Google News Redesign
How might we give readers the most trustworthy, relevant, and positive news-consuming experience possible?
The Google News app aggregates content from over 75,000 publishers, having the potential to supply content to any type of reader. However, the current iOS app's rating is a 2.7 out of 5, suggesting that there is room for change.
I conducted field studies, in-person usability tests, and interviews to understand how usable users found the Google News app.
- Users want to scan a high volume of headlines quickly to identify what they actually want to read
- Users avoid certain news topics because they find them to be very depressing
Google News iOS Usability Findings:
- Users enjoyed that the same story was aggregated by multiple news sources but took a while to understand the feature
- Users were frustrated with not being able to customize or add content to the "For You" tab
- Users found the bouncing movement upon clicking one of the headlines distracting and weren't sure what section of news they were reading
- Users had trouble finding the search feature at the top of the page
Based on the research findings and business considerations, there is opportunity in the areas of:
- Content: refining the "stories" feature so that it's easier to understand that the same story is being covered by different publications
- Flexibility and Transparency: making customizability accessible and helping users understand why they are seeing the content they see
- Positivity: provide elements of positivity and surprise, like Search's "I'm Feeling Lucky"
- Awareness: helping readers become more aware of their reading habits and what sort of content they are consuming
Section headers make it easier to know what category of headlines is currently being read, and "covered by" footnote indicates that multiple sources are covering a single story.
Upon clicking on a headline, readers can visually see which publications are covering the story and read a snippet. The "Manage" button gives readers easy access to customization.
Once a user clicks "Manage", he or she can customize sections in the menu.
A different color for "For You" visually indicates that the user is now reading more leisure-oriented news. Headings help readers understand why the headlines are appearing.
Users can still see different viewpoints before committing to a story.
Users can add publication or topics to aggregate news on.
The "Search" functionality is now a bottom navigation option, as users were having trouble finding the search option in Google's current design. For a splash of fun, users can press the green four-leaf clover to randomly read an uplifting article.
Search results are listed to help users scan as many headlines as possible to find what he or she is looking for.
Insights help users recognize the potential bias and type of the content he or she is consuming, as the first step to fighting bias is awareness.