I’m beginning to become both concerned and disappointed by the various news organisations’ iPad applications. Their bewildering lack of hierarchy (such as this, the BBC app) is I think explained by one thing –– they are built by electronic media people.
For radio, TV, and to an extent online news editors, importance is conveyed by order of delivery (front of the bulletin for TV and radio, most recent for online). However, in an ‘at-a-glance’ interface such as a newspaper or iPad application, importance is conveyed by relative scale.
Determining that hierarchy, and then apportioning real estate accordingly, is something that can at the moment only be done by real people with good news judgement. It remains to be seen if any media outlets realise this, and additionally whether they care about it enough to allocate the person-hours required to get it right.
Personally, I’m not holding my breath.