On Friday it was revealed that Bostonglobe.com was awarded the “World’s Best Website” distinction in the SND digital competition. We’re psyched. My favorite part though is in the Judges Statement:
For mobile entries: Although there were many intriguing mobile and tablet entries these apps did not seem to universally embrace the touch-medium. More needs to be done to make news apps the polished equivalent of the web-based entries. Touch-based news apps should take special care with multimedia elements. These apps should better fulfill their different place in the lives of their users and address specific needs, not just replicating print or web-based experiences. The focus on the user, awareness of load times, intuitive interfaces and touch interaction and crash-resistance of innovative news tools far outpaces what most news organizations are doing themselves. More experimentation, more awareness of the user, is needed from the companies that produce the news.
I’m glad that SND commented on this, and it’s something I’ve been noticing too. We have an iPad at Upstatement for testing sites we work on, but i’m not an iPad owner myself. I’ve been trying though, and I’ve found it really fun and useful for general internet browsing, gaming and music creation. But what’s been really lacking is the news/magazine value.
I went on a spree of downloading tons of newspaper, news channel and news startup apps. For the most part, they are really unimaginative, and seem to be at the old business of shoehorning print conventions into a digital device. Which is a problem, because a piece of paper like the New Yorker or Wired or even the NYT is still cheaper, easier to read and honestly more beautiful than their pixel dopplegangers.
I’ve ranted about this before, but I thought it was cool to see that SND called it out in their statement. We’re trying to be more inventive and digital-native with our projects here at Upstatement, and I think publications and readers would both benefit from a little more imagination.