As a comment to my post yesterday, Smartgoat mentioned that the New York Times’ iPad app was actually rather good. I agree. And I also think that there’s not very much to it.
Compare it to NPR’s media-rich iPad app and you’ll see that the Times has a small number of stories, and not that much choice for the reader. And that is precisely why it’s the better app for day to day reading of news.
On the NPR app, all news articles are weighted equally, everything is given the same level of importance. The problem is that when everything is important, then nothing is important.
I always counsel people in communications to exercise their judgement. Decide what is important and what is not. Prioritise. Assign hierarchy. Once you do that, you can design and create useful and navigable things. Which is, after all, the job.