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Saulo Santana
Berlin & Potsdam, Germany

Here is my mini-strategy-bible for mobile

MSome weeks ago I gave a workshop/lecture to some design students who are getting into the visual journalism world.

I collected the last 5 projects I did for mobile and tried to find out what were the common strategic points that I used in all of them during their development. It was an interesting exercise for me to go through all that project folders. The result surprised me. I found out that I had a small guide in front of me, that I collected through the experience that each project gave me.

The way I looked for answers to the question “how can we tell better stories on mobile devices?” made me establish strategies that I could resume in 5 important basic points. Those are definitely my mini strategy-bible for mobile.

Describe a clear strategy of the evolution of a story since it breaks.
Short narratives. Bullets. Visual Storytelling. All based on a “small screen experience”.
Establish a clear workflow between news designers and editors, in order to work not only with the fixed templates you have developed, but to be able to create a different visual approach to a special story.
Create a clear “content X visual” strategy that lures readers beyond links on social media.
Find the element of frequency and timing. Get to know your reader in order to find out important basic answers. This will drive you to understand things like the best time of day to come out with a story on a mobile device: are newsier items better suited for early in the day as opposed to lifestyle stories? Or the other way around?   

Those points guided me in 100% of the projects I developed and helped me to fight against the common habits of some newsrooms to think only on desktop and web when its about digital. Mobile is a completely different environment. We need experimentation and innovation around that small view size.