When starting an audience role, expect your family and friends to give you some puzzled looks. “What does it mean?” will be one of the most frequently asked questions. Throw a few words like “SEO”, “engagement” or “CTR” their way and you’re likely to get some more blank stares.
Some colleagues might not understand what your day-to-day looks like either. The roles of editors, reporters and sub-editors have been in place for yonks so they’re clearly defined. …
How to reflect on seven years as head of digital at The Times and The Sunday Times? Start at the beginning is always good advice, but also acknowledges the distance we — and I — have travelled.
The instructions when I was given the job in November 2013 were very clear. “Fix the tablet,” I was told.
Our tablet app, which had been launched to great acclaim in 2010 when the iPad was released, had recently been rebuilt and it had not been a great success.
That’s an understatement. On the day it was relaunched in February 2013, the problems…
On the anniversary of the first national lockdown, we asked our readers a simple question: how have you been feeling? With a debut for our new interactive tool, we asked Times readers to plot how their happiness, loneliness, anxiety and life satisfaction have fluctuated over the past 12 months. …
In the last post I took you through a short summary of what it took to get Edition Builder live at The Times and Sunday Times. If you haven’t read it, you should, it’s pretty good background.
(In the last post I also mentioned I’d be writing this in a few weeks. That was pre-coronavirus, so these posts have taken a seat at the very back of a very long series of seats. Apologies for that!)
As one of the larger engineering projects we have undertaken, Edition Builder broke new ground in a bunch of areas. …
By Ryan Watts and Sam Joiner,
Times and Sunday Times Data and Digital Storytelling team
Covid-19 did not shoot to the top of the news agenda overnight and our first charts and maps on the outbreak appeared in our digital editions in January.
As the virus spread and a national disaster became a global pandemic, presenting the latest information to our readers became an important service. Almost overnight, we had a whole host of visuals that needed daily updates.
View our best of 2021 page here
A selection of our favourite projects throughout 2020. You can see the best of our past work here.
Where are you in the vaccine queue?
With the UK plunged into a third national lockdown it became clear we were in a straight race against covid: inject or infect. Using data from the Office for National Statistics we gave readers an estimate of their place in the vaccine queue at both a local and national level.
As the data and interactive teams at The Times and The Sunday Times have become more technically proficient a huge crossover of skills between the two has taken place.
A decision was recently taken to combine them, creating one multi-skilled group focused on bringing stories to life for our digital readers. Here’s why.
Interactivity is just one way that you can visually enhance an article and the team has the ability to tell stories in a number of ways. Digital storytelling better reflects this. …
Internal tools never get enough attention.
Building them can be a thankless, unseen task that’s rarely prioritised, as it is not immediately obvious how to tie investment in them back to the bottom line. It can be too easy to jump on the customer-facing speedboat and jet away from them, leaving a wake of stopgaps that can often leave you with tightly coupled intricate workarounds that are enormously difficult to pick apart.
This was the case at The Times for the last four years. While we spent a long time discussing and designing how editions might work on our readers’…
Scrollytelling mission reports, rockets whizzing through star-filled backgrounds and augmented reality moonwalks: the Apollo 11 anniversary spawned a flurry of digital projects that were almost as complex as the mission itself.
On the Times interactive team we’re always looking for an excuse to show off what we’re capable of. But six weeks out from the 50th anniversary on 20 July, we faced a dilemma.
Our goal was to show what could have gone wrong using the near misses and moments of panic to emphasise how close the Apollo 11 mission came to failure.
But we were yet to decide the…
By Ryan Watts and Daniel Clark of The Times and Sunday Times interactive team
One of the reasons we add interactives to a story at The Times and The Sunday Times is to help guide readers through important but complex data. The data around air pollution fits this description to a tee.
The units of measurement need explaining, the weight given to different pollutants requires thought and determining whether the results are good or bad when the full health implications are unknown is complicated.
Stories from the digital team at The Times and Sunday Times