I chose to review the New York Times’ “Harvard Business School Case Study: Gender Equality.” The format of the piece is similar to that of “Snowfall” with fewer bells and whistles. I liked this piece more than “Snowfall” because I think the subject is more relevant and it interests me more.The user experience is simple: you simply scroll down the page and interact with the various forms of multimedia that you are presented with. There are videos, engaging infographics, blocks of text and photos. However, there is no navigation bar on the top, side or bottom of the story. Instead, users have to scroll all the way through the piece in chronological order. Users don’t have the option to choose what segment of the story they want to skip to, and I think this is the piece’s main downfall.
The intended audience for this piece is students, faculty and administrators at HBS and business leaders at other schools or companies. There is a section of story which asks for responses from these different groups specifically. I think this informed the NYT editors’ decision to do a case study, because they wanted their audience (other business leaders), to be able to learn from what HBS did.When you click to see the responses in these different categories, you have the option to filter the comments in different ways. For example, you can view “female,” “male,” or “recent grads,” among other categories. I think this is a great aspect of the user experience because it allows the user to choose what perspective they want to read about. However, there is a usability problem with the response section, because it is difficult to navigate back to the main story after reading the responses.
The case study occurred throughout two years, all of the photos and videos in the story were from graduation day. Since it was an ongoing story, it would have been nice to have photos and videos from different benchmarks during case study – not just at the end. Still, I think that the video interviews were the most compelling aspect of this story.