More and more readers using mobile apps to read news

According to an article from Poynter, Pew Research Center has found that 37% of cell phone users are using their phones to get news.  The study surveyed over 2200 men and women.  The rates were individually far higher for certain groups, including those with household salaries of over $75,000, college students and also the 18-29 age group.

After our recent class visit to USA Today in which we learned about the redesign of their website, the results of this study go to show how important app design and mobile website layout are for news organizations.  USA Today changed their website to match the interactive experience and lateral navigation, given the high usage they discovered on the tablet and phone apps.

With the popularity of smartphones and tablets still growing, it will be interesting to see if other news organizations also revamp their websites to match their apps.  USA Today seems to be quite unique when it comes to the lateral navigation element.  Popular news sites like The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post and The Washington Post each have similar layouts with more traditional navigation, while their apps are less cluttered and allow for quicker navigation.  It would be interesting to see what their motivation is for a different web versus mobile experience and perhaps it is intentional.  Still, I would be surprised if other news organizations do not follow suit in coming years.

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