The team spent Friday morning coalescing ideas and understanding about eastern Iowans and what we might be able to do for them. Thursday we sent out email surveys and called people to ask questions. Friday we discussed our interviews and identified some information needs that eastern Iowans might have:
- Child rearing – online forums, daycare
- Family Activities & events
- Family dinner & nutrition
- Crime news & enforcement & neighborhood watch
- Baby news & family news
- Local business & jobs
- Farmers market
- Grown-up things to do
- Local news
- Keeping in touch with friends, family
- Night life
- Making news gathering easier: most news-bang for time-buck
A favorite of mine is the need to make news gathering easier.
A new study from Medill’s Media Management Center called ” What It Takes To Be A Web Favorite” shows that people can be overwhelmed by the volume of stuff on a newspaper’s website. They see a enormous list of headlines in multiple columns on a web page, and get turned off. Another study from the AP called “A New Model for News” shows that readers really want depth in the news they consume, but often don’t get that in their daily reading. People will go from web site to web site looking for stories that provide more information and read the same story or similar stories over and over.
People don’t have a lot of time to read the news, but want in-depth news and are having trouble getting it. This issue was echoed by a few people we interviewed, and our team members recognized that this is something that they personally deal with.
It’s the usability, stupid.
Let me talk a little about how we came to pick these topics.
We did a limited survey of people who volunteered to participate, and called them to ask some more in-depth questions. A few people were stay-at-home moms. Around half of the people had kids of some age. The rest didn’t. We then threw ideas around in a few rounds to come up with a list of things that jived with the activities and interests of the people we talked to and received survey responses from.
It’s certainly not exhaustive and definately rushed.