A reader-centric Live Lab to deliver tangible product enhancements

The Economist offers authoritative insight and opinion on international news, politics, business, finance, science, technology and the connections between them.

With the media industry widely exploring new commercial models to balance advertising revenue performance with growing subscriber appetite for content on mobile devices, The Economist has increased their focus on digital strategies. The organization came to GlobalLogic to evolve their digital teams’ ways of working and further adopt a reader-centric approach, covering a broad range of products and services.

Method and GlobalLogic facilitated an intensive three week Live Lab focused on The Economist’s Espresso App – a daily digest of the news in five short articles. The aim of the Live Lab was to help the Digital team establish the positioning of the Espresso app within the current Economist portfolio, as well as explore how it can scale and respond better to readers’ needs.

Participants from across the organization, including product managers, journalists, editors, data analysts as well as in-house designers, worked together with the Method and GlobalLogic team using human-centered design exercises to define improvements to the Espresso app that aligned with user needs and value metrics from the business.

The new Espresso app, developed in partnership with GlobalLogic, offers the best of the news in snackable format. Espresso was recognized as App of the Year by the British Media Awards and Best News App by the Tabby Awards.

We produced two high value feature areas, along with assets and prototypes, ready for development and beta testing.

We launched a backlog of potential new features to help broaden the product roadmap.

We devised a framework and plan for replicating and scaling the Live Lab format across their business.

The ideas that came out of it were practical ones that could actually be built in a reasonable amount of time – well focused on the value to the customer and the business.

Remy Becher, Senior Director, The Economist


A multi-disciplinary team

Editors, journalists, product managers, data analysts, and designers from The Economist joined together with developers from GlobalLogic and designers and strategists from Method. This diverse set of expertise exposed important perspectives and context that helped inform decision making at pace.

Learn more about GlobalLogic’s ongoing partnership with The Economist in our interview with Jora Gill, CDO.

A reader-centric process

The high-paced schedule included exercises such as persona creation, day-in-the-life journey mapping, rapid prototyping, and testing with readers. By introducing human-centric design processes to The Economist team, the concepts resonated with the value to the reader while maintaining key business objectives and alignment with brand values.

GlobalLogic is quite happy in challenging us in a professional manner...they come up with ideas, we come up with ideas, we test the ideas together, and then we'll put into production the best of those ideas. That's very different than a customer supplier relationship.

Jora Gill, Chief Digital Officer, The Economist