Category 3: Making longform work on mobile

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 immersive longform, 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.

However, the big question with a lot of these pieces is how they work well on mobile. So far, many attempts haven’t been particularly successful.

If you’re thinking of taking on this category at Build The News, 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 mobile – a long piece with lots of scrolling time needs to be carefully thought about
  • 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. And remember – we’re focusing on mobile for this event, so getting this working on your phone is the key goal.

10 examples of good longform journalism presentation

Interview with Joe Sexton, who led the team that produced Snow Fall 

shorthand-logo-transThis category is supported by Shorthand.

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