Creating and scheduling hero slides to run on the homepage of MSN was time consuming and cumbersome.
Some of the problems facing the users included:
Additionally, after talking with users, it became clear that the two different roles — editors and producers — had different goals and used the tool in different ways. Editors were concerned with the content of slides — the headline and image — while producers were concerned with assembling slides into collections and scheduling those collections to be published onto the homepage. One interface for these very different goals was optimized for neither.
The foundation of the end design rested on a few basic principles. First, tasks needed to be optimized for each user’s goals. This was accomplished by separating the creation workflow from the assembly/scheduling workflow. Second is the concept of “create once, use multiple times”. Breaking the content objects into smaller re-usable pieces drastically reduced the amount of duplicate items. Lastly, input should represent the output as close as possible. Having a more visual representation of the elements makes it easier for producers to better identify individual slides at a glance and editors to match headline to image and ensure that copy fits.
Some wireframes exploring different ways of orgnanizing around publishing schedules across different editions of the site
“I love this. It makes scheduling slides so much easier.” — David, MSN Producer
“This better reflects how I work on a day to day basis.” — Chris, MSN Producer