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As UX changes, so should the interfaces media companies are building for

By Jodie Hopperton

INMA

Los Angeles, California, United States

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We need a new name for the article page. With all the trials of AI tools, the “article” page is no longer about the article. It’s the right content to tell a story. In fact, I’m coining the term “story page” for the purposes of this article (and beyond if it sticks!). 

Aside from the headline, byline, date, and likely some kind of visual, a static article page may have some or all of the following:

  • Photo.

  • Video (horizontal or vertical).

  • Audio article.

  • (Interactive) graphic.

  • Summary.

  • Text.

  • Related content.

And, as we know, stories have multiple layers (broken down in modular journalism). 

That’s a lot for a consumer to digest when looking at a page. By offering many things, we may be making it harder for those consumers to get to what they want.

The story page becomes fragmented with elements telling the same story in separate ways, not building on each other. The more offerings you have, the more likely it is that you need a new approach. I’d love to see an AI tool that helps us personalise this, but I am yet to find one so decluttering or one that offers the right format.

That’s one end of the spectrum.

Now let’s look to the future with devices that are already being trialed: Apple VisionProHumanes new “pin” (although I am not giving good odds as to whether this will take off), or even Rewind’s (slightly scary) Pendant.

Or perhaps the mid-term interfaces such as ChatGPT and other chat products. Or even smart speakers (which are likely to have more utility as chat features become more mainstream; more detailed on the recent audio report here). 

All this to say that interfaces are changing. We’re likely not pivoting one way or another but are offering rich formats and choices for our readers — all the while consumer interfaces are likely simplifying to chat or audio.

So while we get excited about augmenting what we have and building new things, we mustn’t lose sight of our consumers and their desire to get content served to them on the right topics, at the right times, in the right formats. It’s a multilevel Rubik’s Cube that needs a lot of thought, planning, and testing.   

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About Jodie Hopperton

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