Somewhere on the long list of new skills and concepts every good journalist needs is “talking to the geeks” (I say this as a confirmed journo/geek myself). If you’ve ever sat in a meeting and nodded wisely when the talk has turned to design or looked at a design budget and thought “holy hell…it’ll take THAT long”, this might be worth a quick look.
User-focused design (aka User Experience Design, or UX) borrows from ethnography, marketing, psychology, and good ol’ fashioned newspaper editing.
A top-flight UX designer for news will understand your audience’s behaviors, what devices they’re using, what their needs are and then boils that knowledge down into defining exactly what your website or app actually is and does.
When you consider that the design process will influence, if not dictate, everything from how many stories get published in a day, their length, how they’re organized, laid out, enhanced with photography, reach mobile devices and social networks, it becomes pretty obvious that designers are good people to understand.