Client: Subway – Internal Communications

Project summary: Our team helped redesign Subway’s News Center, whose main users are Franchise Owners and Store Employees, where they can get the latest operational, promotional, training and other information as well as late-breaking news and alerts, like recalls.

Industry: Global Fast Food Franchise

Duration: 2 months (Sep – Oct 2013)

My roles: UX Designer, Interaction Designer, Visual Design Support

Start Spreading the News

To improve internal communications, allowing the appropriate information to continually flow down to the workers at the stores. The client aimed to increase readership by 3-5% and to make the site accessible on all devices. They also desired an easier way to scan articles to help users understand priority.
Conduct user interviews with stakeholders and actual end-users to gain insights on the current experience and how it could improve. Conduct UX research to analyze trends and industry patterns for news sites.
Our team delivered responsive wireframes and visual design comps as well as QA testing. The client did see a 2% increase in engagement during the first 6 months.

Persona Workshop

Our team travelled to the corporate headquarters to conduct UX workshops with executive leadership, engineering, and other key roles. The goal of the workshops was to learn more about the users and user types. Who are they? What are their pain-points? What is their mental model?

User Interviews & Personas

Although we received a brief overview of the different key roles from non-users within the organization, I still wanted to reach out and conduct focus-group user interviews to get a feel for their pain points from their perspective. Our team interviewed a total of 20 individuals from 4 different key role groups. Our findings reaffirmed preexisting knowledge but we also learned new user goals and pieces of information that we used moving forward, such as color coding news articles to aide them while they quickly scan the page during their busy day.

Sketches & Wireframes

The mobile-friendly News Center wireframe set I created includes: a responsive login screen, intuitive home page that displays the current rolling week’s worth of news articles, an article detail page that displays the article metadata along with other features, an Archives page and also an on-boarding system for when they roll out new features. In smaller devices, the refiner panel switches to a left slide out panel and the navigational header elements also change appearance.

Key Learnings / Challenges

A key learning for me on this project was how to run a workshop with multiple stakeholders in the room at the same time. Many different voices in the room can sometimes cause headaches, just like too many cooks in the kitchen. The fact that we got to speak with actual end-users helped us wade through some of that bias and noise to keep the experience true to what the users actually need and want.