Flexible news app

Product Design

Lovable Product
Sept-Nov 2019

I designed AD-Flex: a hyper personalised news app that offers users flexible subscription models such as “bundles” or “pay-per-premium" articles. It's functionalities are summed as a data-driven personalisation tool allowing users the choice of relevant content and, if desired, get it recommended. The reader is in control and only pays for the content he or she wants to read. Subscription can be canceled weekly.

One of the main problems we aimed to solve for consumers was the idea of news bubbles. Around the time of the 2016 US presidential election, people were hit with loads of fake news. This app aims to overcome those challenges.


I worked within the oneUp team and DPG experts as the lead product designer. I helped the team throughout validation - ideating and testing the solution as well as prototyping all concepts. I jumped onto the project after visioning sessions with key stakeholders and the first value proposition canvases were created. The challenge was to make Persgroep's digital propositions more relevant.


A large majority of readers are unwilling to pay for online news. Subscriptions are experienced as expensive and not very flexible. The range of online news is interchangeable. These were all big challenges and customer facing problems with respect to the subscription model, that we wanted to overcome.

We started with a list of assumptions and modified our propositions after each round of user feedback.

Method 1

Online Experiments

Multiple concepts were tested. There were two iterations of designs before the final that I created based on our interviews with users.

We validated the concepts by directing users to landing pages on Unbounce with ad traffic. I measured this by plotting the number of clicks against the number of views (CTR).

These results were paired with Typeform surveys.

Method 2


Solution interviews were carried out by a researcher to test our prototypes. We used these learnings to synthesise new concepts and ideate better and better apps. The Premium per article model was considered the most relevant by respondents initially. The respondents looked at this favourably from the perspective of payment flexibility.

Ad-flex Solution

What resulted from previous experiments was the Ad-flex concept. The app itself focuses on overcoming the challenges of consumer news bubbles, where users are able to easily monitor and personalize the size of their bubble in the app. Users found the personalisation features of adjusting the size of your bubble favourable.


Both the users and DPG loved the app concept 🤟🏻
We learned the following:

  • Consumers currently free reading exhibit a low willingness to pay for online news
  • Consumers want an online news subscription to weekly base
  • Flexible payment options were desirable Pay per (premium) article scores very well in all studies
  • Pay for what you use speaks to the consumer
  • Clearer overview of what to read and which article is interesting for the reader is appealing to the consumer

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