Digital first isn’t an option for media, it’s the only way forward

Article of the day:

Digital first isn’t an option for media — it’s the only way forward — from @gigaom

Thoughts from the author:

Having worked within The Economist going through large digital focused change (and leading some of it!) I can understand entirely where traditional publishers are coming from … there is a history, tradition and large organisation/infrastructure focused solely on a single medium to support, and digital only will not support that.

‘Digital first’ is critical to be woven into the thinking of journalists, publishers and all within a media organisation though, as this maps for ‘where the customer is’. They are no longer buying newspapers for their daily fix of news, sport, business and timely information … those days are long gone … but this does not mean that a publisher has to be ‘digital only’.

Being ‘where the customer is’ means precisely that, and sometimes that is in a ‘lean back’ mood, and this is where the paper publication and tablet experience is focused. The jury is still out on whether people prefer paper or screen in this mode, but there are opportunities for both. Publishers need to focus on being ‘where the customer is’ and the emotional attachment they have with the medium whilst in these varying modes.

Commercialisation of both is also still a sustainable model. Having lead a number of digital media teams and organisations I can tell you that the money is there via digital, and will be there on mobile. Yet, there are a number of publishers who are embracing all mediums, even if they are mega-niche focused, they prove the model that digital and paper can work hand in hand as long as you are laser focused on what the customers want and being where they are.


One of the most awe inspiring and beautiful views in the world is the Matterhorn on a bright, crisp, sunny morning from Zermatt.

It makes one appreciate your scale in the world at large and also that anything is possible. Will miss the mountains and their beautiful vistas, but taking with you the scale and beauty makes you, as we were saying over the weekend, ‘be more human’

Elegance and simplicity

Over the past weeks, whilst research the next challenge, this phrase has risen to the top of my discussion/thoughts/comments over and over again, in relation to digital media and experiences … elegance and simplicity.

So, it was with joy this morning that I read Joshua Porter’s; Principles of User Interaction Design, which simply outlines all the areas where a UX, product or development lead should be focusing when defining, designing and developing multi-screen digital experiences.

Delight comes from the most surprising of places in our lives, and it is those experiences where we just look back at what we have seen and state: ‘that was so obvious, why did no one think of that before’, and as Joshua outlines; “Don’t worry about stating the obvious…the obvious almost never is.” You could delete an email on a mobile phone before, but just swiping across it to do that was obvious, as is just ‘grabbing’ the data with your finger and dragging it … obvious … but also elegant and simple.

I am still struggling with my new Android (not so elegant or simple as the iPhone) but using it has made me consider how good interaction/interface design is just so, well, elegant and simple.