The Internet’s impact on news services has always been significant. Always looking to stay ahead of the game, Thomson Reuters asked HUGE to devise and execute on a strategy that would solidify the company’s position as the premier information provider for people in the world of business now and into the future.
In order to reach business professionals, you have to think like a business professional. No matter how cool or game-changing a feature or application may be, it means little if it’s not powerful, customizable, flexible and fast. HUGE and Thomson Reuters decided early on that every aspect of our work would be subject to this litmus test.
HUGE worked with Thomson Reuters to create and plan a digital platform that is driven by the needs of its users. Business professionals are some of the busiest people on the web. They, more than any other user, demand constant up-to-the-minute news and markets information centered around their needs and interests.
We first applied this user-centric approach to the Reuters website, making changes to better serve the objectives of its time-strapped readers:
- The new home page is informed by data that prioritizes the most newsworthy and relevant stories for the business world that day, giving readers everything they need to know about the world at a glance.
- A Track and Save bar lets users hold on to their most important topics and thereby creates a profile that feeds stories with the subjects that concern them most.
- An overhauled navigation makes the most popular features more accessible: News & Markets, Sectors & Industries, and Analysis & Opinion.
- A streamlined design uses greater white space to eliminate visual noise and facilitate quicker scanning. While most sites interrupt a user’s reading with frequent breaks and ads, we designed the new Reuters so that every typestyle and setting could be read quickly and efficiently.
- News and numbers combine seamlessly. The new Reuters tells markets and news stories in tandem, and users are able to move seamlessly back and forth between the two. We created visualizations of financial data and interactive maps throughout the site, giving users essential information that is enjoyable to peruse.
Next, HUGE was asked to quickly design a Reuters iPad application, News Pro, that launched in sync with Apple’s wide-scale release of the iPad itself. One of the first to market, HUGE designed the Reuters iPad application to mimic much of the functionality of the Reuters mobile application while taking full advantage of the iPad’s increased screen real estate. The application loads fast and the content is elegantly organized and scannable, featuring better data manipulation, greater multimedia, currency conversion, constantly updated news and stock prices and offline reading capabilities. This first version is available for free download from the App Store, and has already been singled out as Engadget's “favorite news app so far.”
The new Reuters.com went live in December of 2009, and the iPad app launched with the first shipment of iPads in April of 2010. By fully embracing a digital strategy that caters to the routines and mentalities of business professionals, Reuters has already seen an upward trend in page views and user engagement, with a 30% increase in time spent on site alone. Reuters plans to roll out the new designs to their four largest news sites, which together account for approximately 80% of traffic. And, HUGE and Reuters are working on a full suite of mobile applications to further enrich the experience of news on the go. Together, HUGE and Reuters have demonstrated that a news organization with a long and rich history can not only stay current, but leap far ahead of the game.