The Seattle Times
Phone App


Redesign of the outdated mobile experience. The main focus was providing a way to easily navigate and read articles from a main news feed.


I was the lead designer, responsible for the entire app design; from user flow, through wireframing and iteration, to final visual design.

Identifying the key issues and goals

Existing app was a mobile website within an app container


Improve poor navigation for mobile users


Display news articles in a digestible way, without being too limiting

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Everyday user that checks phone throughout the day for news updates (active user)

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Readers who only check when breaking news is happening (occasional user)

Target audience
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Commuter who only checks during commuting hours (passive user)

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Wireframe exploration

After identifying the key areas of the UI to focus on based on user feedback and business goals, I created a series of wireframes to focus on key parts of the app:

  • Story presentation

  • Relevancy exploration

  • Topic / alert preferences

  • Trending content

  • Paywall messaging and design

These wireframes underwent qualitative user testing to determine which features and layout would accomplish our goals best.

  • Having a blended news feed of thumbnails and large images created most engagement while also maximizing the mobile screen real estate.

  • Alerts and notification customizations were not as important to users. Users preferred to be alerted for all breaking news as opposed to news section updates.

  • Casual readers appreciated having a trending news tab.

  • Users assumed that news was chronological in the newsfeed. Calling attention to new articles was unnecessary and created clutter.

User testing key results
News feed - visual design

The final step was visual design for the product. This largely followed the Seattle Time's brand guidelines, but was tweaked slightly for more readability on the app.

  • 400% increase in user traffic compared to previous app.

  • Gaining 4.6-star rating within 3 months of launch. Previous app had 1-star.

  • Doubled active user count.