The New York Times

NYT invests a lot of money in their advertising model, which is how they generate part of their revenue. They offer standard and custom templates that advertisers can use, but these formats are somewhat limited and don’t offer room for more creative ad experiences. Working with the NYT app team, we envisioned a new way of advertising storytelling. Designed at Athletics

Role: UX, System & Interactive design
Macro view

We began our work by going in-depth into understanding the NYT app ecosystem. The research included user models and behaviors, content structure, elevation and interactive models. This new information gave us a foundation to test some of our ideas.  
Embracing new formats and interactions

We found inspiration in different social media platforms developing new interactive conventions and changing visual formats across digital experiences. Borrowing from these ideas, we started to sketch new concepts to re-think ad formats, dimensions, and how users could interact with them without interrupting the reading experience.
Ad unit as multi-media module
Ad unit connects multiple stories
Pervasive Storytelling

As we continued to understand the NYT app environment, we began to identify moments within a user’s journey where ads could be activated, not just by user interaction but with content as well.

Our solution was to create a system of flexible containers that could hold unique ad moments and can be expanded to see more of the ad story. This approach turns regular ads into multimedia brand stories threaded through the in-between spaces of a reader’s journey.

The System

Once we identified the module system in which the medallion will be the connecting thread across different ad stories, we began to illustrate how NYT could use the system to help advertisers tell unique, highly visual stories.
Interactive opportunities

Through the lens of three distinct users, we identified a few interactive opportunities that could enhance the ad experience across the app ecosystem and engage readers of the NYT in innovative ways.

Forward thinking
Thinking about how the system could expand, We envisioned a modular approach to ad units where they become fully immersive stories, consume throughout the user’s journey within the app.

This innovative approach would force advertisers to think bigger creatively and push them to think of ads as not just another rectangle on the page but an immersive space to engage with readers. For NYT, this concept can bring content and ads closer together, in a more seamless experience for the user.

Athletics project team
  • Partners: Jameson Proctor & Malcolm Buick
  • Project Manager: Kathryn Farwell
  • Creative Director: Sam Renwick
  • Designer: Jaime Patino-Calvo
  • Strategists: Katherine Lee & Matt Colangelo
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