McClatchy supports a robust design thinking initiative. They host several workshops each year to teach employees creative problem-solving to tackle some of the industry's biggest issues. I participated in several workshops to improve my skills and to evangelize the importance of user-centered product development.
This particular challenge was a long-term study that focused on building trust with users who had become skeptical of news media. Our goal was to find new ways to establish trust between readers and newspaper journalists.
We had a strong team, which included developers and marketing professionals. As the UX specialist and designer, I conducted 20+ user interviews, designed and managed a week-long diary study with The News & Observer, facilitated a follow-up focus group, mapped out discovery and engagement user journeys, designed and built the prototype, synthesized the data, and reported on the findings to stakeholders.
We conducted several rounds of empathy interviews to learn more about how users discovered and consumed news content throughout the day.
This is what we learned:
To meet these challenges, we wanted to offer users a full in-depth story experience in a format that was engaging and convenient.
The idea we tested was an audible news app, which provided a daily list of news stories that were read and recorded so users could create a personalized newscast to play when they had time. To strengthen the trust relationship, we added an introduction from the journalists, so users could feel more confident about the source, without needing to verify the information.
We wanted to create an interface that engaged users with the day's stories and offered an easy way to personalize an audible playlist.
Users expressed a desire to create a playlist that would fill the time of their morning commute, the time it takes to walk their dog or get ready for work.
The feedback was very positive! Users immediately understood the concept, and gave examples of how they would use this product.
They liked that they were getting the in-depth story, and not a highlight as with other audible sources. Hearing the voice of the journalist made users feel more connected to the source. "The story feels more credible."
The next iteration will include deeper personalization features, so the initial list will reflect the user's interests. The concept is being considered for development.