Colorado Politics is a startup news website providing in-depth coverage focused on the Colorado General Assembly; state government; public policy issues; campaigns and elections; and the top political leaders in all parties. The Colorado Politics website and mobile app launched in the spring of 2016, the printed weekly magazine was introduced in the summer of 2017.

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In 2015, executives at Clarity Media Group, based in Denver, developed a small team to launch a startup news organization. This team would work together to implement a go-to source to inform Colorado voters on all state issues. Preliminary discovery sessions included all key stakeholders and included discussions on target audiences and immediate needs for coloradopolitics.com. I was asked to lead the overall design of the product.

The Challenge

The primary problems the team faced were finding ways to produce content with limited resources, while working under extreme time constraints. Freelance web developers created a starting point for the website, which allowed reporters to post their stories and blogs easily, but the overall website was not responsive to all digital platforms nor was it user friendly.

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Again, executives were eager to launch the website quickly, so a web developer created a starting point for a experimental site. When I joined the team, I had several brainstorming sessions with executives, editors and web developers about the look and functionality of the website. Based on these discussions I created a site map to map out the hierarchy of the content. Then I designed wireframes and prototypes to show the team how the site and mobile app would come to life - executing a clean, user-friendly and concise approach. Unfortunately, I had to eliminate some user research methods, because of time limitations.

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The launch of the website in 2016 led to Clarity's acquisition of a 119-year-old Colorado newspaper in 2017 to accompany the site. I redesigned and revamped the new weekly publication within 1 week. Read more on my process here. The combination of the website and the printed publication has drawn in at over 2,000 subscribers and news coverage has expanded more into the Denver metro area. The website and mobile app offer readers the experience to get a front-row seat to how their vote matters. Now the site includes daily breaking news stories on all things politics; Denver-focused investigative stories; photo galleries; a calendar of political events in Colorado; and opinion pieces. I continue to work with web developers to continuously improve the site's functionality and accessibility. Visit coloradopolitics.com