The Independent

Product Design Case Study

By Daniel Pape

In March 2016 The Independent published its final print copy of the newspaper and pivoted to a digital only approach. To take the place of the printed product, a new edition-based app called The Daily Edition was launched. I was lead designer on the app itself, but also for the ecommerce pages which would be the gateway for our loyal subscribers to continue to engage with our content.


After testing different approaches, I identified that the one that resonated the most with subscribers was to focus on the content of the app, rather than the app itself. The medium that the content came was irrelevent to them, as long as they could still read engaging articles from their favourite journalists.

The layout that performed the best was to present the key highlights at the top of the page, but to allow the user to navigate down the page to get more information about the product. This helped the user make an informed decision and would increase retention once a user had subscribed.

Visual Style

It was important to retain the spirit of the printed newspaper in the selling pages, as the target market of this page was the users who already subscribed to the print product. I utilised the brand's custom-designed fonts by A2 Type rather than web versions as used on the website. I also did extensive research into the archive of the printed product and picked out the signature motifs that would translate well to digital. Since most of our users were using desktop computers we optimised the page for desktop, which is counter to my usual approach of designing for mobile first, but addressed the users needs better.


The whole of the page is dedicated to convincing the user to convert to a subscriber, by navigating through layers of the site and communicating the benfits in an overview. Specific features such as automatic download and exclusive writers such as Simon Calder are highlighted throughout the page to give the user confidence in the quality of the product.

The page ends with user testimonials under the title "Why do people love the Daily Edition?". We found that testimonials converted very well through testing variations of the site and gave the user more confidence when trying the product out. I used a similar style as the pull quotes on the website to give the testimonials more authority

Conversion Performance

Within a month of launch the page had already contributed to doubling the number of subscribers to The Independent, compared to when the product was print only. The page has proven to be extensible too, as the page has accommodated new offers and new promotions since it's launch without requiring major redesign.

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