Bridging the gap between publishers and networks

In a world dominated by smartphones, instant articles have become the latest obsession for news junkies. Instant articles are, basically, web content from publishers for mobile access to the article. It is a way for publishers to transform the traditional print design to the digital world.

Product designer David Wright Jr. sat down with Steve Motzenbecker, a design manager at Facebook, and Bobbie Johnson, co-founder of Matter, during a Saturday afternoon session at SNDSF.

Johnson is working with his team to develop tools for publishers to help them customize in the mobile medium. “I saw people doing crappy jobs of good ideas… I want to help bridge the gap between publishers and network,” Johnson said. He is doing a lot of work to help people stop worrying about the hard stuff and to get on to producing great stories and visuals.

Motzenbecker is also helping bridge that gap between publishers and Facebook. Facebook has become a one-stop shop for content, from updates from your friends and family to reading instant articles from the top publishers in the world.

Both men went on to explain how they are trying to expand the use of instant articles among publishers. Motzenbecker said they are spending tons of time visiting all of the publishers, listening to their ideas and opinions, and doing their best to fix mistakes to make things better.

“You have to take a chance, slow down, and build the right tools for the designers. We have to improve and show that we are really listening to the them,” Motzenbecker said.

Johnson added that their team has communicated with 200 publishers in the past two months, trying to gain knowledge to improve Matter, making it easier for publishers and designers.

“We are spending one-on-one time with designers and understanding what they need to make it better, “ Johnson said. He also went on to explain how important their editorial team is at Matter: “We believe that great editorial work is the life blood of what people want to read.”