We scratched our heads to get mobileweb right. Looking at the patterns of how users come and go, share and bring our content to their network, we are trying to bring something a bit different this time. We want them to read comments, get emotional, and be excited before their departure.
We all knew it's better to work out a successful product on mobileweb. There are more countries reading over mobile than desktop machines from last year on: China in Q2 of 2012, and South Korea in Q4 of 2012.
Let's define before we solve. Mobileweb isn't web, and mobileweb isn't mobile exactly. But what is it? The fact is that mobile has to be considered by its situational quality -- where and when they are on mobileweb -- it can be on a bed, a train, in the concerts or in the queue before paying in front of the cashiers in supermarkets. What can be the ideal experience for the contemporary mobileweb cultures that we are/will be interested in? The product isn't just a static document, but a dynamic experience. The beauty is about a portable Internet, and an intimate one.
After some prototyping and try-outs. Here are some directions that we use as the DNA of the new version on HuffPost.
Distribution with heat
Mobile is instantaneous, pitchy, and fluctuating. And that's why we introduced the "bucket" experience to our US edition. There are four categories of content: News, Entertainment, LifeStyle, and Tech&Innovation. Each bucket is serving the most "touched" news for the last 15 minutes. When we are on the road, information is more urgent. This product gives a heat map at your palm.
There is one thing we can take for granted: nobody likes to wait. As information falls from the sky to users devices, user experience gets more intimate and emotional in a mobile case. Starting at each click, user engagement rises and reduces over time. So in the touches of narrative, infinite scrolling with targeted and funneled recirculation provides a continuum so that users don't need to make any other decisions -- they can just click and adventure.
In early in-house research, we discovered that our users react better with larger pictures, shorter headlines and more white space. So that's the format we chose. With a fast peek, users have an elevator pitch with bold image of an event. Imagine you are in the middle of a bus, with one hand available. All you can do is a fast check, like a speed date. We concentrate each event into a thumb-size brick, and the diaporama-like style offers a photogenic impression and immediate video access with breathing spaces within the lines if you are engaged with the article. You read what you hunt, and you date who you love.
Press your press
We're proud of our new mobileweb experience: It provides our readers with a foundation and baseline for breaking news, blog posts that matter, slideshows, videos and comments in a mobile universe. While we did the majority of the work in five weeks, we've been preparing for months, bring great talent on board and leveraging eight years of HuffPost Internet experience. But our secret weapon is our millions of readers. Let us know your thoughts and we will bring out more innovation, surprises, and much, much more.
Come visit us: m.huffpost.com