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Yle Feenix

Digital service design, by the book

Our role: Service and UI design, backend & front-end development

Yle Feenix, the content creation system for Yle Areena’s personnel, was in dire need of an update. Instead of just rushing into the job, we dived deep into the old system, interviewed a ton of users and co-designed the new system with them to make sure it really does what’s needed.

Yle Feenix

About Yle Feenix

Yle Feenix is the web-based graphical user interface for managing the content of the Yle Areena online TV and radio service. Yle people use it to publish, update, arrange and edit the content for every Yle Areena application, whether it’s for browsers, gaming consoles, smartphones or smart TVs.

What we’ve done together

To fully understand how the new Yle Feenix should turn out, we wanted to listen to the people who knew best: the users. This involved interviewing and shadowing them while they were using the old version of the service. The result was nearly a dozen pages of invaluable information about what was working and what should be improved: the very foundation of what was to come.

Next, we put together prototypes with InVision. These were tested and iterated with the same end users, some of them interviewed and shadowed again, others giving comments and ideas via online tools. It took a couple of busy weeks to nail the final form of the prototype, which we then turned into a fully functioning online service.

Why we’re stoked about it

The Yle Feenix project is a textbook case of lightweight digital service design that puts the user first. We’re proud to have created a simple, adaptive interface with nothing its users don’t need or want. Having erased the old version’s technical debt, we can now carry on developing Yle Feenix in a more agile way: ideating, launching and testing new features on the run.

And like we mentioned in the Yle Areena case, we haven’t done all this alone. At Yle we work as one team with Yle and all their different vendors to get the best results.

The tech talk

Our work with Feenix replaced a very outdated Yle Areena CMS system with a fast, single-page web app, born to run on late-model Javascript engines. Our toolbox of libraries featured Ramda, React and BaconJS.

Luckily, Yle’s IT staff had blessed the public service powerhouse with modern browsers. That meant we get to use all the latest CSS bling, too, without worrying about decade-old versions of… a certain browser that shall not be named.

At the moment of writing, Feenix is in beta. Yle employees are already working with our tool for some of their daily posting to Yle Areena and for the continuous management and inspection of Areena assets.

The new interface aims to make it much smoother to add all the numerous fields of content information and non-visible metadata that makes Yle Areena a well curated and popular destination for Finnish media consumers. Down the road, we’ll have everything from audit trails to change logs, too.

While not yet built to become a mobile-first workflow, the Feenix utility will be available for editors working outside the office.

We think this is a great start on the road to making Yle Areena feel more alive, up-to-date and fluid than ever. After all, our work is done at a marketplace where Yle Areena is nothing short of the main competitor of YouTube and Netflix!

Yle Feenix

Next up: Juomien Suomi

Let’s toast to our super fast delivery!