Roles: Product Design Lead • Project: Microsoft Start News Article Redesign • Year: 2020
From hard news to entertainment, there are many ways to get news and content from around the web. Microsoft Start (formerly msn.com Microsoft News) has become the trusted source of many users around the world. It has many reputable news partners like The New York Times, to the more fluffy entertainment content like Wonderwall, and to local news outlets from many regions around the world. For many years, Microsoft News had garnered success partnering up with advertisers and are able to offer content for free from thousands of news outlets around the globe, whilst giving back some of the revenue to the publishers.
The current state of the consumption at the time, the experience is in need to be rejuvenated to keep with the times. The redesign aims to elevate Microsoft Start's status to a reputable and trustworthy news aggregator, that will be an integral part of the millions of users daily lives, and to give our readers the reading and consumption experience that they will enjoy everyday.
TRUST AND QUALITY
How do we increase trust signals for our readers and users to determine the quality of content trustoworthiness.
Currently the article page feels overwhelming with a lack of heirarchy and peppered with advertisements.
UX PRINCIPLES AND INTENT
Reading experience is missing the mark on user jobs, customer objectives and has competing elements on the page.
THE DESIGN GOAL
To design a better user experience for our readers so that they can consume the content in a pleasurable and coherent way by indentifying user needs, aesthetics and art direction.
THE USER GOAL
We want them to have a good content consumption experience and provide them with materials they want to see in a coherent manner.
THE BUSINESS GOAL
Increasing revenue by strategically placing advertisments on the page that does not interfere with the consumption experience and recirculating users within the ecosystem.
Looked at other article and content readers from news sites, blogs, and website that focused on reading and consuming experience.
Explored possible art direction and cross reference on the products vision.
DESIGN TEAM LEAD
Led the visual sprints to land on the best reading experience. Collaborated to understand the problem, iterate, converge on an idea that fits, prototyped, and user tested with customers to validate user needs and sentiment.
CROSS TEAM COLLABORATION
Collaborated with product team and engineers to ensure that we are delivering on projected key results and feasibility of implementation in a timely manner.
Analysed and drew inspiration from may differrent news article that fits our criteria.
Extending research onto different articles from other publisher brands and created a moodboard based on our visual criteria.
Positive reactions from user sentiments
Following validation with insider users, testers, and the leadership team, we received overwhelmingly positive feedback regarding the delightful reading experience provided by the new editorial look and feel. This positive sentiment instilled a sense of confidence and legitimacy in readers, ensuring that they were receiving high-quality content and a truly enjoyable reading experience.
Our users are actively engaging with our content by reacting to articles, initiating conversations, and commenting with other readers. It's great to see such a vibrant and interactive community forming around our platform!
Our telemetry and data analysis have revealed a significant increase in users clicking through to more stories at the bottom of the page. This is a clear indication that our users are fully engaged and thoroughly reading the articles.