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Gallery Template Redesign. Creating a flexible and scalable template to tell visual stories.

 

 

 

The New York Daily News, as a very first tabloid format publication in US, has a great legacy of pictures dating back to 1919. Its images are famous, controversial, beautiful, tragic, they would make you feel, they would make you think… and they had always been telling stories of its time.

In 2013, my team was very fortunate to work on Gallery template redesign.

Giving back the power to great images and allowing  journalists to tell their stories in the most immersive visual way, was our goal.

The Goal

Giving back the power to great images and allowing journalists to tell their stories in the most immersive visual way, was our goal.
Transform User Experience. Give the readers the best image presentation possible and allow to experience it in most real, immersive way. Encourage engagement. Extend the range of readers.

The Challenge

Old content production system company was using, prevented us from creating a fully responsive image gallery.

Create an innovative, alternative ad placements that would integrate with the image gallery without disrupting it.

Seamlessly migrate 9000 galleries.

The Solution

To get the most space for the image display we collapsed the main navigation in to a donut one. Multiple rich media advertising options were designed to work with the gallery. Image size is now responsive to the device. It means that the user gets the best version of the mage available for used the devise. To decrease drop off rate, the last slide is now offering related galleries grid.

The Process

In the research phase, stakeholders were interviewed. Based on their responses, we developed a workshop format with the team to conceive the vision of the product. Personas and User-journeys were mapped out to identify and prioritize outcomes.

We set up an interdisciplinary team including design, frontend and backend development, product owners and the project manager. This team worked together closely using scrum methods to organize their daily workflow. Our weekly project reviews included all the necessary stakeholders – editorial, business, sales & marketing representatives. We gathered their feedback to serve as a basis for scheduling QA, user testing and upcoming product launch.

Pre Launch User Testing

We learned a few important points during our pre-launch user testing phase. Here is the one that surprised me the most:
The close button, located in the top right corner (its function was meant to be a way of closing out of the gallery and finding yourself on the page you were prior to entering the gallery) was totally overlooked by almost all participants.
We decided to give it the benefit of the doubt and ran A/B test – got the same result! People were using browser back button to navigate out of the gallery.

Lesson Learned

We might have very strong feelings about the best UX solutions for our readers. But they are only an assumptions that are supported by our experience, best practices, intuition, recommendation…etc. Its all good, but they must be verified and adjusted, revised, if needed, after watching OUR audience interact with an actual product.
Going back the drawing board, re-mapping user experience, re-testing once again allowed us to create a solid UX for our readers.

9000 + galleries were migrated in to a beautiful new gallery template. Daily News now has a flexible, scalable and elegant Gallery template to display their amazing legacy of famous images that have been mirror of the history and telling the story of our times for the past 95 years.

Rich media advertising is now integrated with the new gallery in the way that is does not interfere with the coverage but at the same time has needed exposure.

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