De Monitor is a research journalism program on TV and online. Based on crowdsourcing, they identify abuses and errors in law and society. It was time to take the next step, which involved a completely renewed back-end workflow for the journalists as well as a high engagement of the public by creating a new online experience.


Created at

Lead UX & Design

Understanding the current experience

To create a solution that resonates with all involved target groups, we started with mapping out the customer journey for the public and the journalists of the program. As a team it was important to understand how the public is involved with certain subjects and how they want to engage with the program.

Next to that, we also looked into the journey for the journalists. How they start a research, what they do during the research and the whole process of recording an item for TV. Both customer journeys were based on a defined persona, which enabled us to feel more engaged with the target groups. In the customer journeys the emotions, thoughts and actions of the persona were incorporated.

After having a full perspective of the whole current experience, we started mapping out all the opportunities in the journeys. We brainstormed ideas (both online and offline) to further improve the customer journey. Next to that, we also discussed about what would define the success of the project. We used the Google HEART Framework to define success metrics that could be measured during and after the project.

Customer journey

From ideas to a concept

Early on in the process the whole team had ideas on how to improve the customer journey and mainly the online touchpoint that the public interacts with. We did not only discuss functionalities, but also determined a few values that we used to further protect the core idea. I was tasked with the responsibility to make the concept touchable and viable. This process involved wireframing and rapid prototyping.

Redefining the brand

Working on a new experience also meant looking at the brand ‘De Monitor’ and how this is being perceived by the public. Since we were aiming for a stronger engagement with the public it was important to look at the mission, vision and core values of the brand. In a brainstorm the whole core team defined the mission, vision and core values which we then discussed. Eventually, we redefined the brand which was also input for the further steps to be taken in the process, like the visual design.

It’s all about people

To make sure that the concept would match the expectations of the public we did a usability test. Our approach was mobile first, since most users visit the website through Facebook (and therefore on their mobile phones). This test was a great way to gain more understanding of how users would interact with the new website. Users were asked to perform certain tasks, ranging from finding certain information to sending in a tip that could help a research subject.

During the test, which I conducted, stakeholders were in another room taking notes and discussing improvements. The usability test proved its value and we had very valuable insights that led up to changing a few things in copy and user interface.

1 day

Minimal investment

6 participants

Sweet spot for enough insights

Valuable insights

One step closer to happy users!
Usability test

Giving shape and color to the concept

Since the concept was pretty much nailed down, it was time to give it some shape and color. The visual design process was very iterative and I tried a lot of colors and typefaces that would fit the brand we defined earlier in the process. Luckily I had quite a lot of freedom to go creative with the visual identity. We ended up with a nice, clean and functional look that fits what De Monitor stands for.

Crafting the full experience

Thanks to the iterative design process, we quickly made a decision on the design direction. During the design phase I made sure I made all the right components needed to craft the experience. This helped me to effectively set up the interface of every page.

To make things more clear to the development team and the stakeholders, I also created a few interface animations. This clarified a lot of functionalities and managed the expectations on both ends.

De Monitor | Home
De Monitor | Onderzoek
De Monitor | Tip form start


The team worked hard at achieving a good result. We’re proud that what we wanted is becoming reality.

Transparent research

Our goal was to connect the people with the research team by being transparent every step of the way. By communicating the process of the research the people feel more heard and understood. From crowdsourcing, to crowd participation.

Smart tip management

We build a system where all the tips from the public are being filtered and sorted right away. This enables the researchers to easily see which tips are usable and which aren’t. It also saves time, which is valuable within a 6-week timeframe.

More time for better stories

By creating a smart system that manages all the tips, the journalists now have more time on their hands to create better stories. And also more time to really connect with the public, which is crucial in the work that they do.

National recognition

Our work hasn’t been unnoticed. De Monitor has been nominated for the most prestigious prizes in the Dutch Digital Industry. It’s been nominated for a SpinAward (category Digital Service Idea) and a Dutch Interactive Award (category Communities).

Team is everything

Jekke Mink, Cyril Snijders, Kevin van Daatselaar, Willeke Tersteeg, Simon van Acht

Product owner
Cyril Snijders

Art direction
Kevin van Daatselaar

Lead UX & Design
Simon van Acht

Willeke Tersteeg, René Sommer, Tessa Beijer

Cyril Snijders, Susanne Heijstraten

Technical production