Turning NPR listeners into viewers with an interactive live Election Party
In past elections, NPR created an online experiences like most news networks to follow along with general elections results. In 2014, NPR wanted to give its listeners an alternative to the TV broadcast and cable channels’ election night coverage of the midterms.
A shared live event streaming via a Google Chromecast app would bring audiences and studio hosts together at an on-screen party that you could join on your laptop, mobile device, or TV.
NPR Visuals team tapped Whistle Studios to lead design of an app that would do a lot more than display real-time ballot results:
- Stream NPR’s live audio
- Highlight interesting slices of the results, similar to the scorecards used in-studio (the distribution of gender or race in Congress; the change in balance of power in the Senate, etc.)
- Live blogging
- Offer tools to host parties and interact through social media
In addition to leading the design, we helped NPR with strategic guidance on developing marketing tools to promote the app in the weeks leading up to the elections. We encouraged listeners to host a party with planning tips, menus, suggestions for races to watch, and tips for well informed discussions. Partnering with Nvite, we made it easy for people to host election parties and invite family and friends to the party.
Continuing with our theme of “tearing down the agency wall,” we worked as one with NPR, leading product design and collaborating with a small team that included story and photo editors, developers, and news desk hosts. Working within an existing agile process, we tested our designs with internal user groups and stakeholders and made adjustments and improvements along the way.
Drawing on our experience working with other media companies, we were able to:
- Set achievable goals
- Develop big ideas
- Deliver the app design and marketing tools in 4 weeks
Our design and development became an integral part of the final app release that was used by thousands of users and received high recognition from industry peers, including the Society for News Design.
.@npratc‘s hosts are ready for election night! Listen live and watch the results come in: http://t.co/1Cz0938AKG pic.twitter.com/FZ0DnFKsuN
— NPR visuals team (@nprviz) November 4, 2014
Election results 6 ways. How some top news sites’ results pages looked last night. Props to @nprviz for originality pic.twitter.com/AiEbR5GDBB — jonkeegan (@jonkeegan) November 5, 2014
We loved this photo of Merry the pup prepping for the #nprparty Thanks Miriam! pic.twitter.com/80YDaCApk2
— NPR visuals team (@nprviz) November 5, 2014
NPR’s pick for your election night drinking? Kentucky bourbon, natch. http://t.co/7OeY6A7OjX pic.twitter.com/I3gI9LnohF — Brian Boyer (@brianboyer) November 1, 2014
@NPR Watching the #NPRparty with the cat. She’s all for catnip legalization. pic.twitter.com/OlKFn76Vl2
— Erin Blasco (@erinblasco) November 5, 2014
.@NPR election night one of best news uses of chromecast I’ve seen. http://t.co/2cjeBRbJj6 kudos #nprparty peeps! pic.twitter.com/wpD7gNoCJc — Amanda Zamora (@amzam) November 5, 2014
Behind the scenes at NPR headquarters #nprparty pic.twitter.com/kHlQsfoqLO
— Nick Whitmoyer (@whistle) November 5, 2014
- The app was discussed widely in a variety of social media channels, but got the most viral attention from Twitter
- Overall average time on site with desktop, tablet, and mobile users was 7 minutes and 01 second
- Chromecast users spent an average of 19 minutes and 53 seconds on the site
- Putting Radio On The Television
- NPR Wins Silver Medal for ‘Election Party!’
Whistle Studios provided:
- UX design
- Product design
- App design
- Lean UX
- Design Thinking
We love working with media companies. See how we helped NPR Music create a better online music experience and worked with PBS KIDS to build websites where parents and children could have fun and learn together.