A news app that connects people

NewsUp is a news app based on social network. It was designed to encourage young adults to consume more news and learn about what’s happening around the world. By leveraging social network, NewsUp connects young adults as a news platform. This engagement can potentially bring the young generations closer to the real world. In this project, our team applied the User Centered Design process. The final deliverable was an interactive prorotype.

Duration 8 weeks
Role UX Designer
Tasks Interviews, Interaction Design, Visual Design, Prototyping, Usability Test, Project Management
Team Danning Zhang / Nikita Redij / Ashwin Satyanarayan
Result High fidelity interactive prototype


How can we use social-network characteristics to engage young adults more in news consumption?

Project Drive

News consumption is descreasing among young adults. They spent hours on social network posting about their life, reading stories about their friends and their role models. But these promising young people seem to be less interested in traditional news. To understand why this happens, my team and I conducted a literature review and analyzed several common news apps. The results showed that current news channels were not delivering quality experience as expected, not to mention the fact that young adults get distracted by all kinds of things when they're reading. Even an interesting news article could be left half way due to a friend's message, or a notification of Instagram replies. Here came the challenge. Would it be possible for a news app to deliver great experience that engages young adults as the social network does?

Interview Highlights

We started off by interviewing the target users. With four sessions, we learned about the user's digital reading habits and their expectations, concerns, etc. I conducted two sessions with convenient sample and their feedback was very inspiring.

Survey Findings

After the interviews, we created a survey to get quantitative data to support design desisions. Here's what we found.

Product Concept

Wireframes and Iterations

Based on the user research, I designed the following features: Simple news reading without ads, Customizable Topics, Reading Reminders, Ranking, Article Sharing, News Discussion.. I validated these features with wireframes working with a focus group. The feedback was positive. However, an interesting concern popped up. In the app, the avatars of a user's friends who have read the same artical will show on the article. While bringing in interactivity, it can also in some cases make users feel uncomfortable sharing whatever they've read to their friends, especially if there's a different opinion between them. So I modified the logic of this feature. Only when a user comments on an article, would his or her avatar be shown to the friends. Because people would have a commitment to share their thoughts when commenting on something.

Interaction Design

Theme Color

Choosing a theme color was a lot of fun. I looked at many different apps and thought through the rational for them to pick that certain color. The final decision was to use this inviting but subtle red color, which shows passion, energy and credibility.

Visual Design


I built the interactive prototype using Following is four key features of this app.

Schedule a reminder

Bookmark an article

Edit the topics to follow

Comment on an article