With July around the corner and the fifth sprint complete, we can now announce that our five-month internship has come to its end. But ‘five’ shouldn’t be considered as the only representative number of this last post. The truth is, ‘Transforming Hit&Run Millennials’ has evolved in many accountable ways during the last five sprints.
Let’s make a quick recount… 600 hours was the approximate time we spent to complete our challenge, along with 11 pitches and 8 client meetings. We took part in 7 workshops, conducted 5 usability tests and 2 surveys (with over 300 responses), and went through 5 different prototyping stages. It took us more than 2.700 lines of code, 1 final video and, of course, tons of coffee.
Last time you read about our project, you learnt about our whole usability testing process. Since this is our last post, we will give you a brief overview about what’s been going on the past four weeks, so buckle up!
Although we’ve always taken into account all the elements that contribute to build a sustainable relationship between newspapers and readers, we realized that the best idea was to set our main focus on three specific points: improve direct communication between newspapers and readers, strengthen community engagement, and find alternative mechanisms to get to know Millennial readers better.
As you may know from last sprint’s post, we already had in mind a series of features that could bring us closer to our goal. However, because of the limited time we decided to focus on the three strongest ideas during this last sprint in order to make the most out of them. To make this final decision, we opted for conducting a small survey to receive another round of feedback on the adjusted UI/UX concept and to decide which features to select.
The survey results clearly indicated to which of our features Millennials reacted the strongest: “Personalized News Updates”, “Interaction Messages” and “Year in News”.
1 | Personalized News Updates
We created this particular feature to serve as an incentive to increase the subscription to newsletters, offering customizable news updates on the level of content, time and channel. It specifically targets Millennials and aims to improve direct communication.
According to our survey, 84% of the respondents said that they would use this feature mainly through social media channels.
2 | Interaction Messages
We came up with a series of messages that would enable newspapers to collect information about its readers. Based on the frequency of the reader’s visits and his behavior, he would be occasionally confronted with different messages that demand information in order to continue reading.
Our survey results showed that these messages do not negatively influence the readers’ attitude towards the news site (68% ). Also, our respondents showed a preference to accept options like ‘Accept cookies’ (83%), ‘Answer a question'(46%) and ‘Log in with social media or email’ (46%).
3 | Year in News
The purpose of this feature is to strengthen readers’ engagement with the newspaper’s community and to obtain valuable insights about user preferences. It would be presented inside each user’s ‘Personal Explore Page’, which can only be accessed once the reader logs in within the site. Here, Millennials are offered the possibility to create their own collection of news, to access their personal statistics and compare them with the average community, setting an incentive for the reader to share his ‘interesting’ results.
Over 95% of our respondents said that they would be interested in using this feature; 63% said that they would rather register with their Facebook account on a news site than by e-mail (37%), indicating that fast and easy access is very important.
As soon as we obtained these results, we redesigned certain elements and made the final adjustments in the html file of the prototype, which is now accessible on Github.
Time to wrap up
Now that five months have passed, both our research and prototype have proved to be a feasible solution to transform hit & run Millennials into a more engaged audience. Our team has presented De Persgroep a new set of features in order to build a more sustainable relationship between their online newspaper websites and Millennial readers.
In other words: MISSION COMPLETE.
Curious about the video of our final presentation? Check it out here.
Thank you readers for following our monthly updates. It’s been a very challenging and hands-on learning experience at the PublishingLab.
Stay tuned for future projects!