Forbes Discussions

How might Forbes build social readers by combining article exploration and discussions?

Brief
Discussions is designed to allow readers to explore articles based off what others have read, bookmarked, and also view citations.

The Problem

Readers tend to trust content, but out of the 70 million most only read 1 article every month. Out of the 70 million, 70% spend 1-3 minutes per visit

The Challenge

Connect readers to others by sharing their favorite articles in discussions. Articles vetted by other readers build trust, encouraging them to come back

See how other readers think

Explore articles by see what people previously read and read next
How it Works

This flow allows the graduate student to quickly explore articles by uncovering conversations taking place wherever he is. Attached to each comment are articles that were previously clicked, clicked next, or attached from one's profile.

 

See what others find inspiring

Connect articles by what other people have quoted and from where
 
How it Works

This flow allows the emerging entreprenuer to quickly explore articles based on what other people have found inspiring in other articles. These suggested quotes come from keywords attached to the title of the article.

See sources of truth

View citations in a new and non-disruptive way
How it Works

Break away, but not too far away, from the article via sources. This flow allows the Industry Veteran to validate sources and build trust with Forbes' brand.

 

Left to Right: Filtering, article page, recommended articles, saved quotes

 

Over 100 survey responses came from young to older adult readers. I looked over metric data, but found that surveys were most insightful

Author Conscious

Many readers metioned their subscription to authors. Many couldn’t tell the difference between staff writers and community writers.

Vetted by Friends

Readers trust content shared by friends and colleagues more. This is an example of “word-of-mouth marketing,” a phenomena in social media.

Bias

Several readers trusted Forbes articles, but they could identify biased, opinion-based writing and professional writing.

Industry Knowledge

Readers enjoy up-to-date and thought-provoking content about a wide range of industries. Many rely on Forbes for advice and guidance.

Disruption

Readers don’t like to be interrupted with long-form content. Many preferred a balance of text and images to support to data, and most disliked ads.

Because of the emphasis on knowledge and trustworthiness, 
I kept these goals in mind throughout the entire process.

Business Goals

Increase Return Visits

Extended visits meant more interest and more use

More use means more interest in returning

Reader Goals

Inital Wireframes

Coming Soon

Establishing Visual Design

Homage to newspapers

Final Designs

Although this was a vision-driven project approved and selected by the Client, we were not able to participate in any implementation or feedback cycle. These metrics are what I would hypothesize measuring.