The Mario Blog
04.04.2017—1am
Design thinking for journalists, why not?

Those of us in media design are used to creating and to testing our concepts before we hit the send button. For journalists, this is a rare happening. Now, advocates feel that design thinking could help writers. Worth considering.

A piece by Alyxaundria Sanford makes the case for design thinking for journalists.

“Social journalism wouldn’t exist without community engagement. While it’s new territory for many journalists and newsrooms, its importance to shaping highly relevant and news with impact is gaining momentum, especially in digital media.”

She writes that:

“One way for journalists to cultivate effective community engagement is through the design thinking process.”

What does this design thinking process involve?

To arrive at some conclusions, I ‘d like to refer to my favorite definition of design, from the great Milton Glazer:

Any designer who has redesigned anything knows how true this is. The process requires trial and error. As a result, there is engagement. In almost any design project the first engagement is with those who will execute the design (designers, editors, journalists), but, eventually, a final prototype is usually taken for a test with those who will use it.

It is a process that usually works, although I am not so sure that we need to test as many details of a new design as we normally do, but that may be a good conversation for another blog post in the future.  Suffice it to say that it is through engagement that designs get better.

I don‘t know of many journalists who go through the process of engagement, testing, evaluating and revamping of the original with their stories. Of course, many stories are produced under strict deadlines (so are many design projects!), but still, what the author of the article above proposes is that journalists get more engaged with the community of readers for whom they are writing. 

“While traditional reporting may begin and end with an interview, journalists using design thinking can foster deeper connections with community members. “”

I agree that this type of design thinking applied to journalistic writing would be ideal.

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The latest issue of The New Yorker:

Speaking Engagements Coming Up

VOZ Media Conference

April 6
Vienna, Austria

I will be the keynote speaker for this event, my presentation titled The important role of print in the digital age. This presentation presents a state of the media today, with emphasis on how we tell stories visually on mobile devices, the role of print and the importance of email newsletters and sponsored content to find new ways of promoting content and monetizing your operation.

For more informationhttp://www.voez.at/b2039m10

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