Axios (2017)

Role: Chief Design Officer

As employee #2 at Axios, I worked closely with the founders to design a news product that was genuinely reader first. We began with the problems that readers encounter with traditional news experiences. Namely, news tends to be written in ways that don’t resonate with how people actually read and engage with information, and news products require a lot of effort to discover and read the information that’s relevant to you.

Readers, presented with headlines and short teasers, are constantly encountering the "Do I care enough to click?" problem. Even if they do make the effort to change context, they then have to decide "Do I care enough to read?", when most news articles require anywhere from a few minutes to the better part of an hour to consume.

At Axios, we set out to fix both of these problems for our readers, in order to enable them to get informed intelligently, efficiently, and easily. We worked to create an innovative short-form story format that synthesizes what happened and why it matters in around 200 words. I then took inspiration from the ease of use of streaming social platforms and created a product experience that completely eliminates the click. Readers can scroll through a stream of stories and get the whole picture without ever having to change context, solving both the "Do I care enough to click?" and "Do I care enough to read?" problems.

Reader feedback:

"The reporting is of course excellent but it finally feels like a news site is easily readable, physically speaking both on web and mobile, especially mobile."

"It is longer than a Twitter post, but shorter than a typical article. The scrolling format is fantastic — obviously akin to social media."

"I appreciate the way you all contextualize the news and boil it down to the most important points, without oversimplifying or seeming like you're talking down to the reader."

"It's super easy to digest. It has consistently given me a quick scan on what I need to know and where to find more. Love the writing styles."