Parker Moore Design
Mode app Thumb.png

Case Study:
Mode Stories App, Product Design

For the ground-up redesign of the Mode Stories app, we created an immersive and elegant experience for Mode's image and video-rich curated content. I directed a small team of designers and was Lead IC Designer – strategy through design, development, and VQA. We designed new UI patterns and standards which became the foundation for all Mode consumer products.

 

Problem

Mode Stories 1.0 designed prior to my engagement, and launched in April 2015. Negative user feedback and internal testing noted performance and legibility problems, and an overly dark, image-dense experience. Analytics revealed users weren't finding interesting content easily.

Goals

  • Prioritize "best of the best," featured content

  • Greater emphasis on content discovery

  • Improve performance and legibility

  • A lighter, more elegant system design

Process

My role was Design Director and Lead IC Designer on the Product team which included VP of Product, VP of Content/Editorial, VP of Design, two project managers from the development team, and a UX designer. We had 3 meetings each week: manage roadmap & sequencing, discuss feature & ux strategy, and design presentation. In the strategy meetings we would brainstorm and whiteboard possible solutions which were then taken into design for additional concept exploration. Final designs were decided by consensus with the full Product team.

Overall app functionality and content hierarchy remained the same, so we opted to mostly skip wireframing and design directly in visuals. Multiple concepts were initially presented for a new system design direction and how to stage the new "Featured" content strategy.

Design Concepts

 
 

Final designs

 
 

Outcome

Mode ceased business before the app was released. We were about a month out from having a finished app build. Internal and user testing of our in-progress builds reported a high level of satisfaction, achieved project objectives, and overall app experience. The new design system became the forward path for the Mode platform. I was in the process of reconciling the system towards an improved, optimized experience for desktop and mobile responsive when the company closed.

In hindsight, we may have embraced too much inspiration from Snapchat, re: an immersive story mode which covers the tab bar. This wound up creating complexities and odd edge cases.