The Seattle Times
Phone App

GOAL

Redesign of the outdated mobile experience.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

ROLE

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
1

Existing app was a mobile website within an app container

2

Improve poor navigation for mobile users

3

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

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

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

Target audience

Commuter who only checks during commuting hours (passive user)

1/4
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 thatnews 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.

Results

© 2021 Jesse Snyder