A case study on The Newsroom: Reducing bias in news reporting
The Newsroom is a small start-up with a big mission: reduce bias in news reporting by highlighting multiple perspectives across publications.
The founders tasked me with redesigning parts of the app within a short time frame, while loosely staying within the current design framework. The goal was clear: increase user retention by making the app easier to use and its features more discoverable.
In user interviews conducted by the Newsroom, some key issues came up:
- On the main page, many did not know you can swipe on a story’s picture to read summary cards, nor that you can click on blocks for an in-depth article view.
- On the article page, some didn’t realize you could swipe through tabs to view multiple perspectives (the standout feature of the Newsroom) and sources.
In addition, the vast majority of people who downloaded the app only opened it once and did not come back.
After analyzing the feedback, I started making sketches for alternative layouts and new features. The ideas were polished through asynchronous discussion with the founders and eventually turned into a high-fidelity prototype.
- Added a weekly calendar row to show people which days they have already read, encouraging the formation of a daily habit.
- Separated the image of the story blocks from the text cards and made it clear that swiping is an option, improving discoverability.
- Added the titles of the multiple perspectives to the main page, so users know what to expect before diving in, improving transparency.
Opted for a long page with anchor links for easy navigation, ensuring that the different sections are unmissable.
You can now quickly get an overview of relevant articles and see which ones have multiple perspectives (the key differentiating factor of the Newsroom).
The redesign was well-received by the client, who was impressed by the improved usability and discoverability of the app’s key features. Some changes were implemented within days, while others will be tested and fine-tuned before release.
More importantly, by implementing these changes, the Newsroom will be better positioned to compete as a unique challenger in the highly competitive sector of news apps and achieve its mission.