Washington Post Homepage Redesign
Product Design, Strategy, Research
Jul 2019 - Sep 2020
If you’re wondering what it’s like to tackle a project like this during one of the craziest news periods in recent history, it’s a little bit like this.
During the homepage redesign process, I was the lead visual designer for our three-person team. We spent over a year collaborating with the newsroom—shadowing the editors who update the homepage 24/7 and learning the ins and outs of the daily news cycle.
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The common theme from our user testing was clear: the volume of news was overwhelming*, and the muddy hierarchy of the page made it difficult to know which headlines were the most important. In addition to this, the ad positions on the page made it difficult for editors to quickly adapt the page as news stories developed.
*And keep in mind this was before 2020.
Our solution was to build a wide range of modular layouts that would allow editors to add or reshuffle stories on a dime, no matter what the news of the day would throw at us. We paired this with a consistent labeling system that kept the hierarchy of the news clear to readers.
We settled on a multi-phase rollout for this new homepage redesign, introducing individual elements of the new approach and closely monitoring analytics before moving on to the next phase.