How Axios Efficiently Conveys the News
Political news startup Axios breaks news and — serving time-strapped, info-overloaded readers — delivers the goods in a highly efficient manner. How? A recent article reveals some of their best content design techniques.
Double-Duty Content Elements
Opening sentence (1) serves as both photo caption and lede.
BOLDFACE throughout spotlights key points. BULLET LIST style punches out each claim quickly (traditional news uses a full graf for most of its points). Lightweight OUTLINE chunks the article into 3 core sections.
SENTENCE FRAGMENTS (1) match the site’s overall terse styling. (Maybe some ellipses at end of previous bullet to highlight the connection?) SHORTHAND REF’S (2). Why overuse lengthy words like “Republicans”? “Rs,” on the 2nd mention, works just fine.
These phrases signal the kind of information a reader is about to encounter. Like the “Abstract” or “Conclusion” from academic literature, these labels can help in-a-hurry readers focus on what’s most important. Here it’s BE SMART. In other words: if you’re gabbing about this story, here’s what you should say about why it’s important.
What do all these modern editorial elements have in common? They depart from traditional news content design practices…and they’re all about increasing the velocity & value of knowledge transfer.