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“Media owners need to collaborate to deliver user-centric solutions,” says FIPP Rising Star Finalist, Marcus Hall

Marcus Hall is an interactive designer at Lovatts Media Group in Australia, and one of the Finalists in FIPP’s Rising Stars in Media 2016. Just over five years ago, he joined Lovatts as a junior designer and website administrator.

In his first few years at Lovatts, he quickly upskilled as a front-end developer and fell in love with HTML5 development and responsive design. He took a great interest in agile product development and championed change in his digital team. Over the last two years he’s been instrumental in the redesign and development of the digital products and online syndication store. He now works as an interactive designer and digital product owner.

FIPP asked Marcus about his views of the industry and what making it on to FIPP’s 2016 Rising Star in Media list means to him.

Marcus Hall ()

What excites you about working in the media industry right now?

I’m a bit of a nerd and love working with the modern web.  I’m always excited about new technologies that allow me to be more creative with content.  I’m currently working with experimental browser properties such as flexbox and CSS grid modules to create unique and responsive layouts whilst maintaining the semantic structure of the content for accessibility.  There are so many emerging technologies, the possibilities around how we create, deliver and interact with content continue to grow. This growth fuels creativity and creates new opportunities for the magazine media industry. 

What is your vision/view on the future of the industry?

Accessible, personalised, socially interactive content will become more and more prominent. Circulation is so important to revenue that we as publishers need to be able to deliver our content through as many channels as possible whilst still delivering the best user experience on each platform. I predict a lot of publishers will consolidate their digital offerings into single responsive websites. Being cost-effective is paramount to maintaining profit margins. It’s truly mind blowing how many companies still have multiple native apps for different devices plus separate mobile and desktop sites. Good responsive design and progressive enhancement can deliver the best user experience whilst reducing cost and technical debt. 

What exciting changes do you think we will see happen/should happen in the near future?

Traditional business models should change in a lot of cases. They’re failing a lot of publishers that depend largely on advertising revenue which is hard to maintain across digital platforms. Advertising creates significant negative effects to user experience on mobile devices. Not just in terms of display and layout, but also page load performance. Then there’s the rise of ad blockers to throw in the mix. I think the solutions to these problems will involve more creative use of native advertising as well highlight the need to have better relationships with advertisers and sponsors so we can collaborate with them in order to deliver user-centric solutions that benefit everyone. Whilst not exciting at face value, the idea of having more sustainable businesses for the magazine media industry and better experiences for our users definitely is.

What you think of the Rising Star in Media initiative? 

The Rising Star in Media initiative is great. There are a lot of really passionate and talented young people out there.  It’s important that their achievements are acknowledged and celebrated on an open stage, and that good news stories are told about the opportunities available in magazine media.  It creates a positive feeling and bright outlook for the future when you see so many rising stars and what they’re doing to create change and deliver success in the industry.

FIPP created the Rising Stars in Media Awards in partnership with UPM and will be running it again in autumn 2017 alongside the FIPP World Congress. If you would like to be kept informed about next year’s process, contact Christine Huntingford.

Lovatts Media is a member of FIPP.

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