Vox Media is a news conglomerate looking to change the way we consume news information. The company’s properties include SB Nation, Polygon, The Verge, Curbed, Eater, Racked and most recently Vox.com. The digital media company was disheartened by what it felt was a lackluster experience for users on newspaper websites. The company focuses on delivering relevant content in an interesting format for the internet. Vox’s innovation show that there is always room for improving how users consume information. Vox provides interesting content because it does not have some of the inherent limitation that come with printed media. Here are some of the innovations the company is responsible every small business can include in their corporate philosophy:
Assume people are not familiar with your product
Do not embarrass customers by making them as questions they feel they should know the answer to. One complaint against newspapers is that news coverage is very narrow and specific to a certain event. Most media outlets assume that readers are already well informed on a given topic when it publishes an article. Searching “Ukraine” on most digital news outlet will leave the user with the most recent news but will not explain what lead up to the events that appear in the search. Vox takes a different approach by asking and answering basic questions about a topic. For instance, Vox’s Ukraine section includes questions like “What is the Ukraine Crisis?” and “Should Crimea be part of Russia?” This may seem patronizing to some readers but it often clears up questions that people are afraid to ask. Many people would rather avoid discussing a topic than admit they do know no basic facts that topic.
Be careful not to assume that the customers know a lot about their product or service. Always explain things from the beginning. It is important to remember that you think about your products and services all the time because they are your livelihood . Customers might not have ever heard of what you sell before they encounter it with you.
Present information clearly – Do not accept best practices
One go the ways Vox changed the way people consume news is by challenging “best practices” of online newspapers. Ezra Klein, formerly of the Washington Post’s Wonk Blog, founded Vox because he grew tired of conventional delivery of News content. He objected to the heavy use of right hand column to display other content available on a site. Vox delivers a streamlined site that simplifies the user experience. Klein largely eliminated the right hand column and the cluttered text experience that some news media outlets insist on providing to customers.
It can be very tempting for new business to copy the competition. Many times this is a very good idea but it important not to do it blindly. Always try to figure out the strengths and weaknesses of any decision. Always try to improve the user experience for customers.
Vox is looking to change the way we consume the news. It is unclear if they will be able to prevail against newspapers with budgets to attract the best talent. If Vox can continue to deliver news in an innovative way than it will remain a player in the digital news sphere for the foreseeable future.