Helen Chen

Vox Media

MyStreams: An App for Personal News Curation and Content Sharing

Vox Media

User Research,
Qualitative Analysis,
Concept Development,
UX/UI Design

Helen Chen, Sam Norton,
Jose Munoz Mato, Yi Rui

The Problem

Vox Media wanted to redesign their existing digital product, Story Streams, to gain more audience awareness. Currently, Story Streams is a digital product embedded within several of Vox’s brands: The Verge, Polygon, and SB Nation. It is an organizational unit that collects a bunch of small stories within a larger overall topic. The word “story” is in the title for a reason—it allows us to tell a story as a situation unfolds. However, in it’s current state, Story Streams did not have a high user base and Vox wanted to see if there was a chance to redesign the product in a way that would attract a large audience and compete with other emerging news/tech platforms such as Quartz, Bloomberg, and Flipboard.

Product before redesign:

Screen Shot 2017-11-07 at 11.05.39 PM.png

The Solution

MyStreams is an app with features centered around citizen journalism through individually curated and shareable content. Users are able to select and save articles they find interesting and create a content stream around a particular topic to follow a topic as it unfolds overtime and also share this with other readers.


The app aggregates content from all eight of Vox’s media platforms. Users can read through daily features, customize their preferred topics and categories, and create Story Streams on a topic of their choosing, and share it with others. If the user decides to set the Story Stream to public, other users can follow the Story Stream and add content to it.


This project took place over the span of five weeks.


We conducted remote user research with six screened participants from Ethn.io and held 30-minute interviews:



  1. Checklist mentality: participants expected “completeness” of information provided by Story Streams; did not want to miss updates on the topic.

  2.  Participants identified themselves as expert news consumers and wanted a product that will contribute to their expertise.

  3. Many of the participants primarily used mobile platforms to consume news.

  4. Paid great attention to organization of information while simultaneously engaging with content in a multitasking fashion.


Screen Shot 2017-01-24 at 5.43.17 PM.png
Screen Shot 2017-01-24 at 5.43.31 PM.png
Screen Shot 2017-01-24 at 5.43.47 PM.png
Screen Shot 2017-01-24 at 5.43.57 PM.png