ROLE  Concept, Visual, Group

DURATION  January – April 2017

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USA TODAY is a reputable news source with a loyal following.

With the ubiquity of mobile phones, most people read news and lifestyle content on their phones. USA TODAY can capitalise on the millennial generation's affinity for mobile devices, and reaffirm their relevance as the go-to news source.

I was given the opportunity to work with Partners & Napier to rethink USA TODAY's LIFE section. I worked with the terrific Abbey Lee to research, ideate, design, and prototype our version of LIFE.

00 Understanding

Being aware of the habits of the given target demographic was crucial to our understanding of the problem space. Abbey and I conducted a user survey, evaluating and inteviewing 55 individuals within our target demographic of 18–35 year olds on their news habits, preferences, and dislikes.

On content

We found that people enjoy reading what's relevant to them, and tend to look for articles that present evidence for factual statements.

On timing

Users also consumed the most news in their free time, in passing, and in transit.

On sharing

Finally, users primarily shared articles through messaging and social media, which informed how we presented sharing features.

01 Goals

From the study conducted, we narrowed down our focus to three key areas of interaction: browsing, saving, and sharing.

Easily Browse Content

Structure content in a way that encourages interaction, easy skimming, and accessible entry and exit points.

Organised Content Saving

Enable users to effortlessly save and access their personal library of saved topics and articles.

Customised Content Sharing

Empower the user to take control over their sharing experience, from the content they share, to how they share it.

02 Design

USA TODAY has a colour coded system for their sections, where LIFE is purple. Considering the target user base, Abbey and I decided to retain the colour for consistency, but adjust the tone and saturation of the purple itself to reflect a more vibrant and dynamic experience.

03 Solution

We wanted to design a cultural and lifestyle publication that promotes and maintains engagement through an entertaining, interactive media consumption experience, leveraging USA TODAY's existing journalistic reputation.

→ Abbey took ownership over Beast Mode, Custom Sharing, and the article page.
→ I took ownership over the Actionable Tooltip, Quick Saving, User Profile, and the Email Newsletter.
→ We both collaborated on the homepage, and worked closely together on critiquing and fine-tuning.

Beast Mode


People no longer read articles fully; they rely on skimming pull quotes and images. Acknowledging your busy context, Beast Mode provides a quick, digestible way to get the gist of your daily news using simple swipe gestures.

Actionable Tooltip


Some quotes just stand out to us - this generation appreciates the value of cherry-picking quotable snippets. Take control of your reading by handpicking, saving, and sharing what stands out to you.

Quick Saving


When it comes to consuming articles, we often want the option to file things away for curation or for later reading. Multi-purpose saving gives you the best of both worlds - save the articles that resonate with you by bookmarking instantaneously, or take it a step further and save it to a collection.

Customised Sharing


Things we share over social media are a digital representation of ourselves. From text to colours to imagery, we want to empower users in the sharing process by giving them the ability to add a personal touch to the content that will live on their profile.

User Profile


The profile page should be a documentation of you and your interests. Users should have full control over the content they have collected. Also, recognising the importance of relevance, USA TODAY LIFE draws from all of Gannett’s properties to deliver you the best publications to follow.

Email Newsletter


Newsletters are a reliable way to receive new content, but they often clog and clutter the inbox, and the content isn’t personalised to you. USA TODAY LIFE does the searching for you, delivering the top five news articles that you are interested in.


04 Fin

We wanted to make USA TODAY accessible and relevant to a fresh new audience whose primary source of news is their phones.

In engaging ourselves with an in-depth and well fleshed out process, Abbey and I created a seamless, quick content browsing and consumption experience while providing a customised sharing and organised saving system. Not only were we able to touch upon some basic user research, we were also able to take the project to an early prototyping stage, giving us a chance to not only work in a group setting, but also across a large span of the design process.

From being spoiled by being paired with a phenomenal partner, to talking to potential users, to working with an awesome agency for a real client, USA TODAY LIFE was a successful project in more ways than just a completed mobile experience. 

[unex_ce_button id="content_a26mwqm0x,column_content_eqkq7jnsn" button_text_color="#7849e1" button_font="semibold" button_font_size="15px" button_width="auto" button_alignment="center" button_text_spacing="2px" button_bg_color="" button_padding="15px 60px 15px 60px" button_border_width="1px" button_border_color="#7849e1" button_border_radius="1px" button_text_hover_color="#ffffff" button_text_spacing_hover="2px" button_bg_hover_color="#7849e1" button_border_hover_color="#7849e1" button_link="/wp-content/decks/LungLee_USATODAY_deck.pdf" button_link_type="url" button_link_target="_blank" has_container="" in_column="1"]SEE THE PROCESS[/ce_button]