Industry veteran and consultant Mario García sat down with us to explain why news and content designers have become more important as new technologies have emerged.
Editor’s note: At a recent conference at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, we spoke with Mario García, founder and CEO of García Media, about the role news design plays in content strategy. To hear other perspectives from the conference, click here.
What role does news design play in content strategy?
Mario: You know, design has always been there to package good content. And you know, whether you are designing a newspaper page or eventually you were designing a homepage, and now you’re designing for the smartwatches and designing for mobile devices, design is going to be the first strategy that people come in contact with. Before you read a word, you are seeing — whether it’s the color, the typography, the overall presentation.
Today, this is even more important. Why? We are in what I call the era of at-a-glance journalism, and the journalism of interruptions. If design was important when you were reading a newspaper, when I began my career, you would just create pages that would be appealing and seduce you into reading, but it was a more lean-back experience. You’d read your newspaper over 20 minutes, 25 minutes with coffee, and it was a relaxed time.
So now, jump to today — I get a lot of my headlines through my smartwatch, in the middle of whatever I am doing. It usually is an interruption to whatever I’m doing, whether I’m running or eating or doing something else, these headlines are coming in here. Maybe I’m not prepared for them.
So how easy is it to read those headlines? The ones that come with an image, the ones that come with some color, all of that makes a difference. So today the role of a designer is more important than ever, truly.
Jake is the text and multimedia product manager at The Associated Press and the former editor of Insights. He previously covered college sports as a reporter for AP and helped design its multi-year strategic plan.