This solo design challenge while at General Assembly was to conceptualize an app that would solve a major problem. The American media has long been criticized for its biased reporting. The modern phenomena of disinformation and social media virality have exacerbated this problem – people just don’t know what to believe. Americans are craving a news source that will help them make sense of elections. Enter: Election Check.
Process: I began by analyzing the competition. How do their apps (and websites) display content? What is the user flow of the app? What features does it contain? How biased is their reporting?
The competition does a great job of drawing in readers by pairing articles with striking images
Sharing articles via text, e-mail or social media is easy
Accessibility options are non-existent in some apps and plentiful in others
Bias in reporting is clear and substantial
The Interview process consisted of one-on-one conversations with people who follow the 2016 election and news in general. Participants were asked ten questions in order to gauge how they feel about content being provided and how they utilize their preferred news apps.
Most common news sources: CNN, NYT, Vox, WaPo, Fox News, USA Today, HuffPo, Guardian, 538
Articles on the home page are the most read, along with those listed as most read, as well as those that are shared on Facebook
Every participant would love articles to be independently fact checked
All desire more substance and less fluff
Labeling an article as liberal, moderate or conservative would be helpful
For those who are looking for credible coverage of the 2016 election, Election Check offers a one-stop news experience, where articles are aggregated from the most popular news outlets, independently fact checked, and labeled according to their political viewpoint.
Once the app is opened, the user has the ability to browse articles or search for a specific topic. From there, the user selects the article to read and has the ability to click the fact check button.
Sketching & Ideation
The ideation process included sketching the primary screens of the app: (from top left) the Home screen, Search screen, Article screen and Search Results screen.
Henry has been busy lately and hasn't given much thought to current events. He decides to open Election Check to catch up on news. He notices an article about the Iran nuclear deal and decides to read it. While reading the article he clicks on the fact check button - something he is grateful for. He learns that the article contains a falsehood and carries a conservative bias.
Paper Prototype & Usability Testing
• Keep banner on home page only
• Add drop-down icon on home page banner to switch between newest and most liked
• Change star icon to a heart to like an article
• Change sharing icon to an arrow
• Move back button to top of screen
• Remove next page link and allow for continuous scrolling
• Change graphical rating system frmo circle to a bubble
• Provide full labels on graphical rating system
• Also display rating in text format
Final Interactive Prototype
The most challenging part of designing this app was gauging if users would deem it to be an independent and trustworthy source and arbiter of information. Further testing in this area is essential.