Local news is all around us: How to turn city streets into a true homepage.

Real-time location data lets newsrooms deliver relevant stories to people when it makes the most sense.

Sarah Schmalbach
Apr 1, 2019 · 20 min read
Image for post
Image for post
A view of background location tracking information for HERE app users.

TL;DR

Who we approached with the concept

How we selected the content

Image for post
Image for post
The map view of The Inquirer’s Toxic City “Sick Schools” lookup tool

How the app looks

Image for post
Image for post

What’s in the app


How the lab viewed the app, as a first step


How we promoted the app


The results

Image for post
Image for post
Graphic by Faye Teng

10 Key Takeaways

Image for post
Image for post
Chart of the HERE app alert click-through rate by day and hour, created by Hero Digital
Image for post
Image for post
Graphic by Faye Teng
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
The radius field.
Image for post
Image for post
Screenshot of the notification
Image for post
Image for post
Along with this text message from Dave
Image for post
Image for post
Photo by American Baptist Society
Image for post
Image for post
A view of background location tracking information for HERE app users.

What we’d like to do differently next time

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Two options for an in-app user feedback survey by Faye Teng

“One of the lessons that the Times’ learned, and I certainly learned with NYT Now, was that we tried to solve product market fit and monetization at the same time.”


“The most important thing is that we create something that people love, and then we can get to a scale that would be meaningful enough to make the investment you need to be able to do monetization right.”


The Lenfest Local Lab

A Philadelphia-based news product innovation team within…

Thanks to Burt Herman, Joseph Lichterman, and Brent Hargrave

Sarah Schmalbach

Written by

Leading the Lenfest Local Lab (@lenfestlab) for the Lenfest Institute (@lenfestinst). Philadelphian and former product @GdnMobileLab @usatoday @phillydotcom.

The Lenfest Local Lab

A Philadelphia-based news product innovation team within the Lenfest Institute for Journalism experimenting openly with ways to reinvent the daily user experience for local news

Sarah Schmalbach

Written by

Leading the Lenfest Local Lab (@lenfestlab) for the Lenfest Institute (@lenfestinst). Philadelphian and former product @GdnMobileLab @usatoday @phillydotcom.

The Lenfest Local Lab

A Philadelphia-based news product innovation team within the Lenfest Institute for Journalism experimenting openly with ways to reinvent the daily user experience for local news

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch

Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore

Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store