The Dilemma Of Designing For Digital Publishing

on Design

A product designer San Francisco's Tradecraft recently wrote an in-depth piece about the dilemmas of designing for publishing.

The author, May Wang, points out something she's learned while working with a native advertising client looking to implement Card UI design onto mobile sites it works with. (Sharethrough does this already with advertisers like Microsoft.)

"The publishing-tech world is a tricky world to design for," says designer Zane Riley, quoted in Wang's article. "Because these products don’t inherently profit from what makes them useful, such as a seamless reading experience or beautiful, clean UI."

"The thing that makes online publications profit is often also the most detrimental, distracting thing for a user — it’s advertising."

And there's the punchline — advertising, most publishers' main business model, is at odds with the publisher product, which is good editorial content and a clean reading experience.

This is just the latest way that both sides of newsrooms are at odds with each other. But those walls are being broken down, brick by brick. As native becomes the new normal, it’s less about editorial vs. advertising and more about editorial as advertising.

At a time where attention spans are declining and "free" is the price du jour (what was the last app you paid for?), it's more important than ever for publishers to offer advertising that doesn't interrupt the user experience.

As our co-founder and CEO Dan Greenberg likes to say, "In the future there will be no native advertising. All ads will be native."

In our wired world where millisecond-page loads and micro-moments matter, publishers must strive to optimize the entire experience: from reading to advertising and beyond.