Most of my work recently has been focused on rethinking the Post's national app. Instead of sinking months of time into a single, comprehensive redesign, my product manager and I decided to tackle individual problems and push out improvements iteratively.
It's been a valuable learning experience.
We began by identifying problem areas in the app-- dead ends, unclear layouts, outdated styles, etc.-- largely by reading analytics, speaking with developers, and scheduling regular checkins with newsroom stakeholders who've maintained the app for years. Then, we prioritized what we wanted to solve and focused on individual problems, user tested prototypes and handed designs to developers.
So far, we've designed five such improvements and released two of them: iOS and Android rich alerts and a new, end-of-article recirculation module that aims to surface stories from sections that historically get little promotion.
The improvement I've most enjoyed working on is a refresh of the app's core navigation, which involved us remapping the tab bar and child screens across the app, and bringing the Android and iOS versions to near parity. I can't share those designs, but I can talk about what we did:
We user tested prototypes twice. The first session was to gauge user response to three possible IA maps we were considering based on analytics, our hypotheses, and newsroom asks. I made bare bones InVision prototypes for this session.
Two months later, we tested the tweaked version with the stylistic changes we also wanted to make. That time, I made a high fidelity prototype with transitions, animations and other scroll-based functions using Framer.
Documenting our styles in our new design system
The designs are complete, and I'm currently cleaning up Sketch symbols and styles and adding them to InVision DSM, a new design system management software that I want to use to help centralize the main design components for this app, as well as the colors, font styles, and spacing to keep things uniform.