Smart brevity, summarisation are text innovations worth watching

By Jodie Hopperton


Los Angeles, California, United States


Towards the end of a conversation with a product leader (when I got to use my new favourite term, “scrollytelling”), he told me he thought there was some great innovation in text right now. I admit that I hadn’t even considered that, so I started doing some research. 

Here are some of the things I found:

Live blogs aren’t new, but there is a lot happening around them, presumably becasue of  reader thirst for up-to-date information. I particularly love The Guardian’s timeline approach:

Smart brevity is a phrase coined by Axios. They summarise news stories with clear pointers such as: “Why it matters” “The Details,” “The Big Picture,” “Driving the News,” and “Between the Lines” to help readers navigate their way through complex issues in a simplified way. They have even written a book about their approach: Smart Brevity: The Power of Saying More with Less.

Check out an example on a news news story here:

There is a lot that can be done within layouts. Take a look at this example using cards (or, as The New York Times call these, “bursts”) in the body of an article. I really like that they are using swipe in addition to scroll. And the alternative format to give background to a piece feels fresh:

Smart summarisation of articles is something we are likely to see more of due to the advances of generative AI:

Bionic reading is something I can come across and integrated into my iPhone, but I haven’t seen it on a site anywhere yet.

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About Jodie Hopperton

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