06.08.17: Design the jump first…
FOR MORE THAN A QUARTER CENTURY, one of my design mantras has been: “Design the jump first. The front will take care of itself.”
At first, that seems silly. We don’t design the jump page before we design the front. No one does that.
But it’s not meant literally.
“Design the jump first. The front will take care of itself” is focused more on the way we think rather than how we actually design.
Let’s say we’ve spent a few weeks or so putting together a package dealing with all the roadwork in your area. It’s good reporting, well written, and we have a photo and a map all ready for the front page. Good work!
But it’s not enough.
When readers go to our jump (left), they’re confronted with a sea of gray.
We really need to have a visual to attract them to that jump. Maybe two photos (right). We need to think about that when we’re gathering the pieces for our package. Get at least one more photo. An infobox. A pullout.
What happened to the rest of the jump? Some editing took it down to right size—and if we must have a jump that long (instead of creating ways to segment the story), we could move the bottom jump to another page and run the rest of the roadwork jump into that space.
If you were the reader, which of these jumps would you prefer to read?
Think about that when you’re gathering the pieces for your package. Get at least one more photo. An infobox. A pullout.
“Design the jump first. The front will take care of itself.”
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