User Centered Design - Periodical.ly
Human Centered Design & Engineering, Master's Program
About the Class - Navigating Design Organizations
The goal of the class was to understand how to manage the incubation and development of an idea, communicate it effectively to stakeholders, and deliver a quality product. We learned how to manage a design project from start to finish, collaborating across disciplines, working with partners and end-users, and communicating strategies for project management in organizations.
- Brainstorm a problem and design solution
- Conduct market analysis
- Create a revenue model using a Business Model Canvas
- Write a press release to announce the design idea
- Design the product using wireframes
- Write frequently asked questions (FAQs) for potential users
- Helped develop the business model based on business requirements and user needs
- Contributed to the market research analysis
- Designed all wireframes
- Helped write FAQs
Periodical.ly Problem & Design Idea
Problem: Most magazine and news outlets, such as the New York Times, are now requiring annual subscriptions for online access to their articles. Although a limited number of articles are accessible to any user, in order to view their vast library, one must have a subscription. How might someone who wants to read from various sources be able to access interesting articles without being forced to pay for multiple annual subscriptions?
Solution: Periodical.ly provides a low-cost and easy way to access a variety of popular online magazines and news articles. The convenient design offers credits per article, which eliminates the need to pay for multiple magazine and news subscriptions. Our focus is to provide customers with a simple, quick, and enjoyable experience by using a single login to access their favorite news and magazines without the commitment.
Business Model - Credit Based System
We introduced the ‘Credits’ system wherein individual articles are priced by credits and users can pay for the article using the credits they purchase from Periodical.ly.
To find out the cost-per-credit and the we did a survey of 8 different magazines from the US and UK. Magazines do not sell articles individually and they use an monthly/quarterly/yearly subscription models. By looking at the cost per issue and the number of articles each magazine carries, we were able to find out the cost per article. From the research we discovered that premium magazines like What Mobile, National Geographic and Empire charge as much as 60¢ while magazines like The Forbes and The Macworld charge approximately 30¢ per article in their magazines. The trend showed that cost/article varied between 10¢ and 60¢. Looking at the trend, we figured out that each credit can be priced at 33¢ and the articles are priced between 1 and 3 credits. Pricing is dynamic and can be varied depending on the author, publication and popularity of the article. Users can purchase a minimum of 3 credits for $1 and higher based on multiple plans from their Periodical.ly dashboard.
Our business contained three main features:
- Online website dashboard
- Chrome Plug-in / Extension
- Mobile Application
Online Website Dashboard
On the Periodical.ly website, a user can buy credits to use on participating publication sites.
The website allows users to...
- Set up a Periodical.ly account or log in to their account
- Download the Periodical.ly Chrome extension
- See their credit balance or buy more credits
- View featured publications
Periodical.ly Chrome Extension
The Periodical.ly Chrome Extension allows users to navigate to an article with a paywall that they want to read and use their credits to access the full article text.
The extension allows users to...
- Use their credits to access the full article
- View their credit balance
- Buy more credits (along with choose which card to pay with)
- Go to the Periodical.ly website
Periodical.ly Mobile Application
The Periodical.ly mobile application (shown on the left) allows users to manage their account on their phones. The same actions are available on mobile as on the website. When users hit a paywall on a participating publication website, the mobile application displays a push notification asking the user if they would like to use their credits to access the full article. The user can then use their credits, go to view their dashboard on the mobile application, or dismiss the notification altogether.