Taboola Newsroom - Alerts Bundling

My Role
User Experience Design
Platform
Web
When
2017

Taboola platform allows online content publishers to market digital content through a recommendation engine which is served via site widgets and feeds on publishers and websites across the web.

One of the prominent features of Newsroom is alerting users when a notable event is occurring on a publisher's article. Newsroom has alerts across all dashboards in the app including Overview, Front Page, and Network Insights. The alerts include many different scenarios, providing both positive and negative feedback, including traffic increases/drop-offs, instant hits, old articles with new traffic, and several alerts for social media traffic including Facebook and Reddit.

How alerts are displayed within Newsroom:

  • Web app: in the activity section and right rail throughout the app.
  • TV display: in the activity section and right rail throughout the app.
  • Mobile app: in the activity section and as an iOS notification.

Problem

Publishers and staff have no way to turn alerts off outside their work shifts or vacation without completely turning off alerts — an impractical solution. News happens 24/7 and publishers have a staff that works all hours of the day and weekends. Publisher staffers could work a consistent weekly schedule with shifts that could be any time of the day, or differ day-to-day. A shift could start in one day and end in another day. These were all edge cases we had to consider in the design.

Alerts bundling on off
After considering all the use cases, it was decided to give the staffer two paths to set up their time windows. The first path, and the most simplistic, was for staffers with a consistent schedule. Generally speaking, this would be for the 8-5 weekday shifts.
Alerts bundling alert window
The second path was for the user who had a more complicated schedule, I called this the varied time window. This path covers all the edge cases that the first path could not cover, such as staffers who have an inconsistent weekly schedule, a part-time staffer, or a staffer who works "graveyard" shift that runs past midnight into the next day.

An editorial staffer could add alert windows by clicking on the start hour, then clicking on the end hour (it was decided the increments would be one hour for simplification). When a staffer clicks on the start hour, it would start the selection task with an arrow pointed forward highlighting all the hours between the start time and the position of the cursor. When the user clicks an end hour in the alert window, the user interaction is complete, with all the hours in the window highlighted. Once the alert window is established, the user can hover over the end hour and a delete button would appear so it is possible to remove alert window(s). Above the weekly calendar, the weekly alert schedule is displayed in natural language for clarity.
Alerts bundling varied weekly window
There was one small edge case that we found this design did not cover well. When a night shift ran from Sunday evening through Monday morning, the user would have to click on the first date and then move the cursor a long distance back up to Sunday. As a workaround, the user can just create a window from Sunday evening until midnight and then create another window Monday morning until the end of the alert window. It is a small amount of additional work for the user, but we decided it was an edge case not worth solving.
Alerts bundling vacation mode
Also included in this feature is vacation mode, this allows anybody on the editorial staff to set a one-off period of time in the future where alerts will be muted and queued (with considerations to the alert windows). If vacation mode is only one day, then the end day is optional.