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Project Presentation 4/4

Presentation slides: File:Natalie.presentation.4.4.pdf

Jvoytek - Apr 04, 2011 04:09:51 pm

Is this interface for reading the article itself or more for identifying and displaying related media?

Sally Ahn - Apr 04, 2011 05:39:06 pm

I think online newspapers is an interesting domain with potential for much better information layout and interface. One thing that might be interesting to think about is the increasing popular use of tablets like the iPad for browsing online news; such devices enable multi-touch interactions that might be well-suited for a newspaper interface.

Julian Limon - Apr 04, 2011 08:04:45 pm

One thing that might be interesting to explore is the ability to serendipitously find interesting articles. You mentioned the recommendations that most online newspapers provide at the bottom of the page. These are usually based on the content of the current article--suggesting articles like it. However, physical newspapers aren't organized that way. There's a curation process that allows the reader to also find other things when he is looking at a given article. I believe the online reading experience might be enhanced if the visualization allowed the reader to read beyond his area of interest into other subjects.

Michael Cohen - Apr 05, 2011 12:27:22 am

Given that one of your design goals is to reduce clutter and improve readability, I wonder how you're thinking of handling ads? My unscientific opinion is that a healthy proportion of the "cluttered" and "distracted" feeling that people get reading on-line news is related to loud/busy/animated ads. On the other hand, advertisers may not be willing to pay as much if they have to be tamer, and that could affect the viability of the paper's web site even if they're able to increase readership by making the browsing experience more pleasant. I hope that your creation will include allowances for the article's revenue stream, because striking the right balance with ads is one of the more difficult (and interesting) aspects of this problem.

Siamak Faridani - Apr 05, 2011 01:38:43 am

I think it is a great problem to tackle. I have heard of a project called @woven that claims to solve a similar problem. I feel people's need for news changes based on their mood, taste and magnitude of the impact of the news. For example I might not be interested in an earthquake of scale 5 in the bay area but I am very interested in an earthquake of scale 8 or above. Additionally one may only read political news in the morning and only read tech news in the rest of the day. Capturing these tastes and moods might be an interesting problem.

David Wong - Apr 05, 2011 02:05:15 am

I think this is a great problem to solve. I agree with Michael's point about the ad's. It would be interesting to quantify on average how much real-estate they take up in a newspaper website layout. As a source of inspiration, you can also check out many of the newspaper readers on tablets and extract some design principles. It also might help to formally define the problem in terms of several key features to focus on, like some of the ones mentioned in your project goals.

Matthew Can - Apr 05, 2011 02:14:50 pm

Based on the presentation, I got the sense that there are a whole lot of interesting problems in this space. I would pick one or two on which you can narrow your focus. Then, it could be helpful to think in terms of some concrete examples.

Michael Hsueh - Apr 05, 2011 09:19:56 pm

I like the area of this project because I've wondered about the role and rationale of the traditional newspaper design (front page, multi-column layout, etc.), and its transplant to electronic platforms. It is especially interesting to compare it to more recent reporting mediums such as blogs. My knowledge is admittedly limited in this area, but I've wondered about the resiliency of traditional designs. Are their qualities inherently beneficial for news articles? Are they important from a familiarity standpoint? How do these designs handle new, rich media elements such as video or interactive content?

Manas Mittal - Apr 05, 2011 09:48:30 pm

This is an interesting area, and there are a lot of interesting additions that Natalie mentioned in class. In particular, I like the idea of indicating the different sizes etc.

One way to implement some these ideas easily would be write a simple chrome plugin that modifies the CSS of an existing webpage. I think you can "Wizard of Oz" the article lengths for now, and then run an evaluation trying to predict whats actually useful. This would be good because it would require little technical expertise while still being a useful result (that perhaps the New York Times would one day use).

Saung Li - Apr 05, 2011 10:46:43 pm

This is an interesting topic. An interactive visualization for looking at text in online articles would be a great problem to tackle, as there are many people who don't read the news because it is "time consuming." An interactive visualization could motivate people to want to spend more time with the articles. Pointers to related media can keep users browsing through the content repeatedly and gain more insight into the topics.

Karl He - Apr 06, 2011 03:16:37 am

I would take a look at some existing news sites that have been born on the web, such as Reddit for inspiration. A lot of working with the web is knowing how to incorporate social aspects.

Dan - Apr 06, 2011 12:20:53 pm

Redesigning newspapers is a great topic of interest now, especially with iPads and other touch interfaces. Designers and industry would love something like this. I would recommend to think about what your prototype will be. Is it interactive? What are the ideas behind the prototype or are there sketches? I think from you said there will be user studies for people reading these new layouts. I would encourage you also to think about how these layouts can be created, if that is of interest.

Michael Porath - Apr 07, 2011 04:08:31 pm

Your questions are really interesting, but they are different problem propositions. What is more, the whole industry struggles with the same questions, so they're definitely valuable to answer, but also really hard. You might want to focus on just one issue instead and try to assess the one problem really well

Brandon Liu - Apr 09, 2011 10:25:17 am

(Apologies, somehow I missed commenting on my first pass...) It sounds like there could be a big win in indicating article length to set up an expectation for the user. It would be interesting to see quantitative results, even with a mocked-up prototype, on how this affects behavior. If there are positive results i'm sure major internet companies would be very interested.

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