The Washington Post has created the new position of Chief Experience Officer and promoted Laura Evans from chief researcher to fill the post.
New products and major changes to existing products will require approval of the CXO, according to publisher Katharine Weymouth, to whom Evans will report directly.
“Today, we have scores of products that touch our customers in myriad ways—ranging from our flagship newspaper to our growing suite of mobile apps,” Weymouth said in a memo to staff. “We must understand the customer experience across and within all of these and other platforms. That understanding must be guided by accurate data and expert analysis of those
data. In this regard, the CXO role is a natural extension of Laura’s previous role, where she worked with key leaders across the company to guide our consumer-related decisions with a deeper understanding, based on research and data, of our customers’ behavior, preferences, and interests.”
“Going forward, our CXO will be regularly involved at the beginning of the [product design] process—setting priorities, guiding concepts and testing ideas. This process and structure will take us out of the realm of personal biases and opinions and into the realm of the best-run product companies—where products are launched and iterated based on metrics, data and user feedback.”
In other words, the Post is trying to make itself more like Google, or Apple. We’ve gotta say, this sounds like a pretty clever idea to us.