USA TODAY is a reputable news source that reaches an older demographic and sports fans, however, misses out on an opportunity to expose a younger audience to relevant news content.
Our goal is to reimagine the cultural and lifestyle publication that promotes and maintains engagement through an entertaining, interactive media consumption experience, leveraging USA TODAY's existing journalistic reputation.
USA Today can capitalize on this generation's affinity for mobile devices, and reaffirm their relevance as the go-to news source.
Features like sharing, skimming, and custom saving are second nature to this generation, so we focused on those interactions.
The features that I took ownership over were BeastMode, Custom Sharing, designing the article page, and collaborating on the home page. My fabulous teammate and I worked side by side, providing each other with a fresh pair of eyes and someone to bounce ideas off of. While this project was a team project, we both explored our own features from sketch to final comps.
FOR THE OWNER
This generation likes to take ownership over things that they share to social media because it is a digital representation of themselves.
Whether it be through custom text or image, the ability to empower the user to customize their shareable encourages them to take control over what they share.
This feature gives you control over the content that lives in your social media. We want to give you the ability to add your personal touch to the content that lives on your profile.
Customize colors, filters, change the text to something more your style, and when you've shared the post, see it in action.
THE MAKING OF
Interested in how this project came to fruition? Keep on scrolling and learn about the in's and out's.
To align ourselves on this project, my teammate and I worked hand in hand on the research and analysis portion. Before we could get our hands on the pixels, we conducted a user survey, thorough competitive analysis to evaluate digital news in the wild, a current state breakdown, as well as a UI pattern library exercise.
- USER SURVEY
What do you get when 55 news consumers walk into a user survey...
We interviewed 55 individuals on their news habits, preferences, dislikes, and behaviors. After distilling down the results, we found the following:
People find themselves reading the news when it's relevant to them, to stay up to date, or based on friends recommendations/sharing.
What is important?
Relevance, source, and use of media were found to be the most important factors of an article to our user survey participants. Individuals were also influenced by if factual information was presented with evidence.
How & When?
Users primarily use their mobile devices to catch up on the news. Prime times for news consumption is in their free time and in passing from point A to B.
We learned that there are three types of sharers. The "shares all the time", "shares rarely", or "never shares" type of folk. The "shares all the time" individuals find themselves sharing articles primarily through messaging and secondly to social media.
- COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS
Sneaking up on our opponents, to take them by storm.
Combing through the ethernet of news, culture, and lifestyle products, we acquainted ourselves with the space and the UI patterns that are standard to these products. We looked at products like Refinery 29's This AM, Bloomberg, Flipboard, Medium, and Vox and found these takeaways:
- modern design and up-to-date branding that reaches the target audience
- Flipboard & Medium: Users control their experience and curate their own content
- Foster trust between the user and the application
- Provide a more seamless experience going from web to mobile
02 STORIES, CASES, & FLOWS
Goals and research in hand, we set out to create user personas that would guide us and keep us honest in designs. We explored their motivations, how they would use the lifestyle application, and guided our use case and flows.
Josephine is a fashion blogger who is always on the lookout for the latest trends. While commuting to her job on the busy subway, she makes it a point to scroll through her Instagram and scans through her fellow fashion blogger's sites. She's an avid user of social media platforms and uses them to advertise and broadcast her thoughts about the latest trends.
Ashley has taken on planning her own wedding. She wants to stay up to date with current trends and anything relevant to her planning needs. As a nurse, she is very busy and has extremely long shifts. Her lunch and commute are her only free times to collect content to inspire her wedding plans.
03 VISUALS, IA, SKETCHES
We established a visual style together, before taking ownership of our separate features. After establishing a visual style and a clear information architecture, we went our own ways concepting and pushing our own features, coming together for critiques and talking through issues.
- STYLE GUIDE
- INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE
- FINAL COMPS
Thanks for checking this out!
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