CLIENT: Fairfax Media
Achievement: Web subscription for Desktop, Tablet and Mobile



With the audience shifting from Print to Digital, Fairfax Media was confronted with a progressive loss of revenue. They decided to introduce digital subscriptions across all devices in order to secure a sustainable future. Considering the business importance of this project, I needed to ensure a user experience as fast and straightforward as possible, in order to maximise the conversation rate.



I started by creating personas, based on research done by a third party. The Sydney Morning Herald’s audience covers pretty much all generations, which is why we had to focus on primary personas only.

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One of the primary personas

In parallel, I researched best practices and pitfalls to avoid by conducting a subscription experience benchmark. I had a look at Media competitors, as well as experiences in totally different markets.

I defined several user journey options, covering the main use cases.

user journey smh

Extract of a navigation flow


I created low-fidelity wireframes based on those user journeys. The next step was for me to workshop this whole approach with the stakeholders, in order to adjust the experience and make sure we shared the same vision.


 ‘Stand up’ workshop with the main stakeholders

I built an Axure prototype with two different navigation flow options. The objective was to test these options with a few key users.


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Axure prototype


Because of time constraints we hired a third party to conduct two user testing phases (8 users each time).


All of the steps above included constant iterations with stakeholders, the visual designer and front-end developers.



The launch of the subscription model was a success with the numbers of subscribers going beyond expectations. Within 4 months there were 86,000+ paid digital subscribers, and 102,000+ existing print subscribers who have signed up for digital access, or bundled subscriptions. This shows how users are attached to the brand as well as how they value the importance of quality and independent journalism.