January 2010 Archives

January 29, 2010

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African Cup of Nations online coverage review: Part 4 - British and American online newspapers

I started this series looking at some of the British press coverage in print of the African Cup of Nations, and today I wanted to look a little bit further at online coverage in the main papers. My impression - and this is an unscientific one - is that there has been more coverage of the tournament than in previous years. I think this is in part because it allows news organisations to gear up for covering another football...
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January 28, 2010

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African Cup of Nations online coverage review: Part 3 - African newspapers

I've been looking at online coverage of the African Cup of Nations, and yesterday I was looking at newspapers in four of the countries taking part - hosts Angola, alongside papers from Algeria, Cameroon and Egypt. Today I've got some screengrabs and notes from the online newspaper coverage of three other African nations - all of whom reached at least the quarter-finals. Ghana The Daily Graphic has its roots in the British Mirror group, and is now state-owned. Their...
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January 27, 2010

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African Cup of Nations online coverage review: Part 2 - African newspapers

In the second part of this series looking at coverage of the 2010 African Cup of Nations, I have reviews of online news sources from four of the nations taking part: Angola, Algeria, Cameroon and Egypt.

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January 26, 2010

African Cup of Nations online coverage review: Part 1 - UK

During the course of this year's African Cup of Nations tournament in Angola, I've been reviewing news coverage in the UK and in Africa itself. In the first part of this series, I look at how, before a ball was kicked, the terrorist attack on the Togo team made print front pages in the UK.

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The flawed French Facebook & Twitter experiment - social media is a conversation, not a newswire

The curious experiment by five French journalists to hide in a remote location and only use Facebook and Twitter as their news sources ignores the fact that social media is a conversation with friends - and conversations with friends are generally pretty good at conveying the news you need to know.

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January 25, 2010

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'News Linked Data Summit' on Fleet Street

I spent Friday at a fascinating event at the St Bride Foundation, just off Fleet Street, discussing the application of the 'web of data' to the news industry. I'd helped organise the 'News Linked Data Summit', along with John O'Donovan and Silver Oliver of the BBC, Richard Wallis of Talis, and Martin Moore of the Media Standards Trust. The day was held under the Chatham House Rule, and so I'm not going to go into too much detail, but suffice...
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January 22, 2010

The puzzle of preserving user experience

With moves afoot to allow the UK's copyright libraries to archive websites, I wonder how much of the experience of digital assets like games and online news will be preserved alongside the code.

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January 21, 2010

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January 20, 2010

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'The curation gap' - what journalism can learn from "Citizen History"

My post yesterday, inspired by some of the fallout from the news:rewired event, generated some healthy debate on the blog and on Twitter. Scott Dougal suggested I was being a little unfair holding that article from that paper up as an example of professionalism journalism, and David Higgerson on Twitter said he just wished the debate 'would move beyond pointing out faults'. I promised him that I'd post how I thought everybody could live together happily ever after instead. In...
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Etz-Hayyim Synagogue in Chania attacked twice by arsonists

The Etz-Hayyim Synagogue in Chania, which serves as a monument to the fate of the Jewish community on Crete at the hands of the Nazis during the Second World War, has been attacked by arsonists twice in the space of a couple of weeks.

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January 19, 2010

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With professionals of this quality, who needs 'citizen journalist' enemies?

It is hard to argue that ethics and quality set the 'professional journalist' apart from the amateur blogger or 'citizen journalist', when newspapers persist in publishing professionally produced articles, like the Sunday Express 'exposure' of the BBC use of Twitter, which are so wrong that they have to be swiftly deleted.

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January 18, 2010

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Council coverage in local newspapers: Waltham Forest and Romford

Sarah Hartley has been using the 'Help me investigate' crowd-sourced journalism tool to find out how local newspapers cover local councils. I've chipped in with a review of coverage in the Waltham Forest Guardian and the Romford Recorder.

