Gong app —

Gong was the last startup I worked at. The pace there was one of the most intense that I’ve experienced. It pushed me to work even faster, get less attached to solutions, and to iterate more. I’ve designed so many versions of Gong from the ground up — what I’ve documented here is only one version of the product.

This version of the Gong app was a personalized news service in a ranked feed format, where users shared articles with the ability customize the hero image of the article (meme culture inspired), before people tapped through to the article.

Press: Tech Crunch
Year 2015 — 2016

The problems —
In a world that is faster and more interactive, news is still slow and passive.
Where everything is visual, news is text heavy.
Users make the best entertainment, news relies on old-fashion editorial.
The social experience of news is limited to sharing on general use social networks.

The challenges —
Transformation of the text heavy medium into visual and short.
Provide an interactive and emotional experience.
Personalization by creating a better prediction of what people are interested in.

Gong story feed — in this view users could uncover trending stories in TL;DR styled cards, get the scoop in seconds, and swipe up to see the next story. Viewers can tap Gong (reshare), comment on the Gong, add to it, or read the article.
Create and share flow — here users customize any story they want with photos and gifs before they share. This was one of the most unique aspects of the product. Sharing was either to friends or the world.
News discovery — users found stories either by searching for and subscribing to news on topics that interest them, or by browsing the main ranked feed view. Breaking news and friend re-shared content would get a ranking boost.
Post launch — we changed and iterated on this product a lot, even post launch, but never quite found a value proposition that was strong enough. In hindsight, I think we put too much value on the idea that we had an advantage over traditional social media because our app was 100% news focused.