The Challenge 💪
The Texas Department of Transportation wants to become its own newsroom media platform. Is this feasible? What's the best approach?
Their primary goal is to be a resource for journalists and the public alike. They have stories to share and want to utilize this space as a corporate storytelling stage, granting visibility to their employees.
It is my job to figure out who their audience is, how they access information offered by TxDOT, and how they prefer to consume that information.
3-month long project
I conducted user research, competitive evaluation, usability tests, and created the final design solutions
UX research user interviews usability test
gov agency data analysis mockups
Project Roadmap 🗺️
Client Kickoff ✨
Affinity Diagram 📝
Literature Review 📘
Most users are getting their news via social media
YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat are the most popular online platforms among teens. More than half (55%) of Americans ages 50+ report getting news on social media sites. (Source: Pew Research Center, 2018)
Journalists prefer to receive breaking news through an email press release and often seek it out through social media
Competitive Research 🔬
We consulted the Director of Media Relations and Newsroom at news.utexas.edu, J.B. Bird, for a competitive perspective
Competitive Analysis 📈
Key Takeaways 💡
User Analytics 👥
Visitors to the website are leaving. Why?
User Survey 📋
Mobile was the most regularly used device, followed by desktop. Social media is by far the most popular accessed content, distantly followed by "Work" and "News"
User Interviews 🎤
Usability Test 🔑
Key takeaways from the usability analysis of the current website
User Journey Map
Solution 1: TxDOT Mobile App 📱
News is mobile
TxDOT needs to consider repurposing DriveTexas.org into a responsive TxDOT mobile app, which would also serve as a platform for user stories and desired content. Another option is to integrate with leading traffic apps Google Maps and Waze, which would reach a wider immediate audience.
Furthermore, online news that comes via emails and text alerts from friends or family is the type of news encounter most likely to result in a follow-up action (Source: Pew Research Center, 2018). Below I mocked up a mobile app concept.
Solution 2: Snapchat 👻
Yes, really. Snapchat is one of the most popular online platforms among teens.
Overall, 95% of teens have access to a smartphone. It is important that TxDOT reaches younger generations. Teens say they use Snapchat the most often (35%) followed by YouTube at 32% and Instagram at 15%.
More than half (55%) of Americans ages 50 and older report getting news on social media sites, a 10-percentage-point jump from 2016 (Source: Pew Research Center, 2018). Below are examples of relevant government agency Snapchat accounts.
Images: CalTrans Mobile App
Solution 3: TxDOT Newsletter 🗞️
Bringing the TxDOT newsletter and featured stories to the forefront reaches goals while utilizing existing resources.
Solution 4: news.txdot.gov
Creating a news.txdot.gov microsite would present a unique opportunity to rebrand the TxDOT image.
Clean and clear navigation will assist in directing journalists as well as the public towards their desired information destination.
Emphasizing social media on the homepage will keep users of all ages connected, as well as promoting the subscription of an online newsletter, and signing up for text alerts. Below is a mockup I made for the news.txdot.gov microsite.