Timeline

5 Week, Team Project

My Role

Experience Strategy, Interaction Design, Visual Design

We designed The Know — an interactive news platform for young people to get more out of the news.

My Deliverables

Design System, Wireframes, High Fidelity Flows

BACKGROUND

55%

of young people use social media and messaging apps as their primary source of news.

How Younger Generations Consume News Differently, Reuters Institute

The internet is everyone's gateway to world. For young people, the internet is their way of staying connected and maintaining their social responsibility to understand the world around them — and that extends farther than their backyards. For many, they find their voice by engaging with the news and staying on top of it all.

 

PROBLEM

Being informed is essential to

young people, but staying on top

of everything is seemingly impossible.

Not only is being informed a social responsibility for young people, it's also their source of power, their ability to form their identity, and is their way of feeling in control over the uncontrollable. However, the nature of the 24 hour news cycle causes stress and anxiety because it makes it hard to know enough about everything and not feel left out.

OPPORTUNITY

How might we take advantage of all the news data out there to provide young people with a better way to stay on top of the things they care about?

The BBC has a commitment to informing and there is an opportunity to intercept Gen-Z's news consumption habits to deliver a holistic viewpoint on the news they want.

The BBC's mission is to act in the public interest, serving all audiences through the provision of impartial, high-quality and distinctive output and services which inform, educate and entertain. Many in the older generation view BBC as their true source of news but younger audiences are not as beholden to one news source. There is an opportunity for the BBC to step in and use its outlets and access to data to demystify the news and engage with an audience in a new way that is relevant to their habits.

SOLUTION

An intelligent storytelling app that uses the BBC's news data to connect you with everything you need to know, without the hassle of searching for it all.

Diving Deeper. Interacting with The Know starts from anywhere.

1.

Create an Interactive Story from Anywhere

Users share content directly to The Know using their devices sharing functionalities. Using its smarts, The Know analyzes the content and intelligently composes an interactive story from the BBC's news data. 

The Know accepts content from anywhere including images from your camera roll and posts on your social feeds.

2.

Explore Your Own Way

Each Interactive Story unfolds choose-your-own-adventure style. This allows users to guide their learning based on their unique interests.

Special markers appear contextually throughout an interactive story. Users can interact with the special markers to venture down additional story paths.

Stories for Everyone —

Branch Off Down Your Own Path

STEP FOUR

Inform Others

At the end of the story, users leave their reaction. The Know packages the story and reaction and allows users to share it to any other platform.

 

Sharing, closes the loop, and allows users to keep other people informed and conversant.

Stay in The Know

The Know features an interactive dashboard that attracts stories to you based on the news you want. The closer the story is to you is the more relevant is is to your likes. The larger the size of the story, the more people have interacted with that content.

Building The Know

Defining the Problem - Understanding our Audience

Takeaway — There's tension between being informed and managing news overload.

To understand our Gen-Z audience, we directed our focus on news consumption behaviors and habits. We used white-boarding to visualize all of our general bias and synthesize our preliminary research. From this white-board exercise, we distilled down our focus into understanding the underlying behaviors that motivate young people to engage with information.

 

Defining the Problem - Understanding the brand

An Opportunity

for The BBC

The BBC is one of the largest broadcasting service in the world. BBC is dedicated to providing impartial and accurate news, but majority of its following base does not include a younger audience. The BBC can leverage its ability to cover a wide range of topics and its pool of data from years of reporting to engage with this audience in a new way, and provide better content.

The BBC has an opportunity to take a more active approach, scale it's offering, and really impact younger folk on a day-to-day basis. This is advantageous for BBC because an earlier good first expression means more engagement with their platform and a better understanding of their future user base. 

Sketches of Data Loop for BBC

Defining the Problem

Uncovered Mindsets

Primary Target Behavior

Growth Target Behaviors

Building the Mindsets

We created these mindsets based on findings from:

- Secondary Online Research

- Qualitative Interviews

- Learning Social Media Culture

These mindsets are how our audience approaches the news and how they engage with the content. From this understanding, we were able to pinpoint the common habit of sharing content from social as an interesting behavior to ideate around.

Ideation & Brainstorming

We worked as a team to find the best viable solution for our uncovered problem. Through multiple sessions, we generated ideas, affinity mapped them, and sketched out implementations. 

 

Ideation Sessions, Affinity Mapping, and Sketching

We came up with several different ideas and explorations before ultimately arriving at the idea of storytelling using news data. We expanded this idea into the choose your own adventure to better engage our  audience and empower them to learn more/

 

Design Considerations:

- Use Data Safely & Responsibly

- Give them what they want (plus some)

- Ease anxiety 

Ideation Sessions and using wireframes

Visual Design

Design System

For The Know, the general vibe was to create a brand that was highly visual, distinctive, and engaging. The design system drew inspiration from the BBC (note the red coloring) but also infused elements from social media sites used daily by Gen-Zrs  (like Tik-Tok and Instagram). 

The design system includes colors, type, rules on spacing & grids, as well as important components.

Interaction Design

Building the

Story Architecture

To design the information flow for the interactive story, I drew inspiration from experiences like Netflix's Bandersnatch and old Choose Your Own Adventure Books.

 

The story map gave the team a better the understanding of of story generation process. It gave us direction for selecting the components and moments necessary to complete this process. 

Branching Story Diagram for Interactive Story

Putting It All Together

Design Iterations

We played around with different implementations based on new discoveries of user habits and design critique before delivering the final high fidelity experience for The Know.

We invited feedback from others as well and used that to inform our iterations.

Design Critique Session & Wireframes

Looking Back

& Running Forward

Working on The Know was a wild ride (and it's still going!). Tackling this problem reminded me of the power of teamwork and collective passion. It was great being able to work with other people to create an inventive solution to a timely problem.

Explore Other Work

Case Study

Focus for Hinge

Fostering genuine relationships

through a dating app.

Internship

UX Internship

Learn more about my time at Google as a UX Designer on Google Duo.

Misc.

Etc.

A look into things I do on the side to keep my noggin active.

Let's Link! 

This doesn't have to end. Reach out to me at jdstokesjr@gmail.com and let's talk about anything.