The Wall Street Journal

iOS App


In early 2017 the Wall Street Journal underwent a complete design and content overhaul of its iOS app. With monthly users in the millions, a complete re-think of the app was a challenging and exciting prospect.

The new WSJ app had a number of objectives from both editorial and design perspectives. From the editorial side, the app was to offer a more engaging and visually rich experience and a greater sense of storytelling. To support this, a completely new workflow was developed in the newsroom to surface the most interesting and relevant content.

WSJ Mobile Card Exploration WSJ Mobile Card Exploration

From a design perspective, the brief was to support the editorial direction, enhance brand presence, create a more focused reading experience and to increase engagement. This resulted in re-thinking the app’s core structure, modernizing the UI and introducing new typography (the traditional WSJ typefaces Retina, Escrow, and Exchange).

The redesign also saw the introduction of a new card system, comprising individual cards that represent each of the different WSJ content types including breaking news, opinion, live coverage, interactive features, standard news and more. The cards can be arranged in the feed in any order depending on the editorial direction and news cycle. Packages of cards can also be created to visually link related or evolving stories. Each card contains a number of standard elements including a flashline, headline, timestamp, and variables for images, video and charts.

WSJ Mobile Card System WSJ Mobile Card System

Since the launch, the app has seen a 200% increase in time spent in the news feed, a 667% increase in time spent on the article pages, a 4.5-star rating in the Apple App Store (up from 2.3 stars) and a 950% increase in the number of saved articles per user. In 2018 the app was recognized with a Webby Award for ‘Best News App’.

The WSJ iOS is the result of a huge collaborative effort and Thomas worked alongside many talented people including; Fernando Turch, Che Douglas, Bonnie Jarvie and Jordan Sudy. For a complete team, please refer to the ‘About’ section in the WSJ iOS App.

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