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LA Times

The LA Times hired Creative Good to help define the next generation strategy for the LATimes.com by identifying the most promising areas of investment while addressing users’ unmet needs for news and information.

Results

  • 279% increase in page view growth rate
  • 52% increase in unique visitor growth rate
Duration: 16 weeks
Objective: Increase the engagement of online readers by improving the online customer experience.
Deliverables: Creative Good delivered the following to LA Times during the project:

  • Listening lab findings
  • Customer experience strategy
  • Prototypes demonstrating the new strategy

Project Details

Phase 1: Marketing and Business Assessment

This phase formed the business context for the project and thus helped us to develop the design for the listening labs in Phase 2.

Steps included:

  • Business Model Analysis. Reviewed business models already developed, including the validation of assumptions.
  • Business Requirements Review. As a first step in building the business context for the project, Creative Good reviewed LATimes.com’s business case, risk list and other key documents. Creative Good also interviewed 15 key stakeholders.
  • Technical Discovery. Reviewed the current technology platform including critical constraints that might impact our strategy or wireframes.
  • Marketing and Customer Review. Creative Good reviewed key marketing strategy and customer from past research as well as third party research.
  • Expert Review. Creative Good conducted an expert heuristic analysis on the current process and evaluted competitor strengths and weaknesses.
  • Financial and performance data. Creative Good analyzed site usage metrics and financial performance data.
  • Screener Design. Creative Good conducted the preparations for the listening labs. This included reviewing customer segmentation, creating a screener, creating the lab design, scheduling the facility and recruiters, and identifying key stakeholders to invite to attend.

Phase 2: Direct Customer Research – Listening Labs

Creative Good’s version of user tests, listening labs combine the best of traditional usability research and less directive market research methods.

  • Creative Good ran 32 one-on-one sessions with customers.
  • 16 sessions were conducted in a research facility to maximize observer participation from the team at LATimes.com.
  • 16 sessions were conducted in context at the homes and workplaces of readers/prospects.

Phase 3: Customer Experience Strategy and Recommendations

Creative Good developed a simple high-level strategy to guide the rest of the redesign project, based on everything that had come before in the project: business analysis and expert review, stakeholder interviews, data analysis, listening lab results.

Phase 4: Prototypes

Creative Good was asked to create 10 pages of interim prototype “wireframes” that focused on short-term improvements to the platform. The LATimes.com has made changes to the site based on these interim wireframes.

Creative Good also produced 25 pages strategic wireframes. The work to implement these wireframes is not yet complete.

Implementation

As stated above, the LATimes.com measured results after the relaunch, which included Creative Good’s recommended changes:

  • 279% increase in the rate of monthly page view growth
  • 52% increase in the rate of monthly unique visitor growth

“The Creative Good team has a strong understanding of the media space. They do an exceptional job facilitating the listening labs. It is rare to find a partner that can articulate a winning business strategy and translate it into clear customer-driven design.”

LA Times