New York Times Readerversary

A yearly celebration of NYT subscrbers' readership.
This project was done in 5 days during "Maker Week." I played the roles of PM and lead designer, defining the problem, setting the direction, mapping out the flow, wireframing and writing copy. The project won "Best Overall," and was later pitched to NYT leadership during an internal NYT version of "Shark Tank."
Today, ~25% of subscribers cancel after one year when their price increases.
We've historically seen in research that subscribers cancel because they don't believe they use their subscription enough to justify the higher price.
If we celebrate the value that readers get from their subscription, they'll be more inclined to stay subscribed.
I organized a team brainstorm to think about the question: how might we remind subscribers of the value the get from The Times?
I set context for the group using research and insights we already had. With limited time, I created a Google slide for each team member's ideas, and had everyone mark the ones they found most promising.
We listed the user data we were interested in using, then the data scientists helped us understand what would be realistic for us to access (marked in green).
I drafted some principles for us to keep in mind as we moved forward:
1. This experience should make readers feel proud and unique in their use.
2. This experience should not make readers feel uncomfortable about how their data is being used.
3. This experience should encourage readers to continuing using The Times.
4. This experience should be engaging and fun!

With these principles, I set out to turn these ideas and statistics into a concise, engaging story.
Working with our engineering partners, we decided to create a click-through experience, similar to some existing NYT interactives. The voice should feel like a conversational, celebratory version of The New York Times, similar to the voice we embody already on social media. 
After gathering feedback on the story above, I wireframed the experience.
Feedback around which statistics were "fun" or "interesting," and which felt "creepy" was extremely valuable in this phase.
We polished the screens, and finalized the visuals.
My design partner set the brand and visual direction, while I provided feedback and guidance. Shout-out to Jenni Lee! Meanwhile, I worked with the data and engineering leads to make sure the project was on track for the impending deadline.
A true team effort, we presented a working prototype that pulled from real user-data. 
Our project was awarded "Best Overall," and we were one of 5 teams selected to pitch to NYT leadership during "NYT Shark Tank."
A note on leading and team building
This group had never worked together before, and for 7 members, it was the last week of their internship. It was a goal of mine to create a fun, stress-free learning environment, as well as bring the team into the design process. I encouraged our design intern to own the visuals and animations (two skills she wanted to focus on) and to run a visual design workshop with the team. This group was a blast to work with, and a few interns even cited this week as the highlight of their summer!
This work has since been handed off to a product team to continue development and begin testing. Stay tuned for your next readerversary!
Back to Top