Relaunching digital touchpoints for the brand's 160 year anniversary

The Telegraph

Image of screenshots from the Telegraph digital relaunch

Problem

The Telegraph digital propositions had become outdated, lagging far behind competitors, and was in need of replatforming. The brand had also been yet to explore opportunities for different media propositions, such as video and voice interfaces.

In 2015, to celebrate the milestone of 160 years of serving news to millions of people around the world, the brand wanted to relaunch it’s core digital products while transforming the publishing experience for journalists.

Image of rapid iteration during the visioning phase which was held offsite

Rapid iteration during the visioning phase which was held offsite

Approach

Working as part of a multidisciplinary team, I engaged with multiple stakeholder teams to ensure the needs of editorial and commercial were captured. I led the user experience on several products, while coaching print designers to expand their skills to cover interaction design.

We kicked off with a 2 week ‘visioning’ sprint, working offsite to generate and develop ideas for the two most popular channels - News and Sport - ready to take forward to research with users.

I built close working relationships with product and research to ensure we were developing the right proposition. Ideas were rapidly prototyped for research with users to ensure we were delivering propositions that were desirable for existing and prospect users, viable to the business, and technically feasible.

I partnered with research to plan activities, identify behaviour patterns and prioritise problems. I would then work with team members to discuss the problems that had been identified, generating ideas and agreeing on solutions for the next iteration.

Image of sub-navigation from hub pages

Research revealed that users wanted to navigate to sections from hub pages

Scheduled events

Sport is quite different to regular news - the vast majority of sporting events are scheduled, which makes it easier for editors to plan resources. Insight revealed that sport fans would habitually search for 'BBC Sport' in search engines to view ‘live’ articles and scores when the events were happening.

To increase traction for Telegraph ‘live’ articles, we added calendar functionality for users to save future events to pull them back to The Telegraph when ‘live’ coverage started. The product was utilised across other channels with similar events - such as Lifestyle to promote coverage of cultural events.

Image of the 'Planner' which allows users to add events to their calendar

Screenshot of the "Planner" which allows users to add events to their calendar

Premier League bots

‘Bots’ often provide a frustrating experience due to their limited capabilities communicating with users. However, there is less complication when the subject is hyper-specific - such as a single football team. I prototyped a simple experience to validate the concept with users - after which we built and released on Facebook Messenger. The bots provided team-specific live match updates, stories and statistics, while also offering a layer of humour - appropriate to Sport culture.

Image of bot, displaying team update

Team-focused bot that allows users to follow team updates

A destination for video

Qualitative research and competitor analysis validated the need for the Telegraph to develop a Video hub. Understanding the commercial requirements and the experience of users within video helped identify opportunities for innovation. An example of this is how the video player reduces and fixes on scroll, ensuring 100% visibility for both the pre-roll advertisement and video content, while also allowing the viewer to browse the page.

Image of video player interaction, in which the video reduces and fixes to the top of the browser on scroll

Video player interaction, in which the video reduces and fixes to the top of the browser on scroll

Optimisation

I worked with data specialists to plan and execute multivariate tests on the live site around several themes - such as increasing article page views - to see what impact features can make.

Image showing an example of experimentation to increase article page views

Example of experimentation to increase article page views

Outcomes

The massive design overhaul and site migration was a huge change for the organisation - changing how journalists published articles (back stage), and the front stage experience for users. The rollout was carried out incrementally, providing quantitative insight to help with decision making as we continued to work with editorial teams rolling out channels across the site.

Andrew is a really talented, experienced UX Designer. He produces not only great quality UX work, but if you see his designs, you will realise he has taken into consideration all of the core elements of the experience - functionality, information architecture, interaction, experience and emotion.

It makes my job easier working with designers like Andrew who are happy to work collaboratively throughout the research process.

He is also a great person to work with - I really enjoyed our UX discussions, both because he's really knowledgable, clearly cares about Experience Design and is open about many methodologies and techniques.

Carmen Brion
Design Researcher

It's been an incredible effort by all the teams involved. Our readers can enjoy a smart, modern, clean and engaging new site. And our journalists benefit too, from an infinitely better set of tools. This of course is not the end. We all share the ambition to make the new site even better and even more engaging.

Chris Evans
Editor at The Telegraph

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