AOL NEWS Concept / Front Page

Total overhaul design for AOL News 2009.  New navigation, rail systems, polling and quizzes, media delivery pardigms. etc.



We did the entire package from scratch.  It wasn't nearly eveything we wanted, but was best on the web for free.  There were 100's of deliverables.  A few are below.






Highly complex delivery of information.  The entirety of weather consumption, from UX to design to iconography and map-making was done by our small team of 3.  It would be impossible to list the detail and trials of putting this together.

Below, I personally created the complete weather icononography including a set for night (not shown) /



This is the most intese large-scale project I've ever been involved with as a designer... and it's one of the biggest successes.  Two visual designers on this.  Obscene amounts of UX, flash, coding, testing, promotion and not to mention, design.  Clean, beautiful and executed flawlessly.  If it wasn't the best election experience on the web, it was by far the most elegant.  Incredible team effort.


UX/ Annotation/ Specs

Pre and Post Design Procedures are boring most of the time, but necessary.
Function before form.  Nothing sexier than something that works right.

UX / Asylum Submission Flow

Good UX is inherent in every information designer.   Below is one of the more simple interface projects I had to designe at AOL.  A user-flow experience for story submission at Asylum.


Sample UI and Design stills from a suite of 6 flash polls and quizzes I did for News in 2006.




This image shows a sample news broadcast about a plane crash complimented by complete social and interactive data display.  It's the future.

This was the cornerstone of a complete overhaul and conceptual direction for AOL News -- from brand to back end, to design, to information storage, to global partnerships, advertising and offerings that would have repositioned AOL as the defining mechanism for the digital News industry. 

It is the first page of my personal 10 month study concerning the future of news and news consumption -- part of a comprehensive Master Suite introducing a new informational paradigm for our industry.   To be the best, surely this is the direction we needed to head.


Master Comments

This is the expandable module portion and cornerstone of my global Master Comment Suite.  In short, it offers complete access to all comments and sharing connected to any entity, within 1-3 clicks.  It is a complete overhaul of how commenting works on the web, designed to attach seamlessly to article forms. 

Master Comments are scalable, searchable, sharable, stackable and communicate with each other,  allowing heavy commenters to monitor unlimited discussions from a single source.  Emotional enginerring was implimented to maximize click rates and new advertising paradigms were invented to monitze this technology that currently does not exist.

Master Comments were concepted in their entirety by Rodger Schultz in 2008-9.


Master Photos

Master Photos was a part of my global redefiniton of news display and consumption for AOL News in 2008-9.  Just a sketch, the philosophy is simple:  Offer a simple, infinite gallery experience from any link.


News Master

Below is the visual result of a four year exploration into the best way to surface news via the web.  The literal cornerstone of this body of work is the TV of the Future,  which I developed in 2006... everything begins with this model.  In 2008-9 the challenge was to offer Now, what won't be available until later.  The result I call Automated Curation... a module-based retention and surfacing of editorial information in an automated system. ( ... corporate horeshit for News, curated by human editors, in a system that prevents them from screwing things up.)

First consideration -- there are four ways to consume news -- read on web, read on paper, listen and watch. At the time, AOL only addressed one of the four ways to consume news... read on web.  It's a completely function-based architecture, considering human behavior, business motives and maximized efficiencies.  New advertising paradigms were created to support the new architecture.

Implemented now (03/09), the model below would offer the path of least resistance to what is seen in the TV of the Future... a model the world is moving to, albeit slowly.   Implementing this model now will significantly serve globally define this movement.


Master News (cont.)

This shows above-the-fold architectureslightly designed.   Notice the presence of new advertising model, infinite modules,  and floating persistant navigation, which was not being donein 2008-9.

This is a highly versitile and desirable asset, which is starting to make a strong presence in 2011.    A couple of explorations are below.  Movements are made forward and bacward in 3D space and avoid bulky page loads while increasing consumption and click-through among snacking users.

I talked about Master Photos in a previous post.  This is a couple of low rent explorations that addressed unfolding menus and advertising.

I talked about Master Comments in a previous post.  Here is the Mini Module that can appear attached to any linkable entity.  It is designed to offer a immediate, enticing peek into the emotional response to any entity, while offering the ability to fully engage.  This was one of my favorite, and what I saw as most powerful, global tools that appeared to me during my Master exercises.

Here a small menu pops up when "Entertainment" is clicked.  It is a small, flexible, full width menu that pops up immediately, while still being monitized.  Addressing "snacking" news behaviors, it is meant to offer quick, monitized content without a full page load.

...a different look as quick, expanded content.

These are awesome.  Small, product advertising that can be attached to any to any linkable object.  They specifically address neural and impression based behaviors.  Thusly, they would be publicly embraced more readily if used on click instead of on rollover.