How We Learned To Love Iterative Design at Fairfax

In 1995 the Sydney Morning Herald went online—and a hair breadth faster than many larger international news titles. More than two decades and countless redesigns later, the s​ (and cooler cousin t​​deliver breaking news to 4.4 million Australians every month. In this talk, Dina and Lucinda will give you behind‐the‐scenes access into how a media company, in a time of ultimate disruption, undertook their most ambitious replatforming‐cum‐redesign yet.

They’ll discuss the advantages of adaptive web design principles (versus responsive) while walking the line between internal needs and commercial considerations. They will also talk about what agile methodologies and iterative design means for designers—and how to get it right. Eighteen months, 24 cross‐functional team members, 1000s of internal and external user feedback comments… If you’ve every wondered what it’s like to work on a project that’s big, you won’t want to miss this talk.

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The major metropolitan newspaper Sydney Morning Herald went online in 1995. Two decades later, as it continued to deliver breaking news to 4.4 million Australians every month, it underwent a major overhaul.


Data and research showed that users transitioned from one device to another, expecting consistency.


A cross-functional team was put together, which over the 18 month process adopted an iterative approach.


The existing model of a desktop design and a separate mobile design was replaced by an adaptive design model.


Advertisers are important stakeholders, whose specific needs can be met with responsive design.