Barron's News App
Barron's is a weekly newspaper founded in 1921 and currently published by Dow Jones & Company. I reimagined key parts for the Barron's news app and worked on a team of 2 to export UI assets to developers. I'm currently reworking the Barron's homepage.
Barron's has a popular weekly magazine that many enjoy, but changing the habits of our readers was becoming a problem. Our magazine had the side effect of leaning our readers to visit our site on a weekly basis, reviewing what happened in the week, just like the magazine.
Our readers are generally older (40+), resistant to technology, and see limited time as their biggest barrier for reading financial news. Our target audience—wealthy investors, who were especially short on time-didn't really like apps. It was another thing to have on their plate. We discovered this through interviews and surveys.
The company and stakeholders were committing to digital, and Barron's already wrote a ton of daily content, so we needed our website and app to deliver that content in a more valuable way. I helped provide final UI designs and assets.
Real-Time Analysis Timeline
We came up with the idea of providing value by keeping readers updated, and prioritized that in our mobile app. This included a specific tab at the bottom for latest news, and a timeline page dedicated to showing news in chronological order. This time-focused design trickled down to other parts of the app as well, like our magazine archive.
Our reasoning was simple; if an already tech-averse reader is checking our app for our news instead of going to our website, either they preferred that experience, or did not have the resources (time or computer) to check our website.
If we matched their goal of consuming content with an appropriate design, they would be able to get the stories they wanted. So we went with the timeline approach, and currently, that page is one of the leading internal drivers of traffic to our articles. I helped mainly with design reasoning.
Continuous Scroll Articles
As we're trying to promote all of the content on our site, we researched other sites and solutions for getting readers to notice more content. I helped design the continuous scroll module on our site; stories are served one after another, each with a card-like design. The benefits of this were the simplified mental model of our content and the opportunity to provide a more immediate collection of stories.
The design team consists of me and one remote Art Director. When I first joined Barron's, I realized that the process for adding assets to the library had some flaws.
One thing that slowed us down was that our design library consisted of static Sketch files, and because so many teams were using different versions, it was hard to make sure design updates were synced. I talked to other members in engineering and marketing and heard the same concerns.
I introduced the team to Figma and transferred the static files there. The library has a version history, which helped had the added benefit of letting us review past designs. Plus, like Google Docs, multiple people are able to collaborate in the same file, which helped syncing with the remote Art Director a lot easier.