La Presse+: First impressions from the field
Many experts have already spoken about the new Press application, but what do simple readers think? Étienne Delagrave and Gabrielle Provost went to meet them in cafés in the Plateau Mont-Royal.
We spoke directly to seven people and four of them kindly agreed to try the La Presse+ application and give us their impressions. The interviews lasted about ten minutes and were filmed. Note that we are aware that the application may take some time to master and that some of the difficulties encountered by the participants would fade over time.
WHAT PARTICIPANTS THINK
THE PARTICIPANTS FIND THAT THE INTERFACE IS VERY BEAUTIFUL
Without a doubt, the interface is beautiful, the colors are vibrant, and the multimedia enriches the reading experience.
PARTICIPANTS APPRECIATE THE FULL-SCREEN READING MODE
When readers make a gesture of spreading their fingers, a full screen mode is active and allows in particular to enlarge the characters, to change the format of the text and to scroll the articles automatically. In general, the participants found it easy to activate this mode.
PARTICIPANTS EASILY LOCATED SOCIAL FEATURES
Participants with an interest in sharing features easily located these. They were generally satisfied with the possibilities offered.
PARTICIPANTS HAVE AN EASY TIME NAVIGATING FROM ONE WORKBOOK TO ANOTHER, BUT CANNOT FIND THE SECTION OVERVIEWS
Overall, participants were able to easily navigate the app, but sometimes had difficulty knowing where they were in the log. Intuitively, they enabled the section menu (the notebooks of the journal), but did not enable the preview of a section (the pages of a notebook). Some mentioned that they would like to have a better overview of the log.
PARTICIPANTS STRUGGLE TO DETERMINE IF AN AREA CAN BE VERTICALLY SCROLLED OR NOT
Participants frequently attempted to scroll areas that could not be scrolled. The app does not offer a visual cue that lets the reader know whether an area can be scrolled vertically or not.
RESPONDENTS MISUNDERSTAND THE USEFULNESS OF TABS INSIDE AN ARTICLE
Some articles are divided into sections which are accessed through tabbed navigation. Participants misunderstand that each tab is a portion of the same article and sometimes think that they are several articles on the same subject. It seems that the navigation is not intuitive to read the rest of an article. We believe that tabs somehow interrupt reading and interaction could be smoother.
PARTICIPANTS HAVE MIXED OPINIONS ON ADVERTISING
Some participants liked the interactive advertisements a lot, others were rather indifferent. The most ad-averse participant showed a bit of tolerance when he learned that the app was free. We notice that the advertisements are not intrusive and that, in general, they made the participants smile. Some even said they would be more interested in an interactive ad, especially ones that have added value such as a trailer for a movie ad.
The full-screen advertisements, inserted into the sequence of the daily pages, are both immersive and interactive, but without being restrictive. This approach, only possible because of the linear mode of consultation of the daily newspaper, could well be a winning approach for them. Indeed, the user is not forced to wait before being able to play the ad, as is the case in YouTube. It is therefore respectful of the reader, especially since the content is free.
The good thing about La Presse+ is that the entire newspaper can be read offline. The user who travels by metro, for example, can therefore download his edition in the morning at home and read it during his journey. Also, since the content of a given edition is stable, readers really feel like they can browse the entire journal. Although readers appreciate having access to live news on the web, they sometimes feel overwhelmed with information and have no control over what they read, which does not happen with La Presse+.
Jean-François was discussing the advertising model and the rather daring rate schedule during an interview with Radio-Canada .
The digital shift of La Presse is ambitious. Its success will depend above all on the adoption of the advertising tools offered by advertisers and this is why the company will have to stay tuned and, perhaps, adjust its model over time. We are thinking in particular of the viability of the free model for the reader and the need for measurement (eg number of views, number of interactions, etc.) that advertisers will surely demand. But if the company continues to invest in the future and in the quality of its content, it has a good chance of becoming one of the pioneers of the digital shift in the field of journalistic information.
A very special thank you to the participants, to Flocon Espresso and to Café Expressions who allowed us to approach their customers.