MailOnline Snapchat Discover Partnership

A new way to explore Stories from different editorial teams. It's the result of collaboration between world-class leaders in media to build a storytelling format that puts the narrative first.
News Media
Editorial Design
UX & Design
Art Direction
Snapchat intro image
Project overview
In 2014 Snapchat partnered with editorial publications to produce bespoke story content for its new 'Snapchat Discover' feature. The MailOnline was the first UK publication to work directly with the social media company and help them launch this new feature in the UK and U.S.
My role: UX/UI Designer
‍I was one of five designers on the launch team. Together we defined a new visual style guide, set up scaleable production processes and implemented a test and learn format to help the business produce content quickly, uniquely and creatively. We worked closely with key stakeholders, including the Editor of the MailOnline to ensure a support team was trained up and ready for the Snapchat Discover launch in Q1 of 2015.
Continued responsibilities: Art Direction
Immediately after the launch, my role on the team transitioned into an art direction and production design role for 1-2 days per week, working with a team of freelancers to design exclusively for the Discover channel's content.

At the start of Q2, the product design team gradually handed over the day-to-day running duties to a new team, whom we hired to work full-time on Snapchat story content.
Over 15 Snaps a day, 365 days a year. Watch the video below for samples.
Defining A Styleguide
The challenge
The Daily Mail newspaper and MailOnline already operated with a unique and successful editorial style that publishes compelling articles loaded with images and in-depth content. These formats are renowned for being the first to broadcast exclusive breaking news across the UK and international audiences. The reputation of the one-hundred-year-old print publication and 'The world's biggest English speaking online newspaper' website had amassed a global following, who love the gritty, fast-paced, and often unfiltered approach to journalism.

The challenge for our design team was to capture the essence of all of this, refine it down and repackage it into visuals that could be flexible enough to hold any news content.
To achieve this, we started by creating a high-level style guide of rules and typography. We adopted the existing colour palette from the MailOnine website and flowed this through into the style guide, combining inspiration from 'quick & dirty' design approaches that were already associated with the fast-paced world of news media.
Styleguide inspirationSketches and notes from the explore stages of the projectEarly mockups
Product Launch
Q1 2015
We worked through the style guide, ironing out the kinks by testing the templates and processes with real content, under real working conditions. We ended up producing hundreds of 'Snap' design concepts to establish our workflow. There were lots (and lots and lots) of trial and error, experimentation and mad ideas to define a system and design process that would be scalable.

The visual style was a blend of classic tabloid image treatments and techniques with contemporary style through angles, flat shapes and graphic marks.
The process involved a daily timeline, where the chief editor selected between 12 and 20 stories from the day to be repackaged and scheduled to go live on the Snapchat channel that same evening. Our team of designers, editors and copywriters would then take those stories and distil them down to their basics: A headline, visuals and a subheading. We would then work in a fast-paced race against the clock to get the content designed and ready on time each day.

The process naturally encouraged high energy, quick ideas, full collaboration and creative spark!
Example Snaps
Post Launch
...And beyond
To date the MailOnline continues to produce content stories each day for the Snapchat Discover channel since the successful launch in 2015.
Want to hear more about this project? Checkout the PR links below:
Snapchat Launches Discover - TECH CRUNCHSnapchat partners with top US media brands - including - DAILY MAILDaily Mail, Vice and CNN among media companies delivering content through Snapchat Discovery upon launch - THE DRUM