Hindustan Times: Transformative design for the legacy newspaper

Hindustan Times is one of the oldest newspaper publishing brands in India, with its establishment inaugurated by none other than Mahatma Gandhi. With close to a century legacy behind it and its unquestionable leadership in news reporting, Hindustan Times was looking for a transformative design that could re-affirm its position digitally as well. Thus, started our journey.

Industry

News, Media & Entertainment

Platform

Responsive web application

Services

UI UX Design, User Research

The Challenge

News & Media industry is undergoing a constant disruption. In fact, it is among the very few industries where there is large scale disruption at every level: consumer habits, technology, reporting format and processes, news cycles, emerging new media, regulations just to mention a few.

In such a scenario, what does a legacy news paper brand (about 100 years old) do to withstand disruption and lead the future? With this as a key question, we started our journey of transformation.

 

Our Methodology

1. Insight & Strategy Workshop

Stakeholder workshop involved thinking through the concerns of User, Business and Technology. Involving cross funtional teams, Think Design strategists addressed user segmentation, user journeys, KPIs, competitive positioning, CMS and front end technologies, usage analytics etc.,

2. Strategic positioning and design representation

With a host of news content aggregators and new media publishing houses, competition in this space was obviously hotting up. It as all the more important to see HT in the light of newer users and newer competition. One of the major exercises taken up was to create that positioning and using Design to manifest that position.

Hindustan-Times

3. Prototyping and user validation

Having established strategic positioning, our Next task was to run the alternatives by the intended users. We conducted A/B tests in focus group format in order to gain an understanding of users’ inputs and insights on both strategic and tactical issues.

4. Culminating Design, Business and Technology

If there was one assignment where we really had to work a balance of the three major forces i.e,. User, Business and Technology, we would name Hindustan Times.

As a high traffic news portal and with its solid monetization model, ads required its due. However, our practice entails user advocacy and we put that to use. While at it, Think Design also needed to address technology concerns that could impact the transformation. In a nutshell, the outcome is a culmination of all the three forces, playing their part with equally strong representation.
Hindustan-Times

DESIGN activities

Insight and Strategy workshop, Design planning, Wireframe iterations, A/B testing, Design and GUI system, Custom responsive front end development, application development coordination.

 

Current status

HT’s digitally transformed presence was launched in December 2016 with flying colors. The portal’s visibility and ranking significantly improved, which also led to an increase in ad revenues.

Within the first three months of launch, certain KPIs like shares and re-shares increased by 20%.

Retrospective Probing
Suggested Method

Retrospective Probing

Customer Segmentation
Suggested Method

Customer Segmentation

User Testing/ Validation
Suggested Method

User Testing/ Validation

Services & Expertise

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