I had a pleasant email conversation with a customer last week.
He was a fan of news. He wants to read the news every day. He generally accesses most of his news digitally, but he had previously been an avid reader of The Oklahoman and was happy with our recent coverage enhancements. As a result, he had been purchasing the printed Oklahoman each day in recent weeks and wanted to transfer that daily reading to a digital platform.
That’s when he landed on NewsOK.
And that’s what triggered his email. He was offering some feedback about NewsOK.com. He was looking for articles that he had read in the newspaper the previous day and had problems finding the articles on NewsOK.
He explained his issues, then said …
I am astonished at how complicated, cluttered, and generally hard to navigate your website is.
Sounds like a great plug for NewsOK, right? Well, it’s not the first time we’d heard that. The truth is that NewsOK is not built, nor has it ever been built, to replicate the experience of The Oklahoman newspaper product.
So … “complicated and generally hard to navigate?” Well … if you’re looking for a newspaper site, yes, that might be true. I don’t hear that same complaint from users who start their news consumption on NewsOK.
Back to the customer …
He had tried a couple of different methods, but had no luck finding the articles. After short correspondence and helping him locate the articles, I introduced him to Oklahoman.com and the rest of the digital products we have created in the last 18 months for The Oklahoman.
Here’s part of what I said:
We do consider our digital products for The Oklahoman to be the best way for readers of The Oklahoman to browse the content they expect to see online.
After some more dialogue, he became a subscriber to The Oklahoman. He has the printed newspaper delivered to him on Wednesdays and Sundays, and he has access to The Oklahoman’s digital products every day.
Of the digital products, he says he’ll use Oklahoman.com more than the others.
The Oklahoman.com looks very nice. Much easier to read than either newsok.com OR the NY Times online.
Yeah … it was a little bit of a shot at our NewsOK product, but I take no offense at all. I am well aware that NewsOK is a fast-paced site targeted for breaking news and a multitude of options for readers. But it’s not for everybody.
That’s why we built Oklahoman.com and the iOS and Android apps for The Oklahoman. Some people want the The Oklahoman and the newspaper experience that goes with it.
The customer I described above is the precise customer we’re targeting with those digital news experiences. So it was nice to see that work pay off for him.
And I’m just happy to have a happy customer.
To review these are the products we have in the digital space for The Oklahoman:
- The Oklahoman iPhone app
- The Oklahoman iPad custom app
- The Oklahoman iPad Print Replica app
- The Oklahoman Print Replica website
- The Oklahoman Android smartphone/tablet app