Stories behind the News; Designing an Advanced App for Journalistic Background Information


  • Jan Bierhoff Medialynx
  • Sander Kruitwagen Essense



Journalism, innovation, apps, user assessment


Meanwhile, there is a consensus in the media industry: online will become the prime content delivery platform. Major contributions have already been made at the level of breaking news, but the digital configuration of more complex, contextual information is still lagging behind. With this given in mind, the R&D outlet Medialynx developed a concept for the management of complex background information in a visually attractive way, specifically for display on tablet computers. Together with design agency Essense and the leading Dutch news magazine Elsevier, Medialynx was one of the winners of the 2012 IPI/Google News Innovation Contest, and could on the basis of this grant proceed with the realisation and testing of the concept, initially coined as the Reading Radar. In this research brief, the team presents an inventory of the efforts to further develop the Reading Radar formula into a fully operational prototype and ultimately a launch-ready media service.

Author Biographies

Jan Bierhoff, Medialynx

Jan Bierhoff is an independent consultant and owner of Medialynx, a start-up company focussing on strategic advice, prototyping and media analysis. Until 2011 he worked as an associate professor of Media Innovation at the Infonomics and New Media Research Group, based at Zuyd University, Maastricht, the Netherlands. Before, he directed the European Centre for Digital Communication (EC/DC). Until 2001 he served at the European Journalism Centre (EJC), an international mid-career training facility, as its founding director. Before moving to the EJC, Bierhoff managed the international activities of the Dutch School of Journalism in Utrecht. At this institute, he also lectured in media theory and communication strategies.

Sander Kruitwagen, Essense

Sander Kruitwagen is a User Experience Designer at Essense, focussing on consumer and market insights and translating these into meaningful and relevant designs, ranging from ideas and concepts to digital products and prototypes. His work includes wireframing, concept design, prototyping, information visualisation, design workshops and user testing. Before joining this company, Sander worked as a researcher at the Infonomics & New Media Research Centre of Zuyd University, Maastricht. He was professionally trained at the User Centered Engineering research group of the Eindhoven University of Technology.






Research Briefs