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Bad News
Case Study

An open system empowering citizens to challenge the news media and hold them accountable when they do "bad" things.


Consumers can use Bad News to confront the news media. It includes resources for reporting media bias, inaccuracy, deception, and outright propaganda. Bad News aggregates these reports and provides statistical analysis. The violating sources will be automatically alerted by the platform, and the FCC will be notified about the worst offenders.

There are two objectives. First, to promote honest and insightful reporting. The second objective is to promote participatory media.

TIMELINE: 5 Weeks / OCT 2022
ORG: Coursera/Google
ROLE(S): Project Lead

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The Problem

American trust in news media has been trending downward since 1976. Today, trust in the media is the lowest on record.

The news being reported today is measurably less accurate and, arguably of lower quality. There's a growing census that the primary cause for this is a combination of reporting bias, propaganda, and even corrupt practices.

Making matters worse, the media have blocked or eliminated comment sections and other means to provide media producers with feedback. Americans have few means to voice their disapproval and many feel disenfranchised.

Gallup Trust in Media Poll

The lies told by the media have become so transparent, everyone can sense it, if not consciously then subconsciously.

Today I can't find alternative perspectives on a story, even though the Internet is bigger and faster.

We're all paying the costs for allowing the media to consolidate. Fewer sources means less actual news.

The Challenge

FAKE Nightly News Logo

Given this historically low trust in the media, the primary goal for this project was to improve the quality of, & trust in main-stream news. The practical goal was thus to build a platform with which to achieve this — to demonstrate a viable framework.

Creating an app that allows users to critique the news media will certainly be a complex task. It must be designed in a way that encourages users to actively participate in reporting activity while also providing them with an easy-to-use interface. Finally, security measures must be implemented to protect user data.

My Role

Even though I've dabbled in journalism and had the idea for a similar platform in the past, I'm tackling this project alone and without a budget, as a student getting Google UX certification. To meet the criteria for the course, this project was produced. Therefore, what you see is, at the very least, conceptual and, at the very most, a demonstration of a workable framework.

Design Process

As this project is only to demonstrate a viable framework, some design processes have been limited in scope or were unnecessary. But I still made use of the well proven pattern of...

  1. Empathize with Users
  2. Define Pain Points
  3. Ideate Solutions
  4. Create Wireframes & Prototypes
  5. Test & Iterate on Designs

Competitive Audit

As this project is only to demonstrate a viable framework, some design processes have been limited in scope or were unnecessary. But I still made use of the well proven pattern of...

General Information



Product Offering

Unque Value
AllSides Logo
More discerning news consumers
Provides balanced news while providing media bias ratings of news sources. Available as a website, and Android/iOS app.
Provides patented technologies, tools and services to identify biases in news & sources, providing bias ratings for over 1,400 outlets. Delivers multiple perspectives on topics. Most services/data is provided to companies and end users.
Ground News
News Ground Logo
More discerning news consumers
A platform that analyzes news stories to highlight your personal bias while illuminating blind spots. Available as a website, Android/iOS app & browser extension.
They process over 50,000 articles from over 50,000 sources, merge stories on the same topic into one, making it possible to get multiple perspectives in one place. Their media bias rating system is based on data from 3 bias ranking sources, including AllSides.

User Experience


User Flow


Desktop Experience

AllSides Logo
+ Information is fairly well organized
- Almost no branding, use of cues or language to highlight or draw attention to unique features or sections. Very little effort to clearly divide data and external content from company service info and news about the company.
Generally upbeat and solution focused. Very good at promoting the positive aspects of their services.
+ News seems current. Links to main content areas are somewhat easy to find
.- Appearance is like run-of-the-mill news aggregate, lacking any visual cues or branding of their unique features.
+ Lighthouse Accessibility rating of 96
- Only 75 Best Practices rating
Ground News
News Ground Logo
+ Good effort to guide the viewer into content and then guide the eye to defined features on the page/screen.
Very negative, even a bit depressing. Seems to focus on the problem more than the solution.
+ Pretty good means of displaying news in the context of bias highlighting.
- Confusing overlayed ball graphics & pop-up messages when hovering in places.
+ Lighthouse Accessibility rating of only 73
- Only 75 Best Practices rating

Identifying Users

Only when a real-world user base has been identified can any meaningful user goals, frustrations and problems emerge for consideration. And I didn't want to overlook any prospective users. Basic user research was conducted prior to taking on the project, supplemented by competitive research and brainstorming.

With that data and some analysis, we can ideate solutions and forge ahead with specific users in mind. Based on the most common demographics and key user problems identified, 6 user personas were developed. These were fabricated amalgamations of typical users to help guide the solutions being designed. Here are 2 examples...

Erica Persona

As you can see from above, Erica is unique in that she not only seeks to improve the quality of news, but she also wishes to advocate on behalf of others. Saadah, below is more typical of prospective users. The twist in his profile is that he has the goal to become an independent journalist himself.

Saadah Persona

Primary System Functions / Features

At its core, the platform will contain the following functional areas...

Reporting System

The system through which users report "bad news."

Tracking System

The system which will house the reporting data, analyze the data and produce reports for users and the general public.

Automated Reporting System

The system which will, based on various predetermined triggers automatically send reports to oversight agencies and notifications to a set of key recipients.

Publishing/Promotion System

The system which will compile and format various reports in a variety of styles for publishing through the general media and platform social media channels.

There's little doubt that the Reporting System will be the greatest challenge. Reporting is also the first step in the process which the other systems rely on to function. As such, this study focuses solely on the Reporting functions.

Research Study

Before beginning to even create storyboards, I planned and conducted research with friends as participants. With those initial findings I began the design process.

Research Goals

My primary goal was to learn what design would be most useable and intuitive.

Research Questions

Most questions were related to the participant's opinion of and relationship to the media. Additional questions were about their opinions of the platform's design & function.


The study began with participants completing a questionnaire followed by a video interview session. Great care was taken to avoid language that would presume or guide responses.


As this was an unfunded project, suitable participants were selected from friends & family. Interviews were conducted via Zoom video-conference.
Credit card mockups

User Flow

I developed this user flow to illustrate the full range of paths from the landing page, 3 layers deep.

User Flow

High-Resolution Prototype

This has been more difficult to develop than other, seemingly complicated apps. I expect further development to be no less difficult. Adhering to restrictions and limitations in what can be reported and what constitutes an offense that are key to service integrity is important. It's no less key and probably required to maintain user interest that the experience be intuitive and rewarding.

Open Prototype in New TabPrototype Samples