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A mockup of a person using their laptop and viewing the label from the Truth Fairy browser extension that is giving its report on a source that came up in their search.

Truth Fairy

UX Design + Research, Technical Research, Copy + Report Writing - 2018

Truth Fairy is a browser plugin that utilizes a community of verified journalists to rate the trustworthiness of national and international news sources. Readers are given objective information- such as publishing, editing, and funding details- as well as a cumulative rating from 0-100 to help them determine the credibility of any given source.

At the end of this project, my classmates and I pitched our concept to a UX and Lead UX Designer at Grand Studio, a design firm in Chicago, which was a phenomenal opportunity.

The Process

My Digital Product Design + Planning class worked in groups to work through the stages of product design and development. My group worked on a concept called Truth Fairy, where we worked to design a product for news consumers that would help them determine the credibility of news sources and combat "fake news". 

I was responsible for doing deep research on machine learning and general research on news consumption across different demographics. I made some wireframes based on subject matter expert interviews that we conducted with product design and UX professionals as well as a journalist. 

Below are some lower-fidelity wireframes for the concept, where we aimed to create a news aggregator that would spit back information about each source. The estimated percentages (that measure trustworthiness) are based on a Pew Research study from around that time.

A crude wireframe for the Truth Fairy website, when it was projected to be a news aggregator. There are a variety of news sources with ratings of trustworthiness displayed for each.
A crude wireframe for the Truth Fairy pricing model, which is free for users and paid for journalists and businesses looking to create an account.

The product shifted toward a web browser plugin based on user interviews, noting the appeal of not having to seek out this information via a website or having to create a profile. A journalism student expressed that it would make their work easier to have that information readily available. An SME- who is an established journalist from Missouri- said that journalists would pay to use this in their daily work since they have to do so much research. 

The image at the top of this page shows what the browser extension would look like. Below is a look at our landing page that a member of our group used to test. While the conversion rate was lower than we would have hoped, we certainly learned a lot.

A photo of a person on the landing page of Truth Fairy, where they are prompted to enter their email address if they would like to learn more.

Next Steps

Truth Fairy is in the process of rebranding to be called "re: Source" and have a more serious tone. This new name will play off of the product being a resource for readers and that the given information is regarding news sources.

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