Re-Design: The Guardian

This case study is unaffiliated with the company

The Guardian is an application well-known to many. My passion for media, story-telling, and information sharing led me to a case study investigating the pain points of The Guardian’s mobile app and creating a design at an attempt to resolve them. 

The following is an overview of my research process, synthesis, results application and design, and conclusion.

The project was conducted over the course of two weeks.

The Problem

Using The Guardians most updated version of their Android app led to a few difficulties. Curious to see if other users would respond the same way, I decided to pursue a usability study on the app itself and illuminate certain pain points that the organization would be able to solve. These pain points, highlighted over the course of seven user interviews, showcase the strongest pain points in the application itself – ones that if solved, have huge potential to drive up reader engagement rates. 

On A Scale From 1-10...

Affinity Mapping


Finding The Solution

The pain points were as follows (in order of perceived inconvenience):

-Sign/In was difficult and hard to find

-Onboarding process was nonexistent

-Most pages were cluttered and didn’t accurately use white space

-The process flow was not intuitive

-It was difficult to find any specific topics related to interest

As it turns out, the pain points were not only real, they were significant for all users. After conducting a usability study on the current Guardian App, I measured the outcomes through an affinity map software found online.

Through this process, it helped me visually glean insights onto more possible pain-points the application had – and helped me begin to brainstorm on possible solutions for those pain points.

After affinity mapping, it was time to begin building the visual version of the application.

Striving to make the process as streamlined as possible, I built a task flow and placed it alongside a long, blank sheet of paper. Soon, it was full of UI sketches that started as a brainstorm, but ended up becoming the foundation of The Guardian’s new re-design. 

User Task Flow


The Build

Creating a clickable prototype following the UI sketches turned out to be a time-consuming, exciting process. The prototype was to mimic the original app, with changes featured across the brainstormed solutions that were meant to target each pain point and absolve it. Below, you can see the thought process behind each solution:

  1. Search is streamlined
  2. Easy access to profile and sign-in
  3. Intuitive application flow
  1. Easy and streamlined sign-in
  2. Takes you to homepage immediately
  1. Easier to read
  2. Less clutter
  1. Makes it easier to read
  2. Less clutter
  1. Lets you access topics easily
  2. Is intuitive design for the user

Let’s the user know there is a lot more topics to search and navigate through

lessons learned

1. Redesigning an already existing product is a sensitive task - one that requires you to constantly prioritize the design based off of the most glaring pain points, and not your own biases

2. Rejection is a reality you must become comfortable with quickly and consistently: it's a necessary hurdle to overcome not only in the product development process, but throughout life itself

3. Creating anything requires a gigantic team effort, and team appreciation is truly crucial to getting the job done. "It takes a village!"