New Beta Tool “Scroll” Gives Publishers Elegant, Easy, Template-less Story Design

Newspapers are good at throwing share buttons and sidebars and embedded widgets and image carousels and lists of related items into their story pages online. News design isn’t pretty, and the consumption experience online is often distracting and disjointed if you’re not using an RSS reader.

Now there’s a new tool that wants to fix that by “de-templatizing” news design. It’s called Scroll, and its brought to us by familiar faces Kate Ray and Cody Brown, who also created Nerd Collider and Kommons.

From Nieman Lab:

Its elevator pitch: “Scroll helps you make magazine style layouts for the web and iPad without needing to know how to code.”

In print, designers have more than a century’s worth of experience building visual structures to please the eye. Different stories get different placement on the page, different headline treatments, different kinds of accompanying art — even within the daily grind of newspaper production, there’s room to spend a little time matching a reading experience with a visual one.

The power couple just got $225,000 in funding after living on months of ramen, Beta Beat reports:

“We’ve raised $220,000 in seed funding from The Knight Foundation’s Program Related Investment Arm,” Mr. Brown told Betabeat. “We’re part of Knight’s recent initiative to support for-profit startups that help to promote informed and engaged communities.”

As you can see in the video above, the site will let people layout pages without needing to know code or CSS. It’s more flexible than a WYSIWYG editor and has the potential to really change the way we think about news design. Scroll is currently in invite-only mode. We’ll bring you a full review and features list after we get an invite. Request an invite here.

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