Brian Levy

UX, UI, Interaction, & Graphic Design

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MSN Slide Manager

Helping producers manage content.


Creating and scheduling hero slides to run on the homepage of MSN was time consuming and cumbersome.

Some of the problems facing the users included:

  • Existing workflow involved complex repetitive forms.
  • Managing multiple duplicate pieces of content.
  • Lots of copying and pasting between multiple open browser tabs.
  • The overall experience was disconnected with the final display making the identification of individual slides difficult.
  • Copy fitting often required a lot of trial and error.

Additionally, after talking with users, it became clear that the two different roles — editors and producers — had different goals and used the tool in different ways. Editors were concerned with the content of slides — the headline and image — while producers were concerned with assembling slides into collections and scheduling those collections to be published onto the homepage. One interface for these very different goals was optimized for neither.


The foundation of the end design rested on a few basic principles. First, tasks needed to be optimized for each user’s goals. This was accomplished by separating the creation workflow from the assembly/scheduling workflow. Second is the concept of “create once, use multiple times”. Breaking the content objects into smaller re-usable pieces drastically reduced the amount of duplicate items. Lastly, input should represent the output as close as possible. Having a more visual representation of the elements makes it easier for producers to better identify individual slides at a glance and editors to match headline to image and ensure that copy fits.

My role

  • User research
  • Interaction design
  • Visual design

What I started with

The existing interface was a long collection of form fields that lacked context to how they related to each other or the final output

Final designs

Assembly/scheduling interface

The scheduling interface allows organization

Slide creation interface

The slide creation experience presents a WSIWYG interface that gives the user a clearer idea of the final output.


“I love this. It makes scheduling slides so much easier.” — David, MSN Producer

“This better reflects how I work on a day to day basis." — Chris, MSN Producer