Nexstar Inc. approached Postlight early last year to help launch its new national news program, NewsNation. It was an exciting challenge. Launching a network is hard; creating a digital presence at the same time is even harder. Doing both in the middle of a pandemic seems close to impossible. But at midnight on September 1, 2020, Nexstar officially launched a new broadcast program, a digital presence on the web, and the NewsNation Now mobile apps (available for iOS and Android).
Postlight worked with the Nexstar team to understand its vision for the NewsNation show, from the voice for its coverage and content to the story it wanted to tell. NewsNation would be a fact-based, unbiased news program that leveraged decades of the trust-building Nexstar has done through local stations.
In an in-person workshop just days before sweeping work from home orders, we settled on a set of features most critical to the launch of NewsNation’s website and mobile apps. Then, we partnered with our friends at Alley for the build. Together we set out to design and execute a digital experience that would pair with the broadcast and reach a new digital-first audience.
Reaching a digital-first audience
Nexstar knew what audience it wanted to reach with the broadcast, but the demographic for the website and NewsNation Now apps was slightly different. It needed to reach connected, digital-first users who don’t typically tune into prime-time news broadcasts. Postlight defined a digital experience where the broadcast is a prominent feature of the app when the show is live — putting it in front of new, digital-first viewers — then tucked away when the broadcast ends.
A sleek and uncomplicated design
With so much news available for consumption, first impressions are absolutely key. The Postlight design team took this to heart when creating the look and feel of the site and mobile apps. Every detail and user interaction was considered. The experience is sleek and uncomplicated, reflecting Nexstar’s goals of trust and transparency. We carefully added colors to the palette, so that important information could be highlighted without creating a feeling of urgency or panic.
Adaptable and accessible
Although all news is important to someone, not all news is important to everyone. The NewsNation Now app offers push notifications that feature the ability to opt into different segments of the news. These segments change over time, so Postlight designed them to be controlled through the CMS to avoid the need to submit new versions of the app.
NewsNation’s content is accessible in any format its users might want, from articles to broadcast video to radio. Radio, for example, enables users to consume top articles and highlights daily news while commuting or multitasking. As a key part of this, the NewsNation Now app has Siri and Google Assistant commands that allow users to start playing the Radio completely hands-free.