The team's goal behind the redesign is to provide resources and inspiration from famous and not-so-famous contributors. We're celebrating our imperfections, rather than setting unrealistic goals of perfection.
With this first project, The Parenting Team, TODAY partnered with Tidal Labs to build a community for everyone to share their experiences, challenges and advice regarding all aspects of parenthood.
The design emphasis revolves around "Team". The header branding is similar to a team medal or ribbon. Following the same theme are individual achievement badges. The environment for the TODAY Parenting Team and future lifestyle design efforts will be clean, simple, joyful and inclusive.
I'm currently defining a template and design language to be used across the lifestyle sections, improving visual presentation and user exploration. While the core team is fairly small, the stakeholders, sales, on-air and SEO/analytics teams keep the process in negotiation. It's a balancing act for me and the team to accommodate business requirements while preventing experience roadblocks.
All products are focused for mobile and devices first, thus our user testing was focused on mobile and devices. I lead the user testing for the project, which serves as a template for other sections to come. Among other findings in our latest testing, we discovered 90% of the participants enjoyed an auto-cycling carousel component in the page's 'lede' position. Who knew? I've never cared for carousel-type interfaces. While some may cringe at user testing, it is my favorite part: surprising opinions the designers may have been blind to in the creative process.
The first lifestyle section, Food, is scheduled for release in early June, 2015. Screenshots and links will be available at that time.
The Mix was an app for quick hits of TODAY.com news on-the-go. The concept was to provide an "in case you missed it" product, showcasing the top stories of the day, consumable in about 10 minutes. Shaking the phone tossed out the first 5 curated articles and the next 5 dropped in.
I was the lead ux designer involved in all phases, from initial concepts and rough sketches to wireframes and finished deliverables. As so often happens, the joint venture between Microsoft and NBC was disolved. MSNBC.com was merged completely into NBC News and new priorities left The Mix for another time. C'est la vie.
I was recently part of the third redesign of the entire NBCNews.com site, initially launched in 2014. The new design was completely mobile first and geared towards a more mobile-centric demographic than the current user base. In pre-launch user testing, the designs were very well received; but in the 'wild', the reaction was very different. The current demographic was not ready for a mobile-focused experience. Because the front-end was built with node.js using Handlebars, the corrections and revisions were lightening fast.
My role on this project (for the first redesign and the iterations thereafter) was design lead for the video player UX. It was part of a larger extremely aggressive goal to increase video starts.
Based on the previous player's usage and engagement data, I worked with the video development team to make the player as flexible and re-usable as the tool would allow. We performed user testing throughout development and continuous A/B testing to iteratively adjust the interface. The previous player had an overwhelming, full-site, nested navigation. For the new video player I reduced the navigation to contextually relevant videos and top videos from NBC News.
I've worked on every mid-term and presidential election since 2006. In 2012 the goal was to create flexible modules for the politics hub page. It was one of our first layouts nixing mobile-specific markup in favor of single markup and responsive layouts. Within our proprietary CMS and editing tool, the developer and I created modules flexible enough to work in any row and any position on the page. This allowed the editors to prioritize the Politics front topics in-step with the news cycle. The smallest module breakpoints served all three of our target views: mobile, tablet and desktop.
The modules included data such as reports from NBC News embeds, social sentiment, voter confidence indices, and social outreach. Deciding on the content options available was a joint effort between the ux team and editorial staff. They requested module types, and we pitched new services or data analysis for them to consider (and maybe a few minor bribes were made between teams). Thanks to the variety of content, our coverage was one of the most complete in the industry.
I contracted with MSNBC.com from 2003 to 2004 and was hired on full time in 2005. I've worked nearly every design position from daily editorial artist to company-wide design training for a new CMS. Other responsibilities:
At a small interactive television company (formerly Digeo, now Arris) I led a team of designers to create an interface navigated via remote control for DVR and OTT commerce interactions. We delivered solutions to better integrate the normal 10ft passive TV viewing (channel surfing, search, programming the DVR, etc.) with active engagement accompanying shows and sponsors.
We also created the company web site, and the site that accompanied the OTT interface.
At Go2Net, I learned what HTML was and never looked back.
My first role with them was for product shots for a vertical called GameSite. I moved onto portal design, product branding and ads. I made some of the most amazing 468x60 ads the internet had ever seen. My mentors, the Art and Creative Directors, gave me the time and tools I needed to understand the web side of design and production.