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January 15, 2010

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Making The Guardian in Lego

At a recent UCLAN workshop on the future skills needed by journalists, I got to make a Lego model to describe The Guardian.

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January 14, 2010

The UX of moving house: Part 8 - BT's customer service on Twitter

Over the last two weeks I've been writing about the user experience of moving house when trying to utilise online tools to do a lot of the work. On the whole, whether it has been poorly optimised estate agent search, registering for council tax, or appalling customer service from Sky, it wasn't a happy one. It is sometimes a lot easier to be critical of things rather than constructive - and I make no apology for that. In the recent...
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January 13, 2010

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The UX of moving house: Part 7 - Sky's dreadful customer service

When I moved house last year one of the worst examples of user experience, both online and offline, was provided by Sky when I tried to get their TV service installed.

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January 12, 2010

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The UX of moving house: Part 6 - Officialdom

In part 6 of this series, I turn my attention away from estate agents, and towards the user experience of dealing with Haringey and Waltham Forest councils.

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January 11, 2010

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The UX of moving house: Part 5 - A more native web experience

Globrix and Rightmove are two 'digital native' websites that illustrate that the user experience of searching for a new home online need not be as painful as most estate agent websites seem to make it.

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January 8, 2010

The UX of moving house: Part 4 - Transport links

In the fourth part of this series, based on a presentation given at 'London IA in the pub' in October 2009, I look at different online interfaces to help you determine the transport links surrounding your potential new home.

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January 7, 2010

The UX of moving house: Part 3 - Experimental interfaces and 'the curse of the tiny image'

Not all estate agent websites follow the same formula. In this part of the 'UX of moving house' series, I look at an experimental flash search results page, and ponder why so many estate agent sites make such poor use of images.

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January 6, 2010

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The UX of moving house: Part 2 - Estate agent search results

Looking for a new home is essentially one long search process over a set of structured data - location, price, number of bedrooms etc. You'd therefore expect most estate agent sites to be heavily optimised around the search experience. You would be wrong, as part 2 of this series illustrates.

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January 5, 2010

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The UX of moving house...with a pregnant spouse: Part 1

Last year my wife and I bought a house for the first time. She was heavily pregnant during the process, and so I did much more of the leg-work that I'd usually expect to. Naturally, I tried to do everything online, and document the good and the bad about the information architecture and user experience as I went along. This is the first of a series of posts based on a presentation of my findings, which I originally gave at 'London IA in the pub' in October 2009.

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Evening Standard fails African Cup Of Nations geography test

Whilst the Evening Standard gets confused about whether the African Cup Of Nations is being held in Angola or Ghana, The Guardian is making available an open public sporting events calendar which knows for sure.

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January 4, 2010

Too much David Tennant on TV? More like too many politicians if you ask me...

In response to claims that David Tennant was on BBC television too much over Christmas, a Conservative MP seems to think he appeared on over 200 channels.

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January 1, 2010

Working at The Guardian

I worked at Guardian News & Media for three years as UX lead, across the Guardian’s website and a variety of apps and platforms. This is a personal blog, but I wrote a lot about my work, including the reaction to the Guardian’s Facebook app, how the Guardian's iPad app changed my news consumption, and the IA behind the /culture area of the website. Some of my wireframes from Guardian projects I spoke frequently at conferences about the UX work...
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Working at the BBC

From 2000 to 2005 I worked in the New Media department of the BBC. When I started the currybetdotnet blog in 2002 it was natural to blog about my work at the corporation, and the first thing I posted that gained any widespread attention was “A day in the life of BBCi Search”, a presentation based on an in-depth search analysis of one day's search activity across bbc.co.uk. Other articles about the BBC’s search service included "How search can help...
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Site search management and design

I've been involved with managing and designing site search and web search services on the web since the end of the 1990s, and have blogged extensively on the topic. In 2008 I presented "Taking the 'Ooh' out of Google: Getting site search right" at Euro IA in AMsterdam, which was a complete overview of how to make a distinctive site search, based on examples from European newspaper websites. Over the course of the last couple years I've written several overviews...
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'Old' media relationship with 'new' media

'New media', 'Networked media', 'Digital media', 'Future media' - whatever it is you call it, it has actually been with us for the best part of two decades now. You wouldn't always know that from some of the attitudes you see from 'old media' or 'mainstream media'.Or 'dead media' as some people would have it.I'm fascinated by how these traditional large broadcasters and publishers have adapted to the new world, and I have frequently blogged about where they have collided....
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Notes and quotes from media and web events

Whenever I attend talks, presentations or conferences I try to write up the sessions for this blog, or on Inside Guardian. With my various jobs, or just out of interest, I go to lots of events to do with the news industry, copyright and media policy and regulation. These are some of the ones I have covered on currybetdotnet: Nic Newman, Emily Bell and Peter Barron discuss "#UKelection2010, mainstream media and the role of the internet" - July 2010 #dendatameet...
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Newspaper website design

One of the main areas that I have blogged about over the last couple of years has been the design and information architecture of news and newspaper websites. Topics I've covered in recent months include the user experience of external links on news sites, watching user feedback on the BBC News redesign in real-time and 5 things the news industry can learn from Google Wave. The vexed issue of how to improve the comment threads on general news sites has...
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New media best practice

A frequent topic on currybetdotnet is pointing at something someone has done on the web and saying "You're doing it wrong". Perhaps more helpfully, I sometimes write about how to do things right. Although I don't always follow my own advice... "10 tips for 'ambush guerilla user testing' " and "8 tips for making ambush 'guerilla user testing' clip reel videos" was a short two part series explaining how I go about gathering anecdotal user insight on a budget of...
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Media policy and regulation

Having worked in the industry for a decade, I am keenly interested in the way that Government policy, regulators and self-regulation affects the media business. In 2010, my main concern has been the regulatory process around the decision to let the BBC enter the iTunes app store. I blogged about why the BBC Trust simply had to examine the BBC's iPhone plans, and then, once the Trust had given the apps the go ahead, asked "Should the BBC have entered...
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Forthcoming talks and training

11 February: “So you think you want to be a UXer?” — Guardian Masterclass, LondonUser Experience (or UX) is one of the key pillars of digital design. It is an umbrella term that encompasses a range of disciplines and skills which are relevant to anyone embarking on a creative project that involves interacting with users or simply with a passion for great design. This one evening will give you a taster of the kind of tasks, techniques and skills that...
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Local and hyperlocal news

One of the most intriguing areas of development in the digital news industry has been the emergence of the concept of 'hyperlocal'. Most major newspaper publishers have at least some experimentation with this format of news, and many grassroots independent sites have sprung up, some of which appear to be flourishing in influence, if not in revenue. I still find some of the 'services' provided by local newspapers perplexing and out-dated. I've blogged about this in "My first term -...
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User experience and information architecture events

I’m one of the organisers of London IA, a network for designers, information architects and thinkers. Since 2009 we’ve been holding evening events - usually monthly - and I’ve blogged the notes here. We’ve had talks by people like Andy Budd, Giles Colborne, Cennydd Bowles, Claire Rowland, Jason Mesut, Ben Bashford, Chris Heathcote, Dan Lockton, Relly Annett-Baker, Michael Blastland, Margaret Hanley and Richard Rutter amongst others. You can get a Kindle compilation of the blog posts with a foreword by...
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The future of news

It has been suggested that 68% of journalism in the future will consist of people sitting around discussing the future of journalism. I've certainly been at, or spoken at, many events on this theme in the last couple of years. Last year the focus was very much on iPads and paywalls. I had a quick peek at some news apps as soon as the iPad was released, and I've been impressed with apps like Flipboard, despite worrying that it could...
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