Sinclair Local News
From Seattle, Washington to Washington D.C. Sinclair Broadcast Group’s digital news products reach over 50 million unique visitors every month. The company’s recent acquisitions left them with an assortment of properties that used various publishing tools and user experiences. Our challenge was to design a digital news viewing experience across all properties.
Once our team built a content management system to serve every newsroom, the content was centralized. The next step was to create a new front-end customer experience. The new experience was designed to be fully responsive across computers, tablets and phones and to more prominently feature photo, galleries and videos.
My focus was creating a cohesive and re-usable component based homepage for the web experience. That template would be implemented across the entire Sinclair network of news stations. This design would be flexible based on the user's needs and the station's needs in each market.
I conducted user research including surveys and interviews as well as qualitative user testing. I executed and delivered user flows, wireframes, prototypes and design specs for the web. I presented these works to gain sign off from executives, senior stakeholders and other teams throughout the project lifecycle.
January 2014 to February 2015
View Site: www.komonews.com
Who are our users and what do they want?
The homepage is the main discovery experience and presents a large amount of diverse content in a way that is clean, organized and accessible. Largely, users that visit the homepage are people who have the site bookmarked and routinely return back to the site. Users that are loyal to the brand may have carried over from the broadcast audience. Although many people visit the homepage, often times new users come to the site via the story detail page from a story or video linked from social media.
The audience age range is quite broad, people are between the ages of 22 - 55 and 60% are female. The design had to be intuitive and accessible for everyone. It also had to be generic enough to not skew towards a distinct network brand but be able to be scalable to fit all brands.
Research informed us that there was a desire to see popular stories with engagement. This informed our introduction of the "Trending" component. Users also wanted to know what was happening on social media. We surfaced a twitter feed component in response to those user's needs. Another feature that we showcased was to indicate when the latest content was posted. Our solution was introducing "New" and "Updated" labels to each story teaser as well as a time stamp. We also added more images as people tended to respond well to teasers with a supporting image.