year of the echo-chamber escapists

Jacqui Cheng   Retailers move into content

Monika Bauerlein   The firehose of falsehood

Jennifer Brandel and Mónica Guzmán   The editorial meeting of the future

Taylor Lorenz   Social and media will split

Eric Nuzum   Beyond the narrative arc

Basile Simon   We need better career paths for news nerds

Rachel Schallom   Better design helps differentiate opinion and news

Andrew Losowsky   The year of resilience

Nancy Watzman   Know thy TV

Tanya Cordrey   Finally, the seeds of radical reinvention

Sam Sanders   Shine the light on ourselves

Kristen Muller   The year of the voter

Kathleen McElroy   Building a news video experience native to mobile

Evie Nagy   Pivot to mobile video frustration

Feli Sánchez   The year for guerrilla user research

Emma Carew Grovum   Newsroom culture becomes a priority

Justin Kosslyn   The year journalists become digital security experts

Will Sommer   The year local media gets conservative

Sue Schardt   Jump the niche

Umbreen Bhatti   The trust problem isn’t new

Paul Ford   Go global

Felix Salmon   Covering bitcoin while owning bitcoin

Damon Krukowski   Reviving the alt-weekly soul

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

Mariano Blejman   News games rule

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

Ray Soto   VR reaches the next level

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

Luke O'Neil   The end is already here

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Seeking trust in fragmented spaces

Matt Boggie   The intellectual equivalent of the Dead Sea

Laura E. Davis   Writing answers before you know the question

Niketa Patel   Live journalism comes of age

Joyce Barnathan   It will be harder to bury the news

Vivian Schiller   Pivot to tomorrow

Yvonne Leow   The rise of video messaging

Sarah Marshall   Loyalty as the key performance indicator

Zizi Papacharissi   Women come back

Andrew Haeg   The year journalists become relationship builders

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

Emily Goligoski   Looking beyond news for inspiration

Carrie Brown-Smith   Transparency finally takes off

Burt Herman   Things get real

Rachel Davis Mersey   AI, with real smarts

John Keefe   Scooped by AI

Neha Gandhi   Filler killers

Joanne Lipman   Journalists inventing revenue streams

Kinsey Wilson   Facebook and Google: Help out or pay up

Borja Echevarría   TV goes digital, digital goes TV

Daniel Trielli   The rich get richer, the poor scramble

Molly de Aguiar   Good journalism won’t be enough

Cindy Royal   Your journalism curriculum is obsolete

Francesco Marconi   The year of machine-to-machine journalism

Ariana Tobin   Too tired to tap

Jake Levine   The return to now

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Publishing less to give readers more

Renée Kaplan   The year of quiet adjustments (shhh)

Andrew Ramsammy   The year ownership mattered

Alfred Hermida   Going beyond mobile-first

Juliette De Maeyer   A responsible press criticism

Nicholas Diakopoulos   Fortifying social media from automated inauthenticity

Jarrod Dicker   Honesty in advertising

Nikki Usher   The year of The Washington Post

Ruth Palmer   Risks will grow for news subjects — especially minorities

Mike Caulfield   Refactoring media literacy for the networked age

Ståle Grut   Reclaiming audience interaction from social networks