Consuming the news is like consuming an egg: You can have it in many different ways. Instead of fried, scrambled, and so on, you've got the newspaper, TV, radio, and anything that can connect to the internet. There are plenty of options to suit all tastes.
But the abundance of channels does not make it any easier for the news providers. The industry is fiercely competitive. They're all after eyes and attention, and in the era of information overload, those aren't easy things to capture.
To stand out in a crowd, news providers need to deliver value in a new way. Just as an inventive new way to eat eggs would pique your interest, so would a novel new way to consume the news. This is precisely how Quartz—a digitally native news outlet— gets their content in front of the eyes of its target audience.
Why this is really good UX:
- The number of news articles published each day is overwhelming. With increased choice and limited time to consume content, users can feel anxious—otherwise known as the paradox of choice. To avoid this problem, Quartz limits the number of news stories to one at a time. This reduces the cognitive load by asking the user to answer one question: Do I want to know more about this story? If yes, you can tap the emoticons for more. If no, you can tap the option labelled next to move on.
- The news stories are delivered in bite-sized chunks, so they are easily consumable, helping the user maintain momentum. If the story captures a user's interest, they can click on the text to take a deep dive into the topic.
- Concealing the next news story from view makes it a highly engaging experience—a bit like gambling. The user never knows what story is next, so it encourages them to engage further to find out.
- The potential sticking point of the request to send the user notifications is seamlessly woven into the conversation to obtain content without disruption.
- The app increases user attention because the experience is new and novel. Greater attention means the user is more likely to read and understand the stories being delivered, which is the ultimate goal of Quartz.
- GIFS and emoticons are a part of text messaging as much as words are. They bring context and emotion to the messages we send and therefore are a valuable means of communication. Quartz capitalizes on this to keep the news fresh and appealing by lacing emoticons and GIFs throughout the experience.