WBEZ Browse Screen Redesign — Improving Browse Screen Engagement


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BACKGROUND How might we develop a push notification service that’ll continually engage users? To help users stay informed on Chicago’s trusted NPR news source, I designed mobile push authorization screens and backend content management system panes, prototyped system prompts for iOS/Android, and participated in QA testing for feature intents and user flows.

Internship project, 16 Weeks (Mid January 2022 - Mid May 2022)
THE TEAM Working with the product team at Chicago Public Media (WBEZ) CPM’s product team consists of a creative set of individuals who are consistently finding ways to expand and surface curated listening and fact-based media. The team works across a range of products within web, app, and audio with the goal of highlighting and amplifying WBEZ stories through the development of meaningful experiences within all platforms.

Team: 1 product director, 1 product manager, 1 product associate, 3 engineers, and 1 product designer (that’s me)

Tools: Figma, Miro, Zeplin

Project start

CURRENT WORKFLOW Content management system panes With pushing a new feature comes finding a way to effectively manage, store, and organize new content. CPM runs an in-house content management system and I was tasked with creating system panes that focused on streamlining the content creation workflow while using UI elements that the employees were already used to.
These prototypes were also used to work out flow and interaction inconsistencies during design review. This led to further insights that allowed us to improve clarity and simplify the path users take for certain actions during development.

Experience analysis

LOW FIDELITY System prompts iOS and Android devices have different consent requirements when it comes to push notifications, thus mapping out the system prompt flow helped alleviate confusion.
MVP UI DESIGN Menu toggle With time and development constraints in mind, the team agreed on creating a simple notification settings panel embedded on an already existing screen on the app. This will likely be iterated on in the future as they add settings that give users additional control over their notifications.
QA TESTING Push functionality QA testing took the majority of the time allotted for this project. This involved testing the CMS tooling for overall functionality and accuracy, making sure each push intent was followed by the correct app behavior, regression testing.

Post launch

ANALYSIS Data overview With a new build out on May 2nd and a successful first push notification on May 5th, the team took the next few weeks to monitor push authorization performance:
  • Push authorization conversion rate for the first month ranged between 2% - 6% (range estimate due to unreliable tracking in the beginning)
  • Users may be toggling to opt-out of push notifications due to an inefficient end flow
NEXT STEPS Improvement goals In efforts to increase push subscriptions, changes were to be made on the next big app update:
  • Introduce a more appealing push authorization screen that highlights the difference in notification frequencies/type
  • Re-engagement campaigns targeted to users who declined the initial ask
  • Omitting the ending screen to the notifications setting panel after the user has accepted notifications through the system prompt

Final stretch

FEATURE How might we improve push authorization? The new push authorization screen was a friendlier approach to gaining more subscriptions. It also gave concise information on each individual push frequency.
ANALYTICS New conversion rate From the release date on June 8th to my last day on June 27th, push authorization conversion rate reached 19%; a 13-17% increase in one month.


WHAT I LEARNED... ‍To empathize with all users ‍The end users are at the forefront of all the features we develop in the product team. By working closely with people who interact with a tool on an almost daily cadence, I was able to constantly iterate on ways to better a design in order to streamline user interaction and improve the overall functionality.
NEXT PROJECT: ‍REWARE, Clothing Sustainability App