Designers do What an Entire Industry Can’t

The Fox is a big fan of Mike Monteiro and the work of Mule Design. More specifically, I recall the excitement during the launch of Evening Editions. I was sad to hear they shut it down in December 2013, but still think it’s a powerful lesson in how small teams can run faster (and in completely different directions) than large legacy organizations. Original post from July 2012.

Jon Mitchell on how a small team from Mule Design conceived, developed and released Evening Edition, a simpler way to consume the news.

It began with a tweet. On July 9, friend of Mule and former NYTimes.com design director Khoi Vinh tweeted a link to statistics that showed the iPad is driving healthy evening news-reading habits.

“A return to evening editions?” Mule developer Jim Ray replied, by way of observation.
That simple exchange put a bug in the ear of Mule design director Mike Monteiro. He mocked up a daily news site called Evening Edition, and his team built and launched it in a week.

People on news sites are overwhelmed by stories in process,” says Mule lead researcher Katie Gillum. The front of your typical news site is throbbing with up-to-the-second headlines, boxes jammed full of shifting links, and a never-ending conveyor belt of posts tumbling into an abyss of “next page” links. How can advertisers and sponsors reach an audience that’s stressed out by the presentation itself?

The gap between traditional news sites and more robust news reading applications are currently being bridged by mobile apps such as Instapaper, Pocket and Flipboard. But these tools still don’t remove the burden from the reader to sift through mountains of stories to find those that are really important or valuable to them.

Evening Edition aims to solve this by providing a concise curated list of stories from the day. But the ease of use doesn’t end there. Evening Edition is published each day at 5 p.m. Pacific time directly on the web where it is available on any device with a web browser. For those used to the world of mobile apps and constant push notifications, Mule’s Mike Monteiro sums up the simplicity in a tweet.

You want push notifications for @eveningedition? Is it 5pm pacific? We’ve pushed. Is it before 5pm pacific? We have not pushed. Got it?

Fox Tip: The entire news industry struggles to produce simple. A small design team can get there faster.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s