Thursday, December 18, 2014

I Read the NY Times Offline. It Sucked. Here Are Eight Reasons Why

A while ago, a migraine forced me to read the NY Times in its print edition, something I haven't done in years. It was such an awful user experience. Here are the reasons why:

  1. It was big and bulky, which made it especially hard to read on the train.
  2. I had to flip pages in the middle of every article, sometimes to a completely different section of the paper, forcing me to struggle with the big and bulky pages (see #1 above). Whoever came up with the idea of continuing an article that starts on the front page on page P7 (or A14 for that matter) clearly did not have the reader in mind.
  3. I couldn't share anything. Not to Twitter; not to Facebook; not to email. I suppose I could have clipped something and put it in an envelope like my Aunt Myrtle. Even Myrtle uses email now!
  4. Developing stories were out of date. Not hours out of date, but a whole day.
  5. The sections I liked weren't there, or were diluted. There was no Technology section, and Business was only a couple of pages. And each article could only be in one place.
  6. My hands were covered in black ink after reading it.
  7. It was big and bulky in my bag all day, carrying it around until I could read more.
  8. It was still big and bulky at the end of the day on my kitchen table.
It's amazing that we tolerated such an unfriendly form factor as print for so long. Granted the web version has its own share of problems, but the mobile app is a thing of genius. I'm sticking with it.

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