Speed Feed is an experiment, originally with the aim of speeding up article reading time, in the same way the Spritz widget might. Unfortunately our initial exploration proved too taxing for readers’ focus. This is why Speed Feed had to shift its goals and become an alternative form of news ticker.
Readers on ft.com already experience the distractions of moving advertising; can we provide another useful source of information that would compete with the distraction of adverts.
Speed Feed thus becomes a test of how far we can push the limits between usefulness and annoyance.
Speed Feed uses the FT’s news feed to get the latest 15 headlines and display them word by word. Once all 15 have been displayed, it will pause until refreshed by the reader or until there are newer headlines to be shown. The animation on the word display pauses when hovered, to offer a link to the relevant article and will also offer a link to the news feed when headlines aren’t playing.
Although it cannot be dismissed, the widget can be placed anywhere on the page, and its position will be remembered when viewing different articles. Speed Feed offers the latest news to maintain an ambient awareness of the latest global content of ft.com, not just of the particular category or topic that’s being read.
The experiment offers a de-contextualised word, always present in the reader’s peripheral vision; they can therefore be attracted to a single keyword rather than a full headline they wouldn’t have read within a fuller context, and might therefore read more articles.
Speed Feed probably won’t ever go live, but it can trigger a discussion around the reading experience and the information surfaced on ft.com.