“Why is my news app showing me these news?”

TIME

2018

SUMMARY

Fix ethical problems
in existing products

CATEGORY

UI/UX Design
Product Design

Problems & Solutions

Problems are selected quotes from
polls and interviews with 50+ participants

"Why is my news app showing me these news?"

Futher customization features for the news feed.

"I want to see what other people ."

Emoji polls after each news story.

"I see factual errors in the articles,
but can't do anything about them."

Report lines in a news story and highlight contents
that have been reported by a certain amount of users.

Sources and facts

News sources can provide sources and facts related to the story to Apple, and the editors can add additional information if they find necessary. In addition, readers can also suggest relateed sources and facts.

Emoji polls

After each news article, people can vote for their reaction with these emoji buttons. This is might not be the first time you see something like this, but the data from the polls, which are all anonymous, are also used somewhere else...

Human/Computer Ratio

With the human/computer slider, people can change the ratio of contents hand-picked by Apple's editorial team (the best but also controversial part about Apple News, in my opinion) or chosen by the computer.

Emotion Equalizer

If the reader does not want to see things that might make them sad, they can chosoe to turn the 😢 to zero, and similar things apply to each emotion dial.

"Show things I might not like"

News feed algorithms are built upon one assumption – which is true - that people want to see things they like, and avoid things otherwise. To break the bubble, the app offers an optional "things you might not like" section.

Report system

People can report factual errors, logical fallacies, click baits, etc. to the editorial team at Apple, and in the reporting portal (not shown here), people can track the status of their reports and suggestions of sources. Sentences that are reported for multiple times will be marked as yellow, and if the publisher released statements or updates to the story, they will be displayed as well.

Different categories for different topics

Except from the common categories for each news topic such as popular news and stories from sources people subscribe to, for certain topics, categories like reviews and official statements are available.

News updates

If any news from sources that you follow has updates, the app shows the news story with an "update" tag in the feed.

Current state and next steps

I worked on this project as a three-week long class project this November. In the process of documenting my portfolio, I saw some missed opportunities and made changes to the original design.

For example, I added the yellow indicator, but also realized it is something that's worth further exploration.