Many people point to the success of the New York Times’ Snow Fall as the catalyst for longform reading growing in popularity on the web.
Their work showed what could be done with traditional longform journalism when combined with animation, video and parallax scrolling. Conversely, sites like Pocket, Readability and Instapaper all seek to bring you great things to read by stripping away any distractions to let the reader focus on the text alone.
At The Times and The Sunday Times, we’ve experimented with this form, with pieces on Nelson Mandela and Malala Yousafzai, and we’re currently in the process of building a suite of tools to help us create a new type of article presentation for our longform journalism.
If you’re thinking of taking on this category at Build The News (sign up here if you haven’t already), you need to think about:
- What elements you should include alongside text
- How to make sure that those elements add to, not distract from, the text
- How to make it readable on the largest amount of devices (desktop, tablet, mobile)
- The finer details – fonts, image sizing, column width
I’ve pulled together a couple of resources below that may give you some ideas and inspiration if you’re thinking of entering in this category.