London24 is a London-wide website which provides news, sport, information and user-generated content for Londoners.
Learning how people interact with online news
London24 has a wide variety of users and to replicate this in testing we ran group sessions with a wide variety of participants. They all used online news outlets but had a wide variety of ages, jobs, education and locations in London.
Primary research objectives centered on the expectations of these users. We aimed to gain an understanding of how they use news sites, how they group information and what their general habits are online.
Ran two different types of focus groups
The first focus group was aimed at users who were interested in news and social information, such as restaurant reviews etc. The second group contained participants who used news sites for news and sports.
With each group we went around the room and asked them to talk about their average online news habits. This allowed different people to step in and say they do that too or explain how they are different.
Tasks were split between more individual discussions and group work to keep the participants engaged and to help them bond as a group.
We discussed a range of areas such as:
- Features on sites they like and use
- Where they start (specific URL or google search)
- The devices they use
- Do they comment on stories, share stories etc.
- General likes on news sites and websites in general
- General dislikes on news sites and websites in general
Understanding the different user segments mindset
The findings of the research helped London24 understand how their users actually think and operate. What motivates them to go to a news site, what draws them in and what puts them off. We also did some card sorting as a group and this let London24 test if their organisation and hierarchy worked for, and made sense to, their users.