John Bonazzo, reporting for The Observer:
A source told Observer that the cuts included two staff writers,
two front-end developers, an executive assistant and a revenue
The laid-off staffers were notified in a series of early morning
meetings that were scheduled last night. The remaining revenue
staff is also taking pay cuts.
The source also noted that The Outline plans to slash its
freelance budget despite the dearth of staff writers. The site
will likely move from its current Lower East Side office to an
undisclosed WeWork location.
Needless to say, fewer staff writers and a reduced freelancer budget are a bad combination. There’s been some great work at The Outline, and I’m always disheartened to hear of good publications struggling financially. But I can’t help but wonder whether The Outline would be doing better if its design weren’t so reader-hostile. Their regular articles still use those squiggly animated horizontal and vertical rules. They feel like some sort of eye test or challenge — “Can you read this text next to an animated squiggle?”
Do I really think bad design is at the heart of The Outline’s financial struggles? No, I guess not. But good design surely wouldn’t hurt.
★ Tuesday, 4 September 2018