The Society for News Design is excited to announce that Priya Ganapati is joining our lineup of speakers for the SND Charlotte workshop on April 19-21 in Charlotte, N.C.
Ganapati manages partnerships and product development for Quartz, an Atlantic-media backed digital news startup. She focuses on distribution strategy, creating and managing partnerships with platforms, advertising products, website growth and optimization, and hacking subscriber growth for the Daily Brief newsletter. Previously, she was the product manager/director for The Wall Street Journal’s mobile apps on iOS, Android, and other platforms. She also managed the Barron’s iOS app.
SND.org editor Aviva Loeb caught up with Ganapati about her current role, creating new products and newsletter design.
YOU STARTED YOUR CAREER AS A WRITER AND NOW ARE THE PRODUCT DIRECTOR FOR QUARTZ. TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT HOW YOU GOT INTO YOUR CURRENT ROLE. I was covering smartphones for Wired as a writer when the app store and mobile apps started becoming popular. Media companies had started creating apps for phones and tablets and I wanted to be a part of it. So I joined The Wall Street Journal’s mobile team as an editor and transitioned to becoming a product manager for their apps. After about five years at the Journal, I moved to Quartz’s product team to work on platforms and newsletters.
WHAT APPS ON YOUR PHONE COULD YOU NOT LIVE WITHOUT? I am a fairly traditional user when it comes to apps on my phone. The most used ones for me fall into three categories — work related such as Slack; news apps and essentials. I love the Quartz app for its humor, while keeping me informed. I also use The Wall Street Journal and Buzzfeed for news. And there’s Twitter, Instagram and Facebook that I check multiple times a day.
CAN YOU TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE PROCESS OF CREATING A NEW PRODUCT FOR QUARTZ? The idea for a new product can come from anyone — a designer, an editor, a product manager or someone in sales. If it’s an idea we want to pursue, we start developing it by building a product case for it. We outline the product idea, the “voice” of the product, the business case for it and create initial designs. From there on we build it. We tend to iterate and obsess about getting the voice right.
WHAT IS THE KEY TO CREATING A PRODUCT THAT STICKS? Putting the user first. Often products start with that idea but other considerations start creeping in — optimizing for revenue or scale — that take away from the user-first experience.
WHAT FACTORS ARE MOST IMPORTANT WHEN CONSIDERING NEWSLETTER DESIGN? Mobile friendliness is a key factor — lots of people read newsletters on their phone so making sure the newsletter renders well on mobile is key. Other that, a well-written newsletter with images used judiciously and sparingly through the newsletter are important for a good user experience.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO AT SND CHARLOTTE? Learning how other news organizations are approaching design in the digital age and across different products and of course, meeting some amazing people whose work I have followed for a long time.
About SND Charlotte
• Don’t miss your chance to UNITE & REBEL, register today: Register
• Book your hotel room (before they run out!): Use the SND discount link
• Check out the lineup of speakers we’ve announced for the workshop. What a team!
• Don’t miss the Think Before You Make pre-conference day at the U.S. National Whitewater Center