Redesigning the homepage of a major national brand is a significant undertaking. Multiple business goals, customer needs and so many personal opinions and preferences on how to read the news make a project like this complex and time-consuming. Between change management and engineering complexity, a roadmap was needed to plot the phases.
It started with a Design Sprint
In early July 2019, we held what is known as a Design Sprint in order to kick off thestar.com Home Page redesign project. This program gets results hat can be validated with key stakeholders and end users after just 5 days.
At the beginning of the sprint we worked on a statement articulating what we wanted to achieve in the long term:
In 12–18 months our news homepages will be a relevant, intuitive personalized experience that honour the legacy of their brands.
We came back to this statement as we worked through the design activities, using it as a litmus test to remind us if we were on the right track.
The design team came up with two different designs: one based on the prototype we all chose to go forward with, and the other a re-skin of the HP we had at the time. We ran user tests on both desktop and mobile concepts with 5 people and learned what was working and not working with each design.
These activities accelerated our work and thinking so we were able to enter into iteration and feedback cycles all fall and early winter.