The product has 2 sides which will appeal to journalists as well as providing a great reading experience for consumers. I broke this down to 3 user stories:
*As a journalist I want to be proud of my work, this includes how it looks, feels and reads.*
*As a user I want to quickly and easily publish my stories*
*As a consumer I want an enjoyable reading experience no matter where I consume the article.*
The first and third story revolve around the published article. Does it look professional, does it 'not' feel like a blog, will it promote their personal brand, does it have a good reading experience?
The second story is the editing experience. While initially being light on features this needs to be usable, enjoyable, safe and reliable.
Being a team of 4, I kicked off designing the final published article templates while the developers work on the infrastructure. Using a range of demonstration articles we had sourced, I designed the article layout using a mix of Photoshop, wireframes and prototyping in HTML.
This gave me the ability to test quickly with real content and iterate the designs through feedback from the team and journalists.
From there we worked backwards. Since we had a range of sample published stories, we took each part of the article and worked on how these would be created & edited.
Testing as we go, I'd design on paper (creating rough prototypes) then the team would integrate directly into the app. From there I'd create the design style in the live pattern library and we'd polish once we were happy with the solution.
Overall we went with an inline editing experience. This gave us an advantage from a development point of view but also gave the journalist the ability to preview the article as they added content.
Using an iterative development process we continually enhanced the editing and publishing experience one element at a time. During this development we kept the published article intact and continually tested to ensure the journalist and consumer experience was not compromised.
Here's a little video of the editing experience after we launched:
With the first pass editing experience completed we were able to produce articles to validate that we had met story 1 & 3.
From there I worked with journalists to test the editing capabilities while development shifted their focus to the user management & story management functions.