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The Hindu Group

A mobile-first content strategy & UX design

To bridge the gap between digital consumers and the newsroom, The Hindu created new standards, workflows and metrics, redesigned websites and trained editorial teams

The Challenge

In a 2019 Reuters study, 68% of Indian readers identified smartphones as their main source of news and 31% had identified mobile devices as their only mode of accessing news. The study also found that more people accessed news online (84%) than in print (49%). But in the case of The Hindu Group, more than 90% of revenue came from print; there was clearly an opportunity to grow mobile news penetration and drive new revenue with mobile-first storytelling, appealing to the new mobile-first consumer.

The Hindu Group’s strong print publishing legacy meant that journalists essentially repurposed print content for their websites (The Hindu, businessline, Sportstar and Frontline). However, digital consumer expectations have evolved well beyond plain text news content. The Hindu empowered its newsrooms to produce more high quality, visually rich content and supported them with the training, tools and workflows required to produce such content with efficiency.

Three major activities enabled this: The Hindu’s Editorial teams sought out industry expertise and were trained by renowned news design expert and a faculty at Columbia Journalism School, Dr. Mario Garcia, on mobile journalism. They were introduced to the needs and habits of mobile-first news consumers, as well as trained on a new creative process that enabled and enriched mobile storytelling. A second important thread was to improve cross-functional collaboration. While the digital and print editorial teams worked more or less independently in the past, they now had to work collaboratively to create mobile stories with new elements such as videos, graphics and podcasts. Both teams brought valuable skills - with digital teams contributing new skills in digital content formats and print teams contributing experts on their various beats. This collaboration enabled the creation of long-form multimedia stories.

Finally, the Editorial teams worked with the Product team to completely redesign The Hindu’s websites and apps. This ensured that visually rich content in their new multimedia stories rendered in a frictionless and elegant manner.

The Hindu Group_Headshot
Working with Google has helped us accelerate the digital transformation of our newsrooms. This project to implement a mobile-first content strategy & UX design has been a positive step in getting our editorial teams to create for the mobile-first generation.
L V Navaneeth
CEO, The Hindu Group

The Results

10x increase in creation of mobile-first, visually rich stories.

The Hindu Group’s journalists rose up to the challenge of serving the digital consumer. Stories that include visual or multimedia elements such as videos, podcasts, graphics, interactives, social media embeds and richer images have increased more than ten-fold. There has also been a significant increase in live coverage of important events such as elections, political development and major news.

  • +21% increase in audience engagement (within 6 months)
  • 3x growth in known user acquisition
  • +17% increase in sessions
[Website] CMS logo template (GNI) (16)
The redesigned mobile news pages for The Hindu Group
[Website] CMS logo template (GNI) (17)
Visualization on group site pages
[Website] CMS logo template (GNI) (16)
The redesigned mobile news pages for The Hindu Group
[Website] CMS logo template (GNI) (17)
Visualization on group site pages
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