WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Sun - 31.08.2014


tablets

There are two similar buzzwords flying around the digital media space right now, and to the uninitiated, responsive and adaptive design might seem like interchangeable labels for the same tech. They are both, after all, methods to optimize web content for mobile consumption -- a challenge that publishers must face if they are to adapt to today's news consumption trends.

A recent Pew Research study shows that mobile users are not just skimming headlines as once assumed, but "many also are reading longer news stories -- 73% of adults who consume news on their tablet read in-depth articles at least sometimes, including 19% who do so daily. Fully 61% of smartphone news consumers at least sometimes read longer stories, 11% regularly." So, having established the importance of offering a site well-adapted for mobile use, the question is: What's the best way to go about getting there for publishers, adaptive or responsive design?

In an attempt to fully understand what distinguishes the two methods, I've been asking experts in media, mobile development and PR from three countries to describe the methods for me in layman's terms. Perhaps unsurprisingly, each had a slightly different explanation, and it turns out that what's best for publishers depends on what they're trying to achieve with mobile.

There are a few ways of comparing the two methods:

The Client-Server Distinction, Simplified

Author

Guest

Date

2013-01-16 18:45

This should be boom time for the e-reader.

The end of 2012 saw a glut of new 'front-lit' e-readers Kindle Paperwhite, Nook Glowlight and the Kobo Glo. All of these devices offer touch screens, Wifi (some even 3G) and a new  technology that projects light from the side or top of the screen, avoiding backlighting to simulate a less obtrusive ambient light.

Yet in his outlook on 2013, Walt Mossberg (@waltmossberg) mentions in passing that tablets are "gradually replacing another device: the dedicated e-reader".

And Pew research supports this: while e-book or e-reader sales continue to grow, moving from 10% to 19% market penetration in the US between December 2011 and November 2012, tablet penetration increased from 10% to 25% in the same period.

So is Mossberg's statement true? Just as the e-reader evolves, the tablet has usurped it?

Author

Nick Tjaardstra's picture

Nick Tjaardstra

Date

2013-01-02 12:00

More than a third of all traffic to The New York Times generates from a mobile device, said Alexandra Hardiman, The Times' Director of Mobile Products at the 5th Tablet and App Summit. And when the paper live-streamed the recent presidential debates, 40% of streamers watched on a mobile device.

Mobile has hence become a key part of the paper’s business, and The Times is putting a great deal of attention into cross-platform usage and mobile-first design, Hardiman said. The fact that tablet use is high in evenings is a very exciting prospect for a news organisation without a broadcast operation, she added, as it is a time of day that papers usually struggle to reach readers.

Tablet and smartphone access is also a key element of The Times’ digital subscription model that has “re-balanced our business,” Hardiman said. The New York Times had 566k paid digital subscribers in Q3, an increase of 11% from the preceding quarter. Perhaps more surprisingly, Hardiman specified that the paper’s print home delivery circulation also increased.

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-11-06 12:25

People have been saying that 'mobile is the next big thing' since as far back as 2001, said Martin Belam at this week's 5th Annual Tablet and App Summit at the World Publishing Expo in Frankfurt.

However, Belam, who is Principal Consultant at Emblem and former UX lead at the Guardian, he thinks it is only recently that “we have finally reached a tipping point in terms of mobile and tablet usage,” pointing out that 60% of traffic to the official Olympic games channels came from mobile devices.

His key advice to publishers seeking to improve their tablet and mobile offerings was:

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-11-02 17:13

The Russian daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta has created an iPad app, Touch Russia, for its English-language Russia Beyond the Headlines (RBTH) initiative, as The Editors Weblog recently reported.

Olga Ivanova, Mobile Projects Director for RBTH took the time to talk to us about the changing Russian media landscape, the challenges of making an app for the international market and the global reaction to the Touch Russia app.

Russian media is not the most responsive of sectors in the industry; the "Russian media are generally a year, sometimes two years behind world media trends, especially when it comes to digital," Ivanova told WAN-IFRA.

Across the globe, the problem of developing a successful payment model in the digital age has lead firms to hesitate before plunging into the digital market - Russia is no exception to this trend: "Most brands are afraid to invest in mobile and develop expensive sophisticated apps because it is not clear how to monetize those products, especially in Russian economy. But I feel that everyone understands the importance of being on mobile platforms and expanding digital presence, " Ivanova explained.

Author

Katherine Travers

Date

2011-12-06 17:34

HTML5 seems to be the answer to a publisher's prayers. Why make several websites when you could make one that will resize and adapt its design depending on the device from which you're accessing the site?

Hearst Corporation has heard the good news and converted; it is re-launching HTML5 versions of all its websites, with the 126 -year-old Good Housekeeping magazine being the first to benefit from the redesign.

Those titles that were acquired in the takeover of the publisher Hachette earlier this year will be first in line for a makeover. It is expected that all the websites across the Hearst Corporation will be re-launched in HTML 5 within 6-18 months.

All the websites will include touch-screen enabled elements, for instance a slide show (also known as a rotator) on the homepage of Good Housekeeping, which is manipulate by a mouse click when accessed via P.C. but is touch operated when accessed via smartphones and tablets.

Author

Katherine Travers

Date

2011-09-15 17:12

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The World Editors Forum is the organization within the World Association of Newspapers devoted to newspaper editors worldwide. The Editors Weblog (www.editorsweblog.org), launched in January 2004, is a WEF initiative designed to facilitate the diffusion of information relevant to newspapers and their editors.


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