It’s easy to spot the difference between an organization with digital DNA and an organization still making the transition. Here’s an example highlighting different approaches to breaking news.
Beer. Suddenly I found myself reading a story about Budweiser beer, and wondering how on earth this won someone a Nobel Prize. My morning brain had to click in and out of the story a few times via both WSJ Twitter accounts until I noticed the breaking news banner at the top. That red and black bar isn’t an ad or a design element: it’s the lead story the tweet was directing me to. Banner blindness, a known phenomenon since 1998, caused me to ignore it entirely.
At around the same time, a tweet came through from Buzzfeed. I clicked through, and here’s what I saw:
Buzzfeed sent me straight to the content on the Nobel Prize site. I can’t recall whether they framed the copy in some way on their own mobile site, but Buzzfeed took me straight to the news without any confusion. Several minutes later, I checked the Buzzfeed site again, and they’d written their own story:
It’s a small example, but a reminder of the stark difference between an old media organization still working on the transition to a mobile, social environment, and a new media organization that can’t envision news consumption any other way. As someone who has worked in large organizations making the shift to digital, I can empathize with the challenges. User experiences like this can be telling ‘iceberg’ examples, though: when you see these kinds of misses on the surface, they are signs of problematic software design practices and business processes lying beneath